ACT/AD to Reynders etc: Adoption Conference / Conférence sur l'adoption : Today's headlines in Romania - FYI

11 March 2021

---------- Forwarded message ---------

From: Arun Dohle

Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2021 at 15:23

Subject: Re: Adoption Conference / Conférence sur l'adoption : Today's headlines in Romania - FYI

To: ,

Cc: Monika Landwehr <>, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ARUN DOHLE (ARUN DOHLE) , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Maria Holz , , mail@euradopt. org , , , , , , , , , , , , Mia Dambach , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Roelie , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Joan Ji Hyun Hansink , , , , , , , , wolfgang. weitzel@bfj. bund. de

Dear Commissioner Reynders,

Dear All,

It is now more than a decade ago that we met for the conference in Straßbourg.

Some may recall that the European Commission had made a 180 degrees turn and is lobbying till date for implementation of the Hague Adoption Convention.

As a result children from EU Member States such as Hungary and Bulgaria, but also Portugal and accession countries such as Serbia are being adopted. We exposed various scandals meanwhile with regards to Intercountry Adoptions from the DRC, Romania, India, Ethiopia.

In 2014 we exposed how the European Commission pretended that the UNCRC had been replaced by the Hague Adoption Convention.

Is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child part of European Law?

In 2016 the RSJ, an independant Dutch government advisory body, essentially advised to stop intercountry adoptions. The summary of the report is attached.

Meanwhile apart from our activities, various adoptee organisations have been pushing in the Netherlands for an investigation into the practices of the past which led to the fact that the Dutch Ministry of Justice set up the "Committee Investigating Intercountry Adoption" .

This independant committee came to the same conclusion and held essentially that intercountry adoptions should be stopped.

I have attached the english summary of the report which was made public on 8th February 2021 as well as the full Dutch report.

It is high time that EU member states, NGO´s and others start questioning the European Commission as to why the European Commission failed to guard the treaty in the area of children's rights and made a 180 Degree turn on the policy which was rightfully developed in line with the UNCRC, the ECHR and other human rights instruments during the accession of Romania to the EU.

We are seeing now on one hand that "illegal adoptions" are being investigated in Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, possibly in Norway and Finland too.

At the same time, the Hague Adoption System is being gradually introduced even in the old member states and for example adoptions without consent are now carried out in Denmark.

If this is not addressed appropriately and urgently we have lost our European Values and we will have a US style market approach in child protection.

Last but not least, our founder Roelie Post, an upright civil servant, expert in the field and who was the task manager in DG Enlargement, has been fired from civil service in 2018 and left with debts.

Her situation needs to be repaired along with the policy.

Here is some of the media reporting regarding her situation.


Arun Dohle

On Thu 16. Dec 2010 at 20:56, wrote:

Dear All,

with reference to the article entitled "Battle of International adoptions reaches peak", published in Jurnalul National on 3.12.2010 and forwarded to you the same day by Ms Roelie Post, please find attached the official reply sent by the European Commission to the Chief Editor of Jurnalul National on 14.12.2010 (in Romanian language). Please find also attached for your convenience the English translation of the reply.

I would like to take the occasion to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Kind regards,

Patrizia De Luca

Team leader/Chef d'équipe

European Commission


Unité A.1 - Judicial co-operation in civil matters

MO 59 2/002

Tél.: +32-2-29 60 829

Fax: +32-2-29 96 457

From: Roelie Post []

Sent: Friday, December 03, 2010 12:08 PM

To: DREYFUSS Aurore;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; denis_o';;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; BRUN Alain (JUST);;;; BERRO-LEFEVRE Isabelle; Bettina Baumert;;;;;;;;;;;; CADET FABIEN (CONSIL);;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; marcaris @tin;;;;;;; RINGOU Niovi (JUST);;;;; DE LUCA Patrizia (JUST);;; POPOVIC Dragoljub;;;; SAASTAMOINEN Salla (JUST);;;;;;;;;; KORLJAN Edo; WULFRAN Dominique; JENSDOTTIR Regina; Hans van Loon;; dr. Anneke JG Vinke

Subject: Re: Adoption Conference / Conférence sur l'adoption : Today's headlines in Romania - FYI

Battle of international adoptions reaches peak

The European Commission Forges Official Report

Autor: MIRCEA OPRIS3 decembrie 2010

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The European Commission has falsified an official report, released only partially exactly one year ago, during the Conference on Challenges in Adoption Procedures in Europe, in Strasbourg from 30 November to 1 December 2009. Exclusively for Jurnalul National several experts testified about the pressure put on their work by high-rank European Commission officials, in order to get to the conclusion that there is a need for the establishment of a European Adoption Agency. The stake of the new agency: creating a "market" for European adoptions in which Romania would be forced to reopen international adoptions. Behind this decision are pro-adoption lobbies from France, Italy, Spain and the United States.

On December 1, in Strasbourg - France, the European Commission and the Council of Europe organized a conference on adoptions. Originally it was to take place behind closed doors, but it became public after Jurnalul National revealed the backstage games behind it and the attempt to invite only the adoption lobby, through the mediation of the Italian EC official Patrizia De Luca. Surprisingly, at the end of the conference the conclusion of a report were presented, which recommended the need for establishing a European Adoption Agency. The long awaited report did not become public and was kept secret at the conference in Strasbourg. It was not made public until spring 2010, after pressure from several non-governmental organizations. Even so, the details of the report were never made public. One of the aims of the report, which needed the consent and approval of all Member States of the EU, was to reopen international adoptions at European level and thus forcing Romania to repeal the law 274, which forbids the adoption of Romanian children by foreigners.

One year after the scandal of this conference, Jurnalul National has been able to reveal what is hidden behind the report but, much worse, to also reveal pressure from the European Commission on the Belgian law firm, which drafted the report, in order to falsify data. The study has cost 250,000 euros, European public money, and consisted of interviews with more than 500 experts, lawyers, social workers, adoptive parents and adopted children. The study focused on the state of play of adoptions in the 27 EU member states. The final conclusion of the report was that clearly there was an urgent need to establish the European Agency for Adoption.

In reality, however, this conclusion proved to be a factual lie, for which officials of the European Commission signed, under the pressure of lobby groups in several Western countries with direct interest in the reopening of international adoptions from Romania. The study and the report were prepared by the law firm DBB - Demolin - Brulard – Barthelemy in Brussels, an associate of the French law firm PDGB.

Here is the stupefying testimony of one of the experts who prepared the country studies and the European Commission's report. "We were asked to conduct a study and a report identifying the needs of children, social services, the needs of the adopters and solutions for each country in order to improve the adoption and care system. We developed a questionnaire for each EU country. Then we interviewed over 500 subjects. Most of them answered they want better social protection, support for adopted children, post adoption assistance for adoptive parents after adoption, and some country-specific problems. There was only one question on whether it is necessary to establish a European Agency for adoptions. Only a few lawyers, out of the 500 subjects considered the new agency as necessary. Finally, we presented the conclusions and the report to the European Commission. When they saw the results they went mad at us and refused to acknowledge the study and its recommendations. They said the study would only be accepted if we would follow their main recommendation of setting up a European Agency for Adoption. Or, in reality, only a few had said such an agency would be good. Our firm’s prestige was at stake. We have been forced in the end to accept this conclusion, although it is not the reality. However they added whatever they wanted. We have been put in a situation with no alternative, because our company has several contracts with the European Commission and other European institutions. We could also risk losing these as customers. If we did not do it, they would have gone to another company and get the result they were looking for. "If you don’t make the recommendation about the new agency, you do not get your money” - this was the message of the European Commission ", Jurnalul National was told, on condition of anonymity, by one of the experts directly involved in the realization of the research and the report.

Lying was necessary for the lobby groups and adoption agencies in order to establish the "adoption market." "European States would have a limit, for example of two years, in which the children can stay in care, after which they would become adoptable. First in their country, and after a period of time they get on the European list. If not adopted this second time, then the children are put on the international adoption list. Such a system would take away the responsibility of the Member States to provide care for children temporarily or permanently deprived of parental care (UN Convention Rights of the Child). A European Adoption Agency – as EU institution staffed by EU civil servants – would take all responsibility away from national Member states and would create a full fledged free market. Adoption agencies from all over the world would be competing to get the children. Member States will have less incentives to create appropriate care for children, or to place children back into their own families, invoking that having the children adopted will save a lot of money on child protection and social protection costs. It is important to realize that children in care, foster and residential, have families and mostly are in contact with them. Adoption changes identity and cuts permanently all family ties”, said European official Roelie Post, seconded to the NGO Against Child Trafficking. She says the number of children legally adopted internationally has declined. Since Romania's accession to EU, the number of children available for adoption decreased worldwide from 40,000 to 20,000 per year. A future European Adoptions Agency will also have the problem of legality, because the EU has no legal powers on the issue of international adoptions, which are directly regulated by protocols between the Member States, and work under national competence.

Roelie Post followed this phenomenon and she believes that the report was meant to be used in the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child. Without success so far, the EU strategy on children's rights, announced since 2006, but not yet finalized. The initiative was called "the Frattini strategy”, then Vice President of the European Commission, and who concretized the fake report of the EC in 2010. Roelie Post wrote a book about the export of Romanian ‘orphans’ until the introduction of Law 273 and 274 of 2004 that stopped the business with adoptions from Romania. The book and more information can be found at:


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On 23 December 2009 00:27, Anneke Vinke - ADOC wrote:

Dear mr(s) Dreyfuss,

Firstly, my thanks for the official report with conclusions: much work has been done! This is appreciated! I thank the organization for the conclusions.Even more for the opportunity to participate. I however find the conclusions too far fetched for me. I will enclose my comments on the conclusions. These are my PERSONAL remarks, as a professional and in no way reflect official views of the Dutch government or any official agency /NGO etc.

As an independent adoption professional working the field since 1992, both as a researcher (PhD in intercountry adoptions, working as an academic), therapist (private practice), international expert ( Romania Twinning Light project), trainer (adoption agencies in the Netherlands & Child Protection Board workers) - I have seen much, worked on many projects and seen many clients trying to find a way to come to terms with their adoption histories. Adoption often works well, it is never simple!! The conclusions seem to depart from a consensus. We did not vote during the conference, nor was there any explicit question on whether everybody shared the views that were ventilated. Therefore, I like to distance myself from the idea that there was a consensus. In my opinion we need to do a lot of work before that point can be reached. The conference was a very good starting point for sharing views and debating the topics within the large EU community. This is valuable,and it was wonderful that this opportunity was given to do so, but it was no more than that.

There remain a lot of questions to be answered and I think the discussion we need to have on European level has just started. Main point is: what is the best interest of the child?

This is the core of adoption, still it is also the core of all discussions and of all differences in views.

The conference did not convince me of the necessity to provide free movement of children, an EU agency or even an EU adoptionregister. Since nearly all EU countries signed and ratified the Hague, recognition of adoptions has been already provided for. Nor does it convince me of the necessity and extra value the revised European Convention brings over the Hague Convention. As it already says in the Hague Conventions name, it is a convention on protection of children and cooperation in respect of intercountry adoption. When minors are involved the protection angle seems very important to me. So how do we PROTECT the best interest of the child? To me many questions stay unanswered and I think we need to debate this on an international level: what do we want with adoption? How does the Convention fit into the Hague Convention and more-over are there really children waiting whose question is ‘would you like to adopt me? Or is something else going on and is this being promoted because of the there thousands of would be parents who are waiting and longing to adopt any child, preferably quick from an EU country?? Although a legitimate wish for adults, how does it fit into the best interest of the child? Although the EU convention as well as other legal instruments do try to distance themselves from this view, in practice it still often comes up in the debate and I really think we need to look into this more thoroughly. Which children are in need of adoption?

There was a lot of discussion, a lot of questions remain that are not addressed in the conclusions. In order to be able to tell each child that is adopted why no other options were available, we need to discus the best interest of the child as well as the good practices. Some excellent studies are available to support this (and can be accessed through the adoption databank of the Adoption research Centre, and to help all professionals to choose a direction. However, we should never forget to ask the birthmothers, adoptive parents and adoptees: intercountry adoption has come of age and both parents and adult adoptees can help us understand this complex subject.

Finally I would argue to ask a group of scientists, triangle members. lawyers and policymakers to design a decision model on adoption and adoptability of children. We could step into child protection research for that (e.g. the work of Eileen Munro, Len Dalgleish, Andrew Turnell) and make a decision support system for adoption-decisions. Good practice can guide us on that one, next to experience of triangle members, lawyers and judges. So that every single adoption decision that is made is transparent and really in the best interest of the child. Mostly as a last option (I enclose a figure on treatment choices by children involved, that really illustrates this, it comes from UK research), since that is what children want and ultimately I think their wish is paramount.

Kind regards, I look forward to a larger debate on European level and again: thanks for the opportunity to join in!

Anneke Vinke, PhD

child psychologist - adoption expert

DREYFUSS Aurore wrote:


You will find attached the conclusion about the adoption conference :


Best regards,



Vous trouverez ci-joint la conclusion de la Conférence d'adoption :





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