On Friday, December 17, 2004 Joint Council met with representatives from the U.S. Department of State including Heather Conley, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, William Silkworth, Romania Desk Officer for North Central European Affairs and Scott Boswell, Adoption Unit Chief in the Office of Children’s Issues. The meeting focused on the pipeline cases from Romania.
The following information was provided:
- Many in both the U.S. and the Romanian governments were surprised by the outcome of the presidential election in which Bucharest Mayor, Traian Basescu, narrowly defeated Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase.
- The new government is in the process of setting up and President Basescu will be sworn in on Monday, December 20, 2004. The President will then have ten working days to form the government and appoint a Prime Minister.
- Ambassador Crouch discussed the issue of the pipeline cases with Basescu prior to the elections and the conversation indicated support for the processing of cases.
Pipeline Cases and Commission:
- On January 1st the adoption law restricting international adoption to only biological grandparents will enter into effect. Initially, the Romanian government needed to add to the adoption law to allow the formation of a commission to examine the processing of pipeline cases before January 1, 2005. While it does not appear that any action will be taken by January 1st, there have been assurances that an addition to the law will still be made to allow the creation of the commission.
- The commission will be comprised of objective advisers who will offer technical advice of how cases can be processed in an equitable, transparent and ethical manner. France has taken a leadership role this matter.
- The U.S. has made it clear that the members should not have any conflicting issues (i.e., adoptive parents, government officials representing adoptive families, etc.). At this time, it has not been decided if a representative from the U.S. will be on the commission.
- The United States government has made it clear to Romania that these cases must be resolved before the United States moves ahead on any other projects/ agreements with Romania.
- The U.S. Government has identified approximately 211 children in which parents have indicated they want to continue with the process. If families have not been in contact with the U.S. government and feel that they meet the requirements of the pipeline cases, they need to contact the Office of Children’s Issues at email@example.com. In your correspondence please provide your name, your child’s name and adoption registration number, a description of the status of your adoption and your contact information. Please include “Romanian Adoption” in the subject line.
Post Placement Reports:
The Romanian government has asked that all families who have adopted Romanian children provide the regular post-placement required. Please send a copy of the reports to the Romanian Embassy in Washington, DC as well as to the National Authority for the Protection of the Child and Adoption (NAPCA).
Send copies of post-placement reports to:
Embassy of Romania
RE: Post-Placement Adoption Reports
1607 23rd Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
The European Union has stated that both Bulgaria and Romania should sign the EU Accession Treaty in April 2005.
International Press Report —
Romania Agrees to Establish International Adoptions Committee
BUCHAREST, Romania — The government has reportedly agreed with a French proposal to establish an international commission on adoptions. Prime Minister Adrian Nastase discussed the idea with French counterpart Jean-Pierre Raffarin in Bucharest on Monday (18 October). According to Raffarin, the proposal applies in particular to the cases of French couples caught in the middle of adoption proceedings by a Romanian moratorium on international adoptions in 2001.
In other news, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe President Peter Schieder visited Bucharest on Monday and praised the progress achieved by Romania on the road to full EU membership. (Nine o’clock, Rompres – 19/10/04; Reuters – 18/10/04)