Press release: Please get involved! Demonstration and Petition

20 July 2004

7939Please get involved!

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Vali NasJul 20, 2004

This is the press release about the demonstration on Wednesday July 21

in Washington DC protesting the ban on international adoption, including

the children who are "pipeline" cases.

If you are in the DC area or can get there by tomorrow, please attend

and bring all your friends and neighbors. A person does NOT need to be

an adoptive parent to join in, just an interested party. The protest

will be peaceful and many adopted children will be in attendance.

The online petition passed 10,000 signatures!

Please feel free to pass this message on to anyone interested. If you

have media contacts, we ask that you alert them to our efforts.

If you plan to attend, please notify Linda Robak at the contact info

listed below (email is best), if possible. Or else, just show up and

look for the crowd with signs and kids.




For Immediate Release


Linda Robak, Co-Chair, For the Children - SOS

57 Linden Tree Road

Wilton, CT 06897

(203) 761-1137 or (203) 434-2563 - cell phone while in DC





Washington DC - July 20, 2004 - Families who have adopted from Romania,

and many of the 298 parents who currently had adoptions in progress that

were halted, will be demonstrating in Washington DC to protest the

recent signing of legislation that effectively bans all international

adoptions (with the exception of biological grandparents) and leaves

over 98,000 abandoned Romanian children without permanent homes,

subsequently condemning these children to a life in institutions and

foster care. Demonstrations will take place in front of the National

Press Club, at 529 14th St. NW, on Wednesday, July 21st, beginning at

5:00. Romanian Prime Minister, Adrian Nastase, will be the honored guest

at a reception inside.

Nastase is also scheduled to meet with President Bush and Secretary of

State Colin Powell to discuss the pending adoptions on Wednesday, July

21st. A White House official has said that Nastase may be willing to

process 7 pending cases that were filed prior to the moratorium on

inter-country adoption that was issued on June 21, 2001. Said pending

parent, Thomas Haar of Connecticut, "That is unacceptable and

outrageous. Those cases should have been among the first processed

during the Emergency Ordinance that was issued in October of 2001, and

was expressively written to process all of the pending cases that were

halted due to the moratorium."

Romania is scheduled to join the European Union in 2007 and adoption

legislative reform was considered essential for Romania's entry.

British MEP Emma Nicholson, the EU appointed rapporteur to Romania, has

been highly critical of inter-country adoption. Nicholson has

repeatedly asserted that the Romanian adoption system is corrupt and

that children are being sold to and abused by American parents, and that

adoptive parents have participated in the sexual trafficking of their

children and the selling of their children's organs. Nicholson's

unsubstantiated accusations have caught the attention of foreign media

and appear to have been the determining force behind the inter-country

adoption ban.

Meanwhile, NGO's in Romania are reporting that the hastily implemented

foster care program is already showing signs of serous trouble, with

foster parents going unpaid for months, not having proper training and

supervision, and not enough homes for the children who are in

institutional care. Said NGO, Dr. Belinda Castor, "Due to the closing of

institutions at the instigation of the European Union, and other

institutions already filled to capacity, many abandoned children are

lingering in hospitals for months on end as there is nowhere for them to

go. I just visited one hospital with four floors of abandoned children -

including toddlers - who were just sitting in rooms with no stimulation,

no toys, and one overworked caretaker to look after them."

For the Children - SOS, a Romanian adoptive parent grass-roots activist

group, recently posted an online petition requesting revisions in the

new Romanian adoption laws. So far, over 10,000 signatures have been

gathered from individuals all over the world.

Romania is party to both the United Nations Convention on the Rights of

the Child and the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and

Co-Operation in Respect to Inter-country Adoption. Both conventions

state that inter-country adoption is preferred over institutionalization

or temporary foster care.

July 19, 2004 ---- From Romanian newspaper, Evenimentul Zilei

Foster parents and their children, out in the streets

Maternal assistants (foster parents) in Olt county and the children they

have in care took to the streets on Saturday, accusing the authorities

of subjecting them to several wrongs and humiliations. The women

complained that (a) they are forced, through various methods, to receive

in placement more children than the number written in their

certificates, (b) they have no holiday, and (c) they are humiliated by

the staff of the Olt county Direction for Child Protection (DCP). They

also complained about the living conditions in institutions, about the

inadequate food and about the mild punishments taken by the DCP against

those who broke the law. "They are using the children. They withdraw

our certificates, take our children and when they read an article in the

newspaper they call us and demand that we give back the children. They

tell us we don't know the law, but which law says that you should play

like that with some poor children's lives?" said Mihaela Ilie

representing the protesters. On the other side, Jenel Copilau,

president of the Olt County Council, only promised to try and solve the

maternal assistants' problems.

Copyright (C) 1996-2004 Evenimentul Zilei