Romania: Moratorium Extended

06/2/2003

The Romanian government has extended its moratorium on adoptions until new legislation governing adoption is implemented. The actual date of enactment and implementation of the new legislation cannot be predicted at this time.

The Romanian Adoption Committee (RAC) announced a one-year moratorium on inter-country adoption beginning June 21, 2001. That decision formalized a de facto suspension of international adoptions that had been in effect since Prime Minister Nastase’s government took office in December 2000. The government has extended that moratorium numerous times, pending passage and implementation of new legislation intended to eliminate corruption from Romania’s adoption system.

We know that this issue is a difficult one for the many Americans who are interested in adopting Romanian children. Our Ambassador in Bucharest and other senior U.S. government officials have engaged vigorously with the highest levels of the Romanian government to seek a reinstatement of international adoptions. In our dialogue with Romania on this issue, we have focused on two tracks:

We have pressed the Romanian government to allow those children whose matches with prospective parents have been approved by the government, and whose adoptions thus are in the final stages, to be exempt from the current moratorium. In response, the Romanian government announced in October 2001 its intention to review these so-called “pipeline” cases with a view to their early resolution, even while the moratorium remains in effect.

There is widespread agreement that the prior Romanian legal framework did not always protect the best interests of children, creating opportunities for corruption at many levels. Reforms underway now will, we hope, lead to the creation of a more transparent inter-country adoption system that safeguards children while preventing fraud. The United States government, in conjunction with others concerned about child welfare, has made recommendations to the Romanian government on how to improve its adoption process and has assisted the government of Romania in drafting new child welfare laws. We are hopeful that the draft laws soon will be passed by the Romanian parliament. We intend to continue our close and frank dialogue with Romanian officials on these issues. However, fundamental decisions on these issues are the purview of the Romanian government.

We know that there are disappointed prospective parents whose plans to adopt Romanian children have been adversely affected by this moratorium. The U.S. Government places great importance on resolving this issue so that these children can be placed in loving homes. We will continue to press for prompt completion of the new adoption law that is needed before international adoptions can resume. This will remain a high priority until the moratorium is lifted.

For additional information, you may also wish to access the web site of the Romanian Embassy in Washington: http://www.roembus.org. You may also contact the Romanian Embassy through the following e-mail address: tmaxim@roembus.org. Information is also available on the State Department’s web site and on the web site of the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest.

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