exposing the dark side of adoption
Register Log in

Bradley asks EU assembly members to push Romanian adoptions


Bradley asks EU assembly members to push Romanian adoptions

April 18, 2006

BRUSSELS, Belgium --A U.S. congressman urged members of the European Parliament Tuesday to persuade Romania to process more than 1,100 adoption requests by foreigners -- including some 200 American cases -- that have been declared ineligible.

Jeb Bradley, a New Hampshire Republican, accompanied Allyson and Michael Schaaf -- who asked to adopt a Romanian orphan in 2002 but are yet to bring the girl to their home in Stratham, N.H., -- in meetings with European Parliament members, EU officials and the U.S. and Romanian envoys to the European Union.

The Schaafs filed their request a year after Romania froze all international adoptions. In 2005, Romania -- which is to join the EU in 2007 -- enacted an adoption law meeting the highest child welfare standards and Romanian courts ruled more than 1,100 pending adoption requests ineligible, including that of the Schaafs.

Bradley has been working with them and other New Hampshire families since 2004 to complete their adoption requests.

The 2005 Romanian law says international adoptions can only be considered as a last resort and that Romanians must get priority.

"There are not enough families in Romania willing to adopt children," Bradley said Monday.

"We hope that members of the European Parliament will do an in-depth investigation. We are very concerned about how ... those 1,100 or so cases are being dealt with in Romania. We hope and believe that they can be resolved favorably."

Bradley said he came away "somewhat encouraged" from his meetings with European Parliament members.

In May the EU head office is to say if Romania can join the EU in 2007 after years of implementing economic and other reforms.

EU spokeswoman Krisztina Nagy said the law "that was enacted in 2005 is in full compliance with EU standards" and the U.N.'s child rights convention. "It is an exemplary law," she said.

This month, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution encouraging Romania to remove barriers to domestic and international adoption to improve the lives of about 37,000 orphaned or abandoned children in the country.

International adoptions boomed in Romania after televised pictures of orphaned children living in squalor were broadcast worldwide following the 1989 ouster of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

About 30,000 Romanian children have been adopted internationally since then.

2006 Apr 18