U.S. Backs European Request for Romanian Adoptions To Proceed

16 December 2005
16 December 2005
U.S. Backs European Request for Romanian Adoptions To Proceed
European Parliament, United States ask that pending adoptions be resolved




By Vince Crawley
Washington File Staff Writer

The United States has welcomed a vote by the European Parliament asking that Romania resolve international-adoption cases registered during Romania’s 2001-2004 moratorium on foreign adoptions "with the goal of allowing inter-country adoptions to take place, where justified and appropriate …."
“We call upon the Romanian government to use transparent and objective criteria in resolving these cases in a manner that serves the best interests of the individual children involved,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a December 16 statement.
“The goal should be to find permanent, loving homes for the children,” McCormack said.
Under pressure from the European Union (EU), Romania in 2001 imposed a moratorium on foreign adoptions after allegations of corruption of officials involved in the adoption process. In 2004, Romania passed a law banning adoptions by all foreigners except relatives of the children. That law went into effect January 1, 2005.
However, the United States and other countries have asked that the Romanian government allow the completion of adoption procedures that already were under way when the restrictions went into effect. Some 1,100 children, most of whom live in state-run orphanages, are affected. (See related article.)
The U.S.  Helsinki Commission, which monitors human rights, held a hearing September 14 to highlight the problem of the pending adoptions. (See related article.)
Radio Free Europe reported December 14 that Romania Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stands by the current adoption law and said authorities will instead promote adoptions within the country. Popescu-Tariceanu said the new law meets EU standards “which put the children’s interest first, and not those of the possible adoptive parents.”
In April, the European Union signed an accession treaty with Romania with the goal of membership in January 2007. However, the EU has warned that Romania’s accession by that date is not guaranteed and depends on making substantial progress in dealing with issues of corruption, competition and the country’s judicial system.
On December 15, the European Parliament, which monitors human rights in Eastern and Central Europe, called on Romania to resolve international adoption cases that had been registered during the 2001-2004 moratorium. The European Parliament said these cases should be resolved “with the goal of allowing inter-country adoptions to take place, where justified and appropriate.”
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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