Father Massimo Biancalani, well-known for his intense activity to host migrants, announced on February 20 that he applied to the court of Pistoia, in Tuscany, to adopt a young Gambian named Lamin who was recently repatriated to Gambia.
Father Massimo Biancalani, the parish priest of Vicofaro in Pistoia, who is a well-known activist who hosts a large number of migrants at his local parish, announced on Monday (February 20) that a month ago he applied to the court of Pistoia to adopt Lamin.
The youth, 20, who is from Gambia and stayed in Vicofaro, was forced to leave when his residence permit was revoked four months ago after he was cited for use of force against a public official. He was subsequently transferred to a repatriation center in the southern Italian city of Potenza. Lamin was repatriated a few days ago to Gambia.
'Point of reference for hundreds of hosted youths'
"Lamin arrived in Italy when he was still a minor and grew up in Vicofaro. As time went by, he became a point of reference for hundreds of young guests," explained Father Biancalani.
"He was loved by everyone, including many friends from Pistoia whom he met every day to play sports and music. He knows Italian well. He distributed food in Vicofaro and he was sought after by everyone to solve quarrels and guarantee that everything went well in the house", he added.
Hearing on March 21
The priest stressed that the adoption application was filed in Pistoia over a month ago by attorney Elena Baldi, and a hearing with the judge is scheduled on March 21.
"Technically, there are no obstacles", said the priest, supported by his lawyers. "To adopt an adult, you need their consent and that of their parents. Lamin only has a mother. We just need to understand if Gambia's legislation is in favor," he continued.
Father Biancalani said the adoption would represent a sign that "we are serious and that we don't stop in front of difficulties. If the adoption is approved, there is hope to bring our Lamin back to Vicofaro," concluded the priest.