but will continue here: Romania for Export Only BLOG

President Basescu at the European Commission, 22 April 2010

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

EXCERPT from the BOOK -

8 February 2004

Early evening the Baroness had called from Bucharest. Not long before she had arrived at the TV station for her press conference. She had been surprised by the excited activity there, and quickly learned that the leader of the opposition and the mayor of Bucharest, Trajan Basescu, had organised a press conference just before hers. He had distributed to the press two Government Memoranda for exceptions to the moratorium. The shocking fact was that the memoranda gave, behind each child, whose name was crossed out, the name of a foreign politician who had lobbied for its adoption, described as a personal guarantee for the quality of the adoption. A politically correct description of political pressure?

The Baroness said there were names like John Kerry, Edward Kennedy, several other US congressmen and senators, and MEPs like Jose Marie Gil-Robles, Antonio di Pietro and former EC President Jacques Santer. But she had felt most embarrassed when the press asked her opinion about the most prominently present name: EC President Romano Prodi. So were we.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Press Release

While working at the European Commission on the DG Enlargement, Romania Team, Roelie dealt with issues of Children's rights, particularly adoption. This work involved the monitoring of these issues in the framework of Romania's accession to the European Union. Also the programming of pre-accession assistance, the Phare Programme, on these issues was part of her tasks.

In 1999, the adoption policy of the Romanian orphans was connected to a system child trafficking, under cover of corruption. The European Commission asked Romania to reform its policy of children's rights, in order to be accepted into the European Union. Roelie Post was a civil servant who became a whistle blower with the publication of he book based on the diary she kept over an eight-year period beginning in 1999, while she worked to reform Romanian adoption.

Her book reads like an exciting tale of mystery and espionage as she uncovers memos, files and emails that spell out a "point system" pitting American against Europeans as to who can pay more and thus get more children for adoption; phonied photos to make conditions look more dire than they are to increase private and public funding that seldom got to the children or the employees caring for Roelie discovered on her field trips to the Romanian orphanages.

She also tells about her meeting with Belgian associations fighting child trade, and the Baroness who sought to stop - at least temporarily - the international adoption of Romanian children.

Friday, 13 April 2007

For Information

Roelie Post publishes a remarkable book. A book about export of Romanian children for adoption. A book, that when one reads the first chapters, overwhelms you if the issue is new. Unfortunate for the undersigned it is not. I even wished that a similar empirical and personal book had been written by the sort of researcher as Roelie Post at the time in Korea and now in China.

Roelie Post dares to describe a taboo-issue at a level that can compare with the works of Noreena Hertz and the movie Constant Gardener. Unfortunately such reporting in general does not receive a lot of media attention, because of its political sensitivity. If you read the book, you find out why. A nest of scorpions of big (business) interests interwoven with political and social actors, and the large demand for adoptable children, creates indeed a market functioning that until now was systematically denied. As a result the discussion remained in the margins of society.

The introduction of the book about a mini-breakfast conference of her children concerning this issue illustrates in my opinion that we have gone far beyond the real and primary question, which still is: what is the interest of the (adoptive) child?

Best regards,
Hilbrand W.S. Westra
Coördinator - United Adoptees International - Netherlands

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