When I started writing 'Romania-For Export Only' I did not want to write a book about Francois de Combret. When the book was written, I saw I had.
Because all over the years, it was Francois de Combret pushing for intercountry adoptions from Romania.
Since 1990 De Combret was pushing the European Union and the Council of Europe to invest in improving the lot of the Romanian 'orphans'. Millions and millions were spend mainly through NGOs.
It would take until 2000 when due to a change in EU policy financial and technical support was given to the Romanian child protection directly, AND international adoptions were halted, that real improvements could start.
Even though De Combret has acknowledged the progress, he maintains that re-opening adoptions is necessary because 10.000 children per year are abandoned by Romanian mothers. He bases his opinion on a much disputed Unicef report. And if it were true, there should now have been over 50.000 abandoned children in Romania - and there are not!
The full disgracefull story is in Romania-For Export Only.
But clearly Francois de Combret's influence is still ongoing. Yesterday MEP Claire Gibault, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Maud de Boer-Buquicchio and Francois de Combret gave a Joint Declaration.
Although not said explicitely in this video, during the press conference it became clear that European Adoptions is all about re-opening Romanian adoptions and the creation of a European Adoption Agency.
MEP Claire Gibault is very outspoken about it in her press statement (French).
To hear the full press conference in English, you can download it here (you can register for free)