Over the years numerous people suggested me to write a book. Here it is: the story of Romania’s institutionalised children, for many years wrongly called ‘orphans’ or ‘abandoned’ and the pressure to have those children freed for international adoption. A story about global politics and private interests.
In 1999, employed by the European Commission, I started working on the ‘Romanian children dossier’. Romania was known for having over 100.000 children in large residential care institutions, where the living conditions were appalling. My task would be to monitor Romania’s child protection from a human rights’ perspective in the framework of Romania’s future accession to the European Union. Furthermore the Commission would offer financial support to improve the situation. I entered a world I did not understand at first.
Soon I felt something was wrong with the adoption system.
The Romanian government, after criticism of the European Commission and the European Parliament, halted intercountry adoptions in 2001 and started to review its legislation. The international pressure, from a small group of people who wanted to re-open intercountry adoption, was extremely ferocious.