Renault's children


Renault's children


After threatening to suspend Romania's accession, the EU has changed attitude at international child adoption radically. There is a resolution by the Parliament of Europe that actually demands for the opening of child export again.
French magnate Francois de Combret, member of the Renault administration board and author of the EADS corporation, is part of it. As head of the Solidarité Enfants Roumains Abandonnés, he was the main support of the idea that international child adoption should be allowed for again.
The EU Resolution emerged because of French MEPs Jean Marie-Cavada and Claire Gibault. According to this EU document, Romania should change Law 273/2004, much praised by PM Tariceanu, a law banning the export of children.
But De Combret isn't the only wealthy man to get involved in the issue. In 2004 Berlusconi managed to persuade PM Adrian Nastase into breaking the moratorium so that 105 Italian families would be allowed to adopt Romanian children. There has also been constant pressure from the US too.
International child adoption has fueled real Mafia along the years and it has reached the highest state authorities. The principal of the Orphanage in Braila commented: "We sell out children legally."
A report by the USAID described child adoption in Romania in terms such as bid, market and price. The Western press has also reported on cases of Romanian children adopted abroad who became victims of pedophiles or flesh trafficking.
MEPs ask Romania to unfreeze international child adoption.
MEPs Jean-Marie Cavada and Claire Gibault are adepts of the European initiative demanding Romania to modify the legislation on international child adoption.
Gibault explained they wanted a model of international child adoption to be used in all EU states and not abide by restrictions. The MEP claimed there were 407 MEPs who had signed for Resolution 23 in August, meant to encourage international adoption.
Last Thursday the Parliament of Europe housed a meeting arranged by the Liberals, Jean-Marie Cavada, president of the parliamentary committee for civil liberties, Justice and internal affairs, as well as a member of the EU-Romanian joint parliamentary committee delegation, and Claire Gibault, member of the committee for culture and education and also of the committee for women's rights and equality of the sexes. The two insisted that there were very many children who could be adopted by foreign families in case international adoption was the last solution.
The EU Commissioner for Justice Franco Frattini reminded there was no common legislation on child adoption. The attendants claimed there was need to pass a EU legislation for it, arguing that, just like the grown-ups had the right to free circulation, children should have it too by means of international adoption.
The Renault director pressures.

The law of 2004 regarding adoptions from Romania includes an article which is against UNCRC and The Hague Convention because it bans intercountry adoption, declared the president of SERA France, Francois de Combret (who is a member of the board of Renault) trying to force the Romanian authorities to go back to review this legislation. De Combret’s view is argued by the study of a British lawyer, Andrew Bainham, which is largely presented on this page.
De Combret explained that intercountry adoption of a child is not possible today unless it is adopted by its grandparents. ‘This is a disguised ban on intercountry adoptions. This article (no 39 law 273/2005) does not respect international conventions ratified by Romania. The authors of this law are not Romanian, but so-called international experts send by the EU’ declared Thursday in the European Parliament De Combret on the occasion of the conference ‘A European policy on adoptions”. He argued that no DCP director was consulted when the law was drafted, although in his opinion they had a better understanding than the foreign experts and they knew better the situation in their counties.

Pledge for adoption.

‘A country in Europe should be open to intercountry adoption, and Romania is the most appropriate for this concept. Sixteen years have passed since the fall of the Ceaucescu regime and unfortunately this tragedy of children continues to produce disasters in this country’, added the president of SERA. In order to convince those present by the necessity of restarting ICA from Romania he quoted from the new Unicef report from 2004, according to which over 9.000 children are abandoned every year in Romania, although this was argued many times by the Romanian authorities.
‘The rhythm of abandonment is the same like the one in the old regime. I cannot understand this situation. There are many countries in the world, poorer than Romania, but the children are not abandoned in such a rhythm. The explanation could be that Romania is the only country in the history of mankind where the state organized and encouraged the adoption of children. This legislation, due to Ceaucescu, was in place for 27 years. It left deep traces in the mentality of the people, and abandoning a child was considered a social and amoral act. It is easier to change the law than the habit,’ added Francois de Combret.

Against maternal assistants (foster care)

Although he admitted that since the fall of the communist regime Romania has achieved remarkable progress, De Combret criticized the foster care in Romania as in his opinion this system is more sickening than institutionalisation. Since the moratorium a new phenomenon appeared, that of the foster parents, for the moment there are 20.000 of them and their number increases, which is a worrying situation. Placing children in foster is very costly, a foster parent costing approximately 200 euros per month; therefore they reach cost of 4 million euros per month for all the foster parents. Would it not be easier to help the natural families, instead of paying foster parents, highlighted De Combret. He said that the social assistance directorates do not have sufficient staff to supervise the foster parents’ activities in order to ensure that the children are well treated.

According to the president of SERA, foster placement does not offer the stability of a family, because this is temporary, and the child cannot get rooted. Also because the foster parents receive money to look after the child, these are unable to provide love. ‘We must guarantee the right of children to have a family. The first guarantee and the most natural one, is to help families in difficulty. The number of abandonments in Romania proofs the fact that this is not happening today. The DCP directors complain they don’t have social budget, which would help them face crises situations and would help them to avoid abandonment of children.’ added Francois de Combret. In these conditions the only alternative solution to support the right of children to a family, is adoption, in De Combret’s opinion.

De Combret, father of EADS and director of Renault

Francois de Combret is one of the strongest business people with connections in the political world in France. Currently is a member of the board of the following companies: Renault, Safran, Bouygues Telecom.

Being 64 years old, Francois de Combret graduated ENA in Paris and started his career working for the Court of Auditors in France. Between 1971 and 1974 he was the advisor on economic and industrial matters of Valery Giscard d’Estaing, when Giscard was the Finance Minister of France). De Combret followed D’Estaing to the Elysee Palace, when the latter became France’s President, being presidential advisor on economic matters between 1974 and 1978. Between 1978 and 1991 he was the head of the French presidential administration. Between 1982 and 2005 Francois de Combret was the director of the Lazard bank, represented in Paris. From this position he conducted several huge French privatizations such as Renault, France Telecom. Francois de Combret was the creator of the merger of Aerospatiale from France with Matra and Daimler Aerospace, after which EADS resulted, the company who won in Romania the controversial contract to secure borders. De Combret has been involved also in the merger Sagem with Necma under the name Safran.
Since 1990 Francois de Combret has led the SERA foundation.

Baby Bazaar Romania

Child trafficking through international adoptions and conditions misery children were institutionalized after 1989 topics "hot" in the media in Romania, European countries and later in the discussion of the European Commission. After 1989 they appeared like mushrooms after rain, dozens of foundations, with activity: adopted. Only in the period 1997-2000 were 9150 international adoption. Behind the care for orphans and abandoned children were running, in many cases, a traffic-fledged, human beings. The price of a child vary from 10 to 50 thousand dollars, depending on the environment they came from "commodity". After several interventions from the European Union banned the Romanian government in 2001, international adoptions. However, until the advent of the new law on international adoptions in 2004, Nastase government violated the moratorium and has given children to international adoption. After much "pain" appeared Act 273/2004 on the status of adoptions of children from Romania, which entered into force on 1 January 2005. This law prohibit international adoptions, except grandparents.

Kids dream to stall

In 1997, the law of international adoptions from Romania was changed according to the Hague Convention adoptions of Romanian children being allowed signatory countries of the Convention. Please note that, at the time, the international media stating that the former communist countries were seen by Westerners as a huge "baby bazaar" of where people can choose their dream child. Thus, it is stated that Romania and Hungary are among the most popular places for westerners who want to adopt children, pointing out that on the Internet, for Romania, there are more than 12 agencies for adoptions that showed photos and biographies of children "available". To control the phenomenon, the Government created the Romanian Adoption Committee (CRA). This body in each county each have a child protection commission, which deals directly with every case of adoption. Unfortunately, the County Commission, along with foundations that had the object of adoptions, formed a system of corruption reached.

What the law says in '98

In 1998 a law was enacted on adoptions, which at that time was consistent with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Under that law the Child Protection Commission may entrust a child for adoption and a person or family who have Romanian citizenship, but who resided in Romania for at least six months and meet the conditions required by the Romanian law and the legislation of the country of citizen was adopter. Under the law, it was forbidden adoption of children who were not in evidence Romanian Adoption Committee and approval of the adoption was competent judicial bodies.

Mafia 'adoptions'

But there have been cases in which, with the courts, institutionalized children were adoptable without even being asked if they agree with the new "parents". Furthermore the processes that gave judgments which approve the adoption was kept secret. Remember when adoptions of five children institutionalized in "Glade Sun". Civil proceedings before the Court Brasov, which was decided custody for adoption of five children, were tried in secret without notice Romanian Adoption Committee (representing the Roman state and the interests of orphans and abandoned children). In these circumstances, the Romanian Adoption Committee (CRA) could not lodge an appeal within the 15 days and remained final judgments.

There was even conducted illegal adoptions intermediation even Romanian lawyers. Thus, in November 1998, the lawyer Viorica Zacharias, of the Bar of Buzau, was detained by police for 1995-1998 has led parents to 13 children to consent to their adoption by foreign citizens (mostly U.S.), promising them money and property. She was a foundation representative accredited to the Romanian Adoption Committee.

Also were directors of Child Protection Department demanding bribes for issuing opinions favorable and facilitating adoption of children. There were also cases in which health professionals in maternity facilitated the adoption of abandoned children without birth parents to give consent.

In 1999, the General Directorate for Child Protection Braila "selling" children of families in the U.S., Greece, Italy and Germany curpinse amounts between 100 and 300 million lei. The money was given by foundations that direction partnership contracts. "We sell children legally," says director Orphan Braila. All adoptions were made with the consent of the Romanian Committee for Adoptions, with the course and the Committee on Child Protection Braila.

EU intervenes

Since 2000 began appearing pressure from the European Union for Romania to end the trade in children, Isarescu at the time Prime Minister of Romania, was invited by Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne, senior vice president of the Commission Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee to discuss the status of programs on institutionalized children. With respect to international adoptions, Nicholson noted that this should be done when is the best solution for the children involved, according to the conventions on children's rights. In May 2001 came the threat of EU could "break" the accession negotiations. Baroness Emma Nicholson said that Romanian officials are involved in international adoptions of children. These allegations were contained in a report to the European Parliament's foreign policy. In February 2001, Baroness Emma Nicholson, the European Parliament's rapporteur for Romania in the European Union, said in Bucharest, the Romanian Parliament expected to adopt a declaration on the protection of children. It looks like it could be a sign that Romania wants speedy resolution of the problem of institutionalized children, suggesting also ask the Government to Parliament temporarily blocking international adoptions. In May of the same year, the European rapporteur for Romania bring the issue of institutionalized children in the accession negotiations. Nicholson said in an interview, that poor child protection approach could hinder Romania to properly open and close the chapter on justice and home affairs, slowing or even blocking the negotiations to solve the problem.


Romanian Committee for Adoptions (CRA) has revoked the scoring system under which adopted children were assigned foundations, such as international adoptions have become impossible to complete until the advent of new regulations. In June, he was suspended and receiving new applications for intercountry adoption, as a moratorium on this.

There were immediate intervention from European officials that the citizens of their countries can continue to adopt children from Romania.

In July 2001, French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin took advantage of his visit to Romania to plead directly to the Romanian government in favor of French families facing suspension of international adoptions. With 1,020 Romanian children adopted in the period 1997-2000, a total of 9,150 international adoptions, France figure - with the United States, Italy and Spain - among the destination countries of orphans in Romania.

Moratorium violated

In October, the European Commission asked the Romanian Government to develop as quickly as the law on international adoptions. A month later, the Spanish Prime Minister Adrian Nastase and Jose Maria Aznar discussed at Victoria Palace, the family situation of Spain intends to adopt institutionalized children in Romania, but whose adoption cases have not yet been finalized.

In December 2001, a solution was found for the release of certain international adoption cases, these exceptions are covered in an emergency ordinance. The first 49 cases were unlocked adoption, children leaving for the United States. In the summer of 2002 were released other 81 cases, targeting foreign children adopted by families in Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany, USA, Italy, Belgium, France and Romanian citizens settled in one of the countries mentioned.

In 2003, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi asked in a letter to Adrian Nastase, "quick lifting of the moratorium" while an Italian parliamentary delegation came to Bucharest to demand the authorities adopt "urgent" to 100 children by Italian families. Thus, despite the moratorium decided to Bucharest in June 2001, Nastase Government approved the adoption of a number of 105 children in Italy. For the Romanian government had given many explanations. "We took this decision after thoroughly reviewing each case.'s About exceptional situations, which we approved under a special procedure and it would be wrong to talk about a violation of the ban on adoptions of children by foreigners "explains Gabriela Coman head Authority for Child Protection. "I could talk about pressure from Italy" about the adoption, said Gabriela Coman. (Corina SCARLAT)

U.S. pressures

Authorities in Washington will not forget the promises made by Romania regarding the adoption of Romanian children by American families, said in January this year the U.S. ambassador to Bucharest, Nicholas F Taubman. "The U.S. government believes that some promises were made regarding the adoption of children by American families, and this promise will be considered as such," the U.S. diplomat said at a conference in Cluj-Napoca, recalling that The European Parliament adopted a resolution in favor of international adoptions, especially if applicable adoption files locked after the moratorium imposed in 2001. Although not totally agree with Romanian law on adoptions, the U.S. government can do nothing but comply, said Ambassador Taubman. "We do not agree, in principle, the law which came into force on 1 January 2005, but I respect that it is a law of the Romanian Government," said the U.S. official. (D. E.)

Study Bainham

British academic publication "Family Law and Child" published in 2003 a comprehensive study dedicated to the issue of international adoptions from Romania, signed by Professor Andrew Bainham study, associate Christ's College and lecturer in family law at Cambridge University. Professor Bainham examines international legal provisions that relate to international adoptions and that Romania is a signatory, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in international adoptions (the Hague Convention) and European Convention on Children and the European Court (European Convention).

"Auction", "market", "price"

After comparing these provisions and the situation in Romania teacher Bainham concluded that: "Romania has no international obligation to resume international adoptions and there are several provisions in international conventions that require Romania to not do so."

Professor Bainham cites a 2001 report, made by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which states: "Almost every conversation we had about adoptions in Romania included the use of commercial terms such as << auction >>, << >> and << Price >> market. Frequently, those with whom I spoke were excused for using this misnomer but explained that they best describe the situation. This phenomenon reveals how deeply it affected system of international adoptions from Romania to the influence of money and may help explain the concerns about children changing money. "

Vs Hague Convention. UN Convention

Hague Convention concerning international adoptions is the main source of inspiration UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which states that the child's interest is the most important aspect. Hague Convention shows that international adoption "can be considered as an alternative only if the child can not be placed in a care center or in an adoptive family or can not be cared for in an appropriate manner in his home country. " Professor Bainham show that in Romania "was used automatically and international adoptions where the child was wrongly declared as abandoned and the Hague Convention very poor ensure protection for children and families involved." Professor Bainham states that "categorically there is no provision in the Hague Convention to compel Romania to provide a child for international adoption."

CRC is also present in Article Bainham teacher. UNCRC enshrines the right of children to be cared for by biological parents and their "keep its identity, including nationality, name and family relations." CRC also reveals child's right to "keep and direct personal contact with parents on a regular basis, except that when such a thing would be against his interest." Professor Bainham argue that "it is clear that international adoptions seriously threatens the child's identity preservation due to the problem of maintaining contact."

Argument "in the interest of the child"

Professor Bainham article or findings show that there counterargument according to which the interest of the child to be in a family environment, even internationally, than to be in a care institution. Professor Bainham appreciate that "This is an attractive one, but is based on a profound ignorance of conditions in Romania and the fact that many children who could benefit from the care of a family would be institutionalized if there would be a market adoptions" . Bainham show that "there is a clear relationship between artificial and distorted notion of abandonment that was in force in Romania and practice of international adoptions. In other words, children are abandoned just for international adoption."

The final conclusion of the article cited is simple: "The last thing it needs now is the threat of Romania, for political reasons, it would be better to liberalize international adoption market again." (G.D.)

If Peckenpaugh

Prada for American pedophile

Earlier this year the U.S. citizen William Delos Peckenpaugh (pictured) has been convicted by the court of Salem, Oregon, to 30 years in prison for sexual abuse committed on a child you adopted from Romania. Peckenpaugh, aged 38, was on trial for 33 counts, three of which were related to sexual abuse and other new sodomy. District Attorney Darin Tweedt told U.S. press that the sexual abuse began soon after the boy was adopted from Romania in 2001. The process was started late last year after Peckenpaugh returned a camera to a electronics store in the city of Wilsonville. Sellers have found in that store camera images showed a tape of juvenile victimization of Romanian origin, and after this macabre discoveries have called the police.

False Catholic bishop and nudist

Peckenpaugh acted as a strong advocate of nudism via the Internet under various aliases signing a series of articles published on the website dedicated. Peckenpaugh supported in these articles have held a Catholic bishop. Also Peckenpaugh Naturiste was an active member of American Society and the American Association for Nudist Recreation.

Sentenced for pedophilia is the author of the article "societal and familial attitudes towards nudity and effects on child development", an article often cited by proponents of nudism and arguing that exposure to nudity does not affect the emotional development of children.

Excellent References

Marcela Dumitras, Director Buzau county child protection, said that he was in front of one of the most favorable references regarding adoption application submitted by William D. Peckenpaugh. "The person requesting the adoption of Daniel, a child of four years abandoned by parents Placement Center no. 6 of Ramnicu Sarat, was presented as a respectable person, pastor of the local Methodist church, involved in many activities in the Community. leisure, they participate in volunteer activities and community service help their siblings to raise kids, "said Marcela Dumitras. Romanian authorities have argued that had received only positive reports from U.S. authorities who faces child monitor developments.

Ziua newspaper

Copiii lui Renault
Romania este din nou supusa presiunilor pentru a redeschide robinetul cu copii al adoptiilor internationale. De aceasta data presiunea vine de la Bruxelles - acelasi loc, de unde acum trei ani baroneasa Emma Nicholson solicita restrictionarea adoptiilor internationale. Guvernul de la Bucuresti se afla de aceasta data in fata unui adversar redutabil: principalul avocat al redeschiderii procesului de adoptii este Francois de Combret - membru in consiliul de administratie al Renault si artizanul crearii concernului EADS. Palatul Victoria are foarte putin loc de manevra: Renault este principalul investitor european din Romania, iar concernul EADS a castigat licitatia pentru securizarea frontierelor (o chestiune esentiala in aderarea la Uniunea Europeana). Daca in februarie 2004 baroneasa Emma Nicholson ameninta cu suspendarea negocierilor de aderare ale Romaniei daca Bucurestiul nu inchide procesul adoptiilor internationale, de aceasta data Romania se vede pusa intr-o situatie asemanatoare tocmai pentru a redeschide procesul adoptiilor. In orice caz, dupa cum arata un studiu britanic, Romania nu este mai obligata prin legislatia internationala decat Franta sau Germania sa deschida robinetul cu copii. Dar Bucurestii au pe cap si presiunea SUA. (G.D.)

Eurodeputatii Jean-Marie Cavada si Claire Gibault sunt sustinatorii initiativei europene care solicita Romaniei sa-si modifice legislatia cu privire la adoptiile internationale. "Noi vrem sa propunem un model de adoptie europeana care se va aplica tuturor tarilor comunitare si care nu poate intra sub incidenta restrictiilor privind adoptiile internationale, iar in sprijinul demersurilor noastre, 407 europarlamentari au semnat pentru sustinerea Rezolutiei 23, din luna august a acestui an, pentru incurajarea adoptiilor internationale", a declarat Claire Gibault.

La o intalnire organizata joi in Parlamentul European de grupul liberalilor, Jean-Marie Cavada, presedinte al Comisiei parlamentare pentru libertati civile, justitie si afaceri interne si membru al Delegatiei Comisiei parlamentare mixte UE-Romania, si Claire Gibault, membra a Comisiei pentru cultura si educatie, a Comisiei pentru drepturile femeilor si egalitatea intre sexe, precum si a Delegatiei Comisiei parlamentare mixte UE-Bulgaria au insistat ca sunt foarte multi copiii care ar putea fi adoptati de familii din strainatate, admitand ca adoptia internationala trebuie sa fie ultima solutie, in cazul in care nu este gasita o familie din tara.

Franco Frattini a reamintit ca in tarile UE nu exista reglementari comune in privinta adoptiilor internationale. In acest context, participantii au exprimat ideea necesitatii adoptarii unei legislatii comune in UE pe tema adoptiilor, cu argumentul ca asa cum adultii au dreptul la libera circulatie si copiii ar trebui sa aiba acest drept prin permiterea adoptiilor internationale.

Directorul Renault forteaza

Legea din 2004 privind adoptiile din Romania include un articol care este impotriva Conventiei Natiunilor Unite si a Conventiei de la Haga, pentru ca interzice adoptia internationala, a declarat presedintele Fundatiei SERA Franta, Francois De Combret (care este si membru al consiliului de administratie al Renault), in incercarea de a forta autoritatile romane sa revina asupra legislatiei in acest domeniu. Pozitia lui de Combret este contrazisa de studiul juristului britanic Andrew Bainham, prezentat pe larg in aceasta pagina.

De Combret a explicat ca adoptia internationala a unui copil roman nu este posibila astazi decat in cazul in care cel care il adopta este bunicul minorului. "Este vorba de o interdictie deghizata a adoptiilor internationale. Acest articol (nr. 39 din Legea 273/2005 - n.r.) nu respecta conventiile internationale ratificate de Romania. Autorii acestei legi nu sunt romani, ci pretinsi experti internationali trimisi de Uniune Europeana", a declarat, joi, in Parlamentul European, De Combret, cu prilejul conferintei "O politica europeana a adoptiei".

El a sustinut ca nici un director de la Directiile de Asistenta Sociala si Protectia Copilului nu a fost consultat in momentul in care s-a elaborat legea, desi, in opinia sa, aveau o pozitie mai buna decat a expertilor straini si stiau mai bine care este situatia din judetele lor.

Pledoarie pentru adoptii

"O tara din Europa ar trebui sa fie deschisa adoptiilor internationale si Romania este cea mai potrivita pentru acest concept. Au trecut 16 ani de la caderea regimului Ceausescu si, din pacate, aceasta tragedie a copiilor continua sa faca ravagii in aceasta tara", a mai spus presedintele SERA (Solidarite Enfants Roumains Abandonnes). Pentru a-i convinge pe cei prezenti de necesitatea reluarii adoptiilor internationale din Romania, el a citat din nou raportul UNICEF din 2004, potrivit caruia peste 9.000 de copii sunt abandonati anual in Romania, desi acesta a fost combatut de nenumarate ori de autoritatile romane. "Ritmul abandonului este cam acelasi cu cel din vechiul regim. Nu-mi explic aceasta situatie. Exista multe tari in lume mai sarace decat Romania, dar copiii nu sunt abandonati in acest ritm. Explicatia ar fi ca Romania este singura tara din istoria umanitatii unde statul a organizat si a incurajat adoptia copiilor. Aceasta legislatie, datorata lui Ceausescu, a ramas in vigoare 27 de ani. Ea a lasat urme adanci in mentalitatea unor oameni, iar abandonarea unui copil este considerata un act social si amoral. Este mai usor sa schimbam legea, decat moravurile", a mai spus Francois De Combret.

Contra asistentilor maternali

Desi a recunoscut ca de la caderea regimului comunist, Romania a facut progrese remarcabile, De Combret a criticat asistenta maternala din Romania, in opinia sa, acest sistem fiind mai nociv decat institutionalizarea. "De la Moratoriu, a aparut un nou fenomen, al asistentilor maternali, in prezent fiind aproximativ 20.000 si numarul lor creste in continuare, ceea ce este o situatie ingrijoratoare. Plasarea in asistenta este foarte costisitoare, un asistent maternal costand aproximativ 200 de euro pe luna, deci se ajunge la costuri de 4 milioane de euro pe luna pentru toti asistentii maternali. Nu ar fi mai usor sa ajutam familiile de origine, decat sa platim asistenti maternali?", a subliniat De Combret.

El a mai sustinut ca directiile de asistenta sociala nu dispun de personal suficient care sa supravegheze activitatea asistentelor maternale, ca sa se asigure ca sunt bine tratati copiii.

Potrivit presedintelui SERA, plasamentul nici nu ofera stabilitatea unei familii, pentru ca primirea in aceasta familie este provizorie, iar copilul nu-si poate forma radacini. De asemenea, pentru ca asistenta maternala primeste bani pentru a ingriji un copil, aceasta nu este capabila sa-i ofere dragoste. "Trebuie sa le garantam copiilor dreptul de a avea o familie. Prima garantie, si cea mai fireasca, este sa ajutam familiile aflate in dificultate. Numarul de abandonuri din Romania dovedeste faptul ca acest lucru nu se intampla astazi. Directorii de la DGASPC (Directiile Generale de Asistenta Sociala si Protectia Copilului - n.r.) se plang ca nu au buget social, care i-ar ajuta sa faca fata situatiilor de criza si i-ar ajuta sa evite abandonarea copiilor", a mai precizat Francois De Combret. In aceste conditii, singura solutie alternativa pentru a sustine dreptul copiilor la o familie, in opinia lui De Combret, este adoptia. (G.D.)

Combret, taticul EADS si director Renault

Francois de Combret (foto sus) este unul dintre cei mai puternici oameni de afaceri cu legaturi in lumea politica din Franta. In prezent este membru al consiliului de administratie pentru urmatoarele firme: Renault, Safran si Bouygues Telecom.

In varsta de 64 de ani, Francois de Combret a absolvit Scoala Nationala de Studii Administrative de la Paris si si-a inceput cariera lucrand la Serviciul de Audit de Stat al Frantei. Intre 1971 si 1974 a fost consilierul pe probleme economice si industriale al lui Valery Giscard d'Estaing (perioada in care acesta din urma a fost ministru de Finante al Frantei). Combret l-a urmat pe d'Estaing la Palatul Elysee dupa ce acesta din urma a devenit presedinte al Frantei, ocupand postul de consilier prezidential pe probleme economice intre 1974 si 1978. In perioada 1978-1981, Francois de Combret a fost seful Administratiei prezidentiale franceze. Intre 1982 si 1005 Francois de Combret a fost directorul Bancii Lazard, reprezentanta de la Paris. Din aceasta pozitie de Combret a condus mai multe privatizari franceze de anvergura, cum ar fi Renault, France Telecom. Francois de Combret a fost artizanul fuzionarii firmei franceze Aerospatiale cu Matra si Daimler Aerospace, in urma careia a rezultat concernul EADS, concern care a castigat in Romania licitatia controversata pentru securizarea frontierelor. De Combret a mai fost implicat si in fuziunea Agem cu Snecma sub denumirea Safran. Incepand din 1990 Francois de Combret conduce fundatia SERA (Solidarite Enfants Roumains Abandonnes). (G.D.)

Baby-bazar Romania

Traficul de copii prin intermediul adoptiilor internationale si conditiile mizere in care traiau copii institutionalizati au fost, dupa 1989, subiecte "fierbinti" in mass-media din Romania, din tarile europene si mai apoi la nivelul dezbaterilor din Comisia Europeana. Dupa 1989 au aparut, ca ciupercile dupa ploaie, zeci de fundatii, cu obiect de activitate: ADOPTIA. Numai in perioada 1997-2000 au fost 9150 de adoptii internationale. In spatele grijii fata de orfani si copiii abandonati se derulau, in multe cazuri, un trafic, in toata regula, de carne vie. Pretul unui copil varia de la 10 la 50 de mii de dolari, in functie de mediul din care provenea "marfa". Dupa multe interventii din partea Uniunii Europene Guvernul roman a interzis, in 2001, adoptiile internationale. Insa, pana la aparitia noii legi privind adoptiile internationale, in 2004, Guvernul Nastase a incalcat moratoriul si a mai dat copii spre adoptie internationala. Dupa multe "chinuri" a aparut legea 273/2004 privind regimul adoptiilor copiilor din Romania, care a intrat in vigoare la data de 1 ianuarie 2005. Prin aceasta lege se interzic adoptiile internationale, cu exceptia celor in favoarea bunicilor.

Copii de vis la taraba

In 1997, legea adoptiilor internationale din Romania a fost schimbata conform prevederilor Conventiei de la Haga, adoptiile de copii romani fiind permise doar tarilor semnatare ale acestei conventii. Mentionam ca, la acea vreme, in presa internationala se afirma ca tarile din fostul bloc comunist erau vazute de occidentali ca un imens "baby-bazar" de unde doritorii isi pot alege copilul visurilor lor. Astfel, se afirma ca Romania si Ungaria sunt printre cele mai populare locuri pentru occidentalii care vor sa adopte copii, subliniind ca pe Internet, pentru Romania, apar mai mult de 12 agentii pentru adoptii care aratau fotografiile si biografiile copiilor "disponibili". Pentru a controla fenomenul, Guvernul Romaniei a creat Comitetul Roman pentru Adoptii (CRA). Acest organism avea in fiecare judet cate o Comisie pentru Protectia Copilului, care se ocupa direct de fiecare caz de adoptie. Din nefericire, aceste Comisii judetene, impreuna cu fundatiile care aveau ca obiect de activitate adoptiile, au format un sistem atins de coruptie.

Ce spunea legea in '98

In 1998 era promulgata o lege a adoptiilor, care la acea vreme era in concordanta cu recomandarile Adunarii Parlamentare a Consiliului Europei. Potrivit acelei legi Comisia pentru Protectia Copilului putea incredinta un copil in vederea adoptiei si unei persoane sau familii care nu avea cetatenia romana, dar care avea resedinta pe teritoriul Romaniei de cel putin sase luni si indeplinea conditiile cerute de legea romana si ale legislatiei tarii al carui cetatean era adoptatorul. Conform legii, era interzisa adoptia copiilor care nu se aflau in evidenta Comitetului Roman pentru Adoptii, iar incuviintarea adoptiei era de competenta organelor judecatoresti.

Mafia "adoptiilor internationale"

Insa, au fost cazuri in care, cu concursul instantelor de judecata, copiii institutionalizati erau dati spre adoptie fara macar sa fie intrebati daca sunt de acord cu noii "parinti". Mai mult procesele in care se dadeau hotararile judecatoresti care incuviintau adoptia erau tinute secrete. Amintim cazul adoptiilor a cinci copii institutionalizati din "Poiana Soarelui". Procesele civile aflate pe rolul Tribunalului Brasov, prin care s-a decis incredintarea spre adoptie a celor cinci copii, au fost judecate pe sest, fara instiintarea Comitetului Roman pentru Adoptii (care reprezenta statul roman si interesele orfanilor si copiilor abandonati). In aceste conditii, Comitetul Roman pentru Adoptii (CRA) nu a putut sa formuleze recurs in termenul legal de 15 zile, iar hotararile judecatoresti au ramas definitive.

Au fost chiar intermedieri de adoptii ilegale derulate chiar de avocati romani. Astfel, in noiembrie 1998, avocata Viorica Zaharia, din cadrul Baroului Buzau, a fost retinuta de politie pentru ca intre 1995-1998 a determinat parintii a 13 copii sa consimta adoptarea acestora de catre cetateni straini (majoritatea din SUA), promitandu-le bani si bunuri materiale. Ea era reprezentanta unei fundatii acreditata pe langa Comitetul Roman de Adoptii.

De asemenea, au mai fost directori ai directiilor pentru protectia copilului care cereau mita pentru eliberarea avizelor favorabile si facilitarea adoptiei unor copii. Au fost si cazuri in care cadre medicale din maternitati facilitau infierea unor copii abandonati fara ca parintii naturali sa-si dea acceptul.

In 1999, Directia Generala pentru Protectia Drepturilor Copilului Braila "vindea" copii unor familii din SUA, Grecia, Italia si Germania pentru sume curpinse intre 100 si 300 de milioane de lei. Banii erau dati de fundatiile cu care Directia incheiase contracte de parteneriat. "Noi ne vindem copiii legal", declara directorul Leaganului de Copii Braila. Toate adoptiile erau facute cu acordul Comitetului Roman de Adoptii, avand bineinteles si avizul Comisiei pentru Protectia Copilului Braila.

Uniunea Europeana intervine

Incepand cu anul 2000 au inceput sa apara presiuni din partea Uniunii Europene pentru ca Romania sa puna capat comertului de copii, Mugur Isarescu, la acea vreme primul-ministru al Romaniei, era invitat de baroneasa Emma Nicholson de Winterbourne, prim-vicepresedinte al Comisiei de Afaceri Externe a Parlamentului European sa discute stadiul programelor privind copiii institutionalizati. Referitor la adoptiile internationale, Nicholson preciza ca acestea trebuie facute atunci cand reprezinta cea mai buna solutie pentru copiii in cauza, potrivit conventiilor privind drepturile copilului. In luna mai 2001, a aparut amenintarea ca UE ar putea sa "rupa" negocierile pentru aderare. Baroneasa Emma Nicholson afirma ca oficialii romani sunt implicati in adoptii internationale de copii. Aceste acuzatii erau cuprinse intr-un raport de politica externa a Parlamentului European. In februarie 2001, baroneasa Emma Nicholson, raportor al Parlamentului European pentru integrarea Romaniei in Uniunea Europeana, declara, la Bucuresti, ca asteapta ca Parlamentul Romaniei sa adopte o declaratie privitoare la protejarea copiilor. Ea arata ca acesta ar fi un semn ca Romania doreste rezolvarea rapida a problemei copiilor institutionalizati, sugerand totodata Parlamentului sa ceara Guvernului blocarea temporara a adoptiilor internationale. In luna mai a aceluiasi an, raportorul european pentru Romania readuce in discutie problema copiilor institutionalizati, in contextul negocierilor de aderare. Emma Nicholson afirma, intr-un interviu, ca abordarea deficitara privind protectia copilului ar putea sa impiedice Romania sa deschida in mod corespunzator si sa incheie capitolul referitor la justitie si afaceri interne, incetinind ori chiar blocand negocierile pana la solutionarea problemei.


Comitetul Roman pentru Adoptii (CRA) a revocat sistemul de punctare in baza carora copiii adoptabili erau atribuiti fundatiilor, astfel ca adoptiile internationale au devenit imposibil de finalizat pana la aparitia unor noi reglementari in domeniu. In iunie, a fost suspendata si primirea unor noi cereri de adoptie internationala, fiind instituit un moratoriu in acest sens.

Nu au intarziat sa apara interventii din partea unor oficiali europeni pentru ca cetatenii din tarile lor sa poata continua sa adopte copii din Romania.

In iulie 2001, premierul francez Lionel Jospin a profitat de vizita sa in Romania pentru a pleda direct pe langa Guvernul roman in favoarea familiilor franceze confruntate cu suspendarea adoptiilor internationale. Cu 1020 de copii romani adoptati in perioada 1997-2000, dintr-un total de 9150 de adoptii internationale, Franta figura - alaturi de Statele Unite, Italia si Spania - printre primele tari de destinatie ale orfanilor din Romania.

Moratoriul incalcat

In octombrie acelasi an, Comisia Europeana cerea Guvernului Romaniei sa elaboreze cat mai repede Legea privind adoptiile internationale. O luna mai tarziu, Adrian Nastase si premierul spaniol Jose Maria Aznar au discutat, la Palatul Victoria, situatia familiilor din Spania care intentioneaza sa adopte copii institutionalizati din Romania, dar ale caror dosare de adoptie nu au fost inca finalizate.

In decembrie 2001, a fost gasita o solutie pentru deblocarea anumitor dosare de adoptie internationala, astfel de exceptii fiind reglementate intr-o ordonanta de urgenta. Primele 49 de dosare de adoptie au fost deblocate, copiii plecand spre Statele Unite. In vara lui 2002, au fost deblocate alte 81 de dosare, vizand copii adoptati de familii de straini din Grecia, Italia, Spania, Germania, Statele Unite, Italia, Belgia, Franta sau de cetateni romani stabiliti in una din tarile mentionate.

In 2003, premierul italian Silvio Berlusconi a cerut, intr-o scrisoare adresata lui Adrian Nastase, "ridicarea rapida a moratoriului", in timp ce o delegatie parlamentara italiana a venit la Bucuresti pentru a cere autoritatilor adoptarea "de urgenta" a 100 de copii de catre familii italiene. Astfel, in pofida moratoriului decis de Bucuresti in iunie 2001, Guvernul Nastase a aprobat adoptia unui numar de 105 copii in Italia. Pentru aceasta Guvernul roman a avut de dat multe explicatii. "Am luat aceasta decizie dupa ce am analizat cu atentie fiecare caz. Este vorba despre situatii exceptionale, pe care le-am aprobat conform unei proceduri speciale si ar fi o eroare sa vorbim despre o incalcare a embargoului asupra adoptiilor de copii de catre cetateni straini", explica Gabriela Coman sefa Autoritatii pentru Protectia Copilului. "Nu as putea vorbi despre presiuni din partea Italiei" in privinta acestor adoptii, a adaugat Gabriela Coman. (Corina SCARLAT)

Presiunile americane

Autoritatile de la Washington nu vor uita de promisiunile facute de Romania in ceea ce priveste adoptarea unor copii romani de catre familii americane, a declarat in luna ianuarie a acestui an ambasadorul SUA la Bucuresti, Nicholas F Taubman. "Guvernul american considera ca au fost facute cateva promisiuni in ceea ce priveste adoptarea unor copii de catre familii americane, iar aceasta promisiune va fi luata in considerare ca atare", a afirmat diplomatul american in cadrul unei conferinte sustinute la Cluj-Napoca, amintind ca Parlamentul European a adoptat o rezolutie in favoarea adoptiilor internationale, aplicabila mai ales in cazul dosarelor de adoptie blocate in urma Moratoriului impus in 2001. Desi nu este intru totul de acord cu prevederile legislatiei romane referitoare la adoptii, Guvernul american nu poate face altceva decat sa le respecte, a adaugat ambasadorul Taubman. "Nu suntem de acord, in principiu, cu legea care a intrat in vigoare la 1 ianuarie 2005, dar respectam faptul ca aceasta este o lege a Guvernului Romaniei", a precizat oficialul american. (D.E.)

Studiul Bainham

Publicatia britanica academica "Legea Familiei si a copilului" a publicat in anul 2003 un amplu studiu dedicat problemei adoptiilor internationale din Romania, studiu semnat de profesorul Andrew Bainham, asociat al Christ's College si lector de legislatie a familiei la Universitatea Cambridge. Profesorul Bainham analizeaza prevederile legale internationale care se refera la adoptiile internationale si la care Romania este parte semnatara, respectiv Conventia ONU privind drepturile copilului (UNCRC), Conventia de la Haga pentru protectia copiilor si cooperarea in privinta adoptiilor internationale (Conventia de la Haga) si Conventia Europeana asupra copiilor si jurisprudenta Curtii Europene (Conventia Europeana).

"Licitatie", "piata","pret"

In urma compararii acestor prevederi legale si a situatiei din Romania profesorul Bainham trage urmatoarea concluzie: "Romania nu are nici o obligatie internationala pentru a relua adoptiile internationale si exista mai multe prevederi in conventiile internationale care cer Romaniei sa nu faca asa ceva".

Profesorul Bainham citeaza un raport din 2001, alcatuit de Agentia Statelor Unite pentru Dezvoltare Internationala (USAID), care afirma: "Aproape fiecare discutie pe care am avut-o despre adoptii in Romania a inclus folosirea unor termeni comerciali, cum ar fi <<licitatie>>, <<piata>> si <<pret>>. Frecvent, cei cu care am vorbit s-au scuzat pentru folosirea acestor termeni nepotriviti insa au explicat ca acestia descriu cel mai bine situatia. Acest fenomen releva cat de profund este afectat sistemul adoptiilor internationale din Romania de influenta banilor si poate ajuta la explicarea ingrijorarilor referitoare la schimbarea copiilor pe bani".

Conventia de la Haga vs. Conventia ONU

Conventia de la Haga privitoare la adoptiile internationale are ca sursa principala de inspiratie Conventia ONU privind drepturile copilului (UNCRC) care statueaza ca interesul copilului este cel mai important aspect. Conventia de la Haga mai arata ca adoptia internationala "poate fi luata in considerare ca o alternativa doar in cazul in care copilul nu poate fi plasat intr-un centru de ingrijire sau intr-o familie adoptiva sau nu poate fi ingrijit intr-un mod adecvat in tara sa de origine". Profesorul Bainham arata ca in Romania "s-a recurs la adoptii internationale in mod automat si unde copilul a fost declarat in mod gresit ca fiind abandonat, iar Conventia de la Haga asigura o protectie foarte slaba pentru copii si familiile implicate". Profesorul Bainham afirma ca "in mod categoric nu exista nici un fel de prevedere in Conventia de la Haga care sa oblige Romania sa ofere vreun copil pentru adoptie internationala".

UNCRC este de asemenea prezentata in articolul profesorului Bainham. UNCRC statueaza dreptul copilului de a fi ingrijit de parintii sai biologici si sa isi "pastreze identitatea sa, inclusiv nationalitatea, numele si relatiile de familie". De asemenea UNCRC releva dreptul copilului de a "pastra contactul personal si direct cu parintii sai in mod regulat, cu exceptia faptului cand asa ceva ar fi impotriva interesului sau". Profesorul Bainham argumenteaza ca "este clar ca adoptiile internationale ameninta in mod grav pastrarea identitatii copilului datorita problemei mentinerii contactului".

Argumentul "in interesul copilului"

Profesorul Bainham arata in concluziile articolului sau ca exista contraargumentul conform caruia este in interesul copilului sa se afle intr-un mediu familial, chiar si international, decat sa se afle intr-o institutie de ingrijire. Profesorul Bainham apreciaza ca "aceasta afirmatie este una atractiva, insa se bazeaza pe o profunda ignorare a conditiilor din Romania si a faptului ca multi dintre copii care ar putea beneficia de ingrijirea unei familii nu ar fi institutionalizati daca nu ar exista o piata a adoptiilor". Bainham arata ca "exista o relatie clara intre notiunea artificiala si distorsionata a abandonului care a fost in vigoare in Romania si practica adoptiilor internationale. Cu alte cuvinte copiii sunt abandonati tocmai pentru adoptii internationale".

Concluzia finala a articolului citat este simpla: "Ultimul lucru de care are nevoie Romania in prezent este amenintarea ca, din motive politice, ar fi mai bine sa liberalizeze din nou piata adoptiilor internationale". (G.D.)

Cazul Peckenpaugh

Prada pentru un pedofil american

La inceputul acestui an cetateanul american William Delos Peckenpaugh (foto) a fost condamnat de tribunalul din Salem, Oregon, la 30 de ani de inchisoare pentru abuzuri sexuale savarsite asupra unui copil pe care l-a adoptat din Romania. Peckenpaugh, in varsta de 38 de ani, a fost judecat pentru 33 de capete de acuzare, dintre care trei s-au referit la abuzuri sexuale si alte noua la sodomie. Procurorul districtual Darin Tweedt a declarat presei americane ca abuzurile sexuale au inceput imediat dupa ce baietelul a fost adoptat din Romania in anul 2001. Procesul a fost declansat la sfarsitul anului trecut, dupa ce Peckenpaugh a returnat o camera de luat vederi unui magazin de produse electronice din orasul Wilsonville. Vanzatorii magazinului au gasit in respectiva camera de filmat o caseta cu imagini care prezentau abuzurile savarsite asupra minorului de origine romana, iar in urma acestei macabre descoperiri au anuntat politia.

Fals episcop catolic si nudist

Peckenpaugh s-a manifestat ca sustinator fervent al nudismului prin intermediul internetului, semnand sub diverse pseudonime o serie de articole publicate pe pagini electronice dedicate. Peckenpaugh a sustinut in aceste articole ca detine calitatea de episcop catolic. Totodata Peckenpaugh era membru activ al Societatii Naturiste Americane si al Asociatiei Americane pentru Recreere Nudista.

Condamnatul pentru pedofilie este autorul articolului "Atitudini societale si familiale fata de nuditate si efectele asupra dezvoltarii copilului", un articol citat adesea de sustinatorii nudismului si in care se sustine ca expunerea la nuditate nu afecteaza dezvoltarea emotionala a copiilor.

Referinte excelente

Marcela Dumitras, directorul Directiei judetene Buzau pentru ocrotirea copilului, a precizat ca s-a aflat in fata uneia din cele mai favorabile referinte in ceea ce priveste cererea de adoptie inaintata de William D. Peckenpaugh. "Persoana care solicita adoptia lui Daniel, un copil de patru ani abandonat de parinti la Centrul de plasament nr. 6 din Ramnicu Sarat, era prezentata drept o persoana respectabila, pastor la biserica metodista din localitate, implicata in multe activitati la nivelul comunitatii. In timpul liber, acesta participa la activitati de voluntariat in folosul comunitatii si isi ajuta fratii si surorile sa-si creasca copiii", a mai spus Marcela Dumitras. Autoritatile romanesti au sustinut ca primisera numai rapoarte pozitive din partea autoritatilor americane care chipurile monitorizau evolutia copilului. (D.E.)

Pound Pup Legacy