No one will ever forget the Romanian orphanages of the communist times as many thousands of children were left in the care of a communist regime that simply didn’t care for them. After Communism ended in late 1989, the orphanages remained open for the best part of the next decade.
It was therefore a blessing in the late 1990s when Romania along with the full backing of the EU took the bull by the horns and decided to end the misery of these children and to close the large old-style children’s home, while creating foster care, family-type homes etc.
The ‘orphanages’ were literally breeding grounds for many agencies masked as NGOs that would paint a wall or two, give some second hand clothes and a few candies to the children, do a few repairs which only helped keep the orphanage open and all of this was done to allow their agents to literally take children for international adoption to the foreign Countries and make a huge profit in doing so, at up to 30.000 euro per child.
They were not working in the best interest of the child, but in the interest of profit and that of the childless foreign couples wanting a child who found adoption in their own country too difficult and also wanted a child were no biological parent would ever be able to appear on the doorstep.
The EU actually made it a part of Romania’s EU accession negotiations that Romania needed cleaning up its childcare practices and stopping the trafficking of children masked as intercountry adoptions, as they were not considered in the best interest of the child. The Romanian adoption law, implementing the Hague Adoption Convention, had dramatically failed.
The European Commission, however, got confronted with a strong international lobby that wanted Romania to keep intercountry adoptions open – it is all described in Romania – For Export Only.
By 2006 some of Europe’s largest intercountry adoption support groups had infiltrated the European Parliament.
They held a conference on the 9th of November 2006
at the European Parliament aimed at applying direct pressure on Romania to re open its doors to allow children to be sent abroad again. The conference had a new theme as now the wording intercountry adoptions was replaced by the new wording ’a European Adoption Policy’! French Businessman Francois de Combret a staunch supporter of intercountry adoptions and his French NGO SERA, which also has a large Romanian branch, and is now part of Care France
, called for a European Adoption Agency at this conference, while Cavada called for a European Adoption Policy. Such a policy would mean that any child within Europe could be transported to another member state for adoption in effect. And when nobody in Europe would be interested in adopting him/her, the child would become available on the international market.
A Free market in children. De Combret’s interests were clearly focused on Romania, as he was always outspoken about his disgust that Romania chose to provide its children with real protection, instead of sending children abroad for hard cash.
See video of a 2008 press conference.
Now on the 30th of November and 1st of December 2009 a joint Conference of the European Commission and the Council of Europe is being held. The European Commission obviously changed side. Already the preparation of the Conference has caused a real stir after Jurnalul National
exposed the underhand way in which the conference was organized, and actual doubtful practices in the organising of the conference.
MEP Jean Marie Cavada, another staunch supporter of intercountry adoptions who chaired the 2006 conference, quickly withdrew his participation after the Jurnalul news scandal broke and was replaced by former MEP Claire Gibault. Gibault can be sarcastically described as the mother of inter-country adoptions as she too was a driving force in the 2006 conference along with Cavada and De Combret.
She also does not hide that she would be so happy if Romania would open its doors and export its children again.
Those NGOs invited to attend the Strasbourg conference, like Amici dei Bambini and SERA along with a group of others, are all in favor of trafficking children for inter-country adoptions. Their hope now and the reason for the Strasbourg conference is still the same: to force Romania to change its legislation and allow foreign adoptions again, despite the fact there are hardly any children available or in need of adoption these days within Romania! The proof of this is the fact that the Romanian Office for Adoptions has more than twice as many Romanian couples wishing to adopt a child as children available.
With the EU’s full support Romania stopped its trade in children and gave them full rights and protection from being trafficked under whatever disguise in 2005, when the new Romanian law that banned Intercountry adoption entered into force.
If this Romanian ban is lifted to please the ones interested in trafficking children for cash again, instead of really offering solutions that benefit the child, then both Romania and the European Union will be guilty of breaking international laws on the rights of the child and will have failed to look after the best interests of every child in need of support.
This will and must never happen as children are innocent and precious to us all and are the future of all of our EU countries.