Congressional letter to President Basescu
Dear President Basescu:
As Members of the United States Congress, we write to voice our concerns over the Romanian adoption authorities` recent announcement stating that they plan to reject the remaining unresolved international adoption petitions filed between June 21, 2001 and January 1, 2005.
The Romanian authorities' action fails to demonstrate that a transparent system was used to review the cases and process the adoptions that were qualified under special ordinance 121 prior to its suspension. in addition, the action is adverse to the spirit and tenets of both international child welfare treaties to which Romania is a signatory, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Inter-country Adoption (hereinafter, "Hague Convention").
As you know, the founding principle of the Hague Convention is "that a child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding." (Preamble) lt goes on to say that while international adoption is only appropriate after "possibilities for placement of the child within the State of Origin have been given due consideration" (Article 4; Subsection B), "inter-country adoption may offer the advantage of a permanent family to a child for whom a suitable family cannot be found in his or her country of origin." (Preamble) This language is consistent with founding principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
As a signatory to the Hague Convention, the United States is in full support of the placement priorities that it outlines; reunification with birth family or relatives, domestic adoption, international adoption, long term foster care, temporary institutionalization. However, we cannot support distorting these priorities to favor the use of non-permanent domestic placements, such as foster care or institutionalization, over inter-country adoption.
As Members of Congress who care deeply about this issue, we are committed to working with you and your government to provide for the best interest of each child. Although many of these children have been waiting for a permanent family for years, no child should have to wait in an uncertain and non-permanent state of foster care or institutionalization, We therefore urge the Romanian Government to provide a transparent account of the processing of each one of these adoptions, with the ultimate goal of finding permanent homes for every one of these 1,100 children.
We greatly appreciate your efforts to improve the lives and futures of children in Romania. We ofter our unwavering support to you as you work on the important matters of child welfare and adoption, and would welcome any opportunity to work with you to ensure the best outcomes tor these children. We respectfully request your personal and immediate attention to this matter to make certain this highest priority concern is addressed as expeditiously as possible and with all due diligence.
[list of signatures]