Embracing the Little Ones
Lifting Romania’s Adoption Ban
By Chuck Colson
Across America this Mother’s Day, sons and daughters will shower their mothers with gifts. But of course the most precious gift a mother can receive is the gift of life itself—a child from the hand of God.
One mother I know—a Christian woman and a personal friend—so treasures the gift of life that she has begun the process of adopting an orphaned little girl from Romania, a child with cerebral palsy many others would have chosen to ignore. After major surgery and countless physical therapy sessions in the United States, this little girl now walks with a walker. But equally as stunning as the physical strides she has taken are the emotional strides. It is no small miracle for her to begin to trust and rest in the love of a Christian home she now enjoys here.
But sadly this little girl is caught in a complicated web of international politics, one that, barring some kind of miracle, will mean that she will be returned in just over a year to a Romanian orphanage, despite the longing heart of her would-be adoptive parents. You see, in 2004, Romania issued a ban on all international adoptions. When that ban took effect, more than one thousand children were already in the process of being adopted by foreign families, including two hundred in the United States. Some of these children have already met and bonded with their would-be adoptive parents.
Today there are an estimated 80,000 children in Romania who lack parental care. Through heroes like Prison Fellowship Romania’s Constantin Asavoaie and Romania Christian Enterprises, some of these children are being cared for and adopted by loving Romanian Christians. But despite these noble efforts, as Congressman Jeb Bradley (R-N.H.) states, “It is statistically impossible for all these children to [be] placed” in Romania.
At the root of the foreign adoption debacle lies the dangerous counsel of Baroness Emma Nicholson, a member of the European Parliament from England, who was appointed Romania’s rapporteur or “coach” to put Romania on track to become a member of the European Union. The baroness pressured the Romanian government to declare the adoption ban, making baseless accusations that international adoptions spawned corruption and child-trafficking and insisting that anything short of a total ban would prevent Romania’s entrance into the European Union. According to Congressmen Chris Smith (R-N.J.), “Lady Nicholson has no facts to support her allegations . . . and indeed her allegations have been refuted by UNICEF.”
Here’s where you come in. I want to ask you to do two things. On May 16 the European Union will issue a report regarding Romania’s future entrance into the EU. Pray that God will grant Romanian authorities the courage and wisdom to lift the ban on adoptions despite pressure from Lady Nicholson and the EU. Secondly, I want to ask you to contact Romanian President Traian Basescu through the Romanian Embassy in Washington and urge Romanian authorities to immediately resume consideration of all the pending adoption cases, especially children with medical needs. You can call us here at BreakPoint (1-877-322-5527) for the embassy’s address or e-mail.
Your prayers and action today could make this Mother’s Day a true celebration of life—not just for the would-be adoptive mothers, but also for the little ones, these precious gifts from God now in limbo.
Please write to Romanian President Traian Basescu through the Romanian Embassy in Washington and urge Romanian authorities to immediately resume consideration of all of all pending adoption cases: President Traian Basescu, c/o The Embassy of Romania, 1607 23rd Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20008. Or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Learn more about Romanian Christian Enterprises.
Shelley Preston, “Lakeland Teen to Testify to European Union about Romanian Adoptions,” The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.), 23 April 2006.
“Speaking from Experience,” The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.), 2 May 2006.
BreakPoint Commentary No. 050210, “In the Spirit of Wilberforce: Constantin Asavoaie and the Children.”
“Former Romanian Prisoner Receives Humanitarian Award during National Prayer Breakfast Festivities,” Wilberforce Forum press release, 1 February 2005.
Learn more about Prison Fellowship Romania.
Read this statement about House Resolution 578.
“Disabled Children Confined and Abused in Romania,” ABC News, 10 May 2006.
Craig S. Smith, “Romania's Orphans Face Widespread Abuse, Study Finds,” New York Times, 10 May 2006.
Jeffrey Thomas, “Congressional Resolution Urges Romania to Amend Adoption Ban,” Washington File, 11 April 2006.
Denisa Maruntoiu, “U.S. Congressman: Romania took it too far by banning all adoptions,” Bucharest Daily, 1 May 2006.
Denisa Maruntoiu, “U.S. passes resolution supporting inter-country adoptions in Romania,” Bucharest Daily, 12 May 2006.
Learn more about Shaohannah’s Hope.
Bradley Schaafs, “Romania Is Playing a Waiting Game with Pending International Adoption Cases,” California Chronicle, 22 April 2006.
“U.S. Adoption Revocation Sought in Russia,” Guardian (London), 19 April 2006.