Romania-For Export Only - Excerpt #1
'I spent three days searching the Internet about intercountry adoptions and found an incredible number of sites, mostly of US-based adoption foundations often with religious calling. Even at places as far away as Hawaii and Alaska.
Children were offered on a silver plate: with pictures, with birth dates and short descriptions: healthy, cute, intelligent, slight handicap, ready to help in the household. The US agency United Families [sic] offered the most detailed price indication: between 20.000 and 40.000 dollars (‘Gypsy’ children were cheaper). Their Romanian partner: Copiii Fericiti. No wonder the European countries, who according to the Hague letter paid between 2.500 and 3.500 dollars, had no longer received children!
And there was Adopt an Angel, a US Agency that worked with an American-Romanian adoption facilitator, David Livianu. Adopt an Angel was set up by a woman who adopted a child after her own child had died. Its website had an extraordinary statement:
‘Even though we do have children waiting for adoption we do specialize in providing a child search designed especially for your needs.’
I also found the ‘US Embassy Guide to Adopting in Romania’ with a foreword of the US Ambassador, James Rosapepe. He wrote Romania had become one of the most popular places in the world for adoption by US citizens and other foreign families. In 1998 alone, American families had adopted 630 Romanian children. That figure was expected to climb significantly to as many as 900 or even 1,000 Romanian children this year. According to the US Ambassador the new adoption system had proved to be extremely successful. The US had not yet ratified the Hague Convention, and therefore had no Central Authority in place in the US. Therefore the US Embassy in Bucharest played a key coordination role between prospective US parents and Romania’s adoption authorities. The rest of the Adoption Guide was a warm invitation to adopt, explained all procedures and held a list of all US adoption agencies and their Romanian partner adoption NGOs.'