SOME 9,950 children were “exported” from Romania between 1997 and 2000, the European Parliament was told yesterday, during a debate on whether more could be done to save children from a life of institutional care within the EU.UPDATE 01/20/2011: The European Parliament passed a resolution calling for international adoption over foster care, but recognizing the competency of each nation to make their own adoption laws, including bans on international adoption. The resolution did not encompass the creation of a European agency on adoption, as was proposed by Italian MEPs.
Romanian MEP Victor Bostinaru said his country, which “exported” so many children, would never again “accept such an abomination”. He said people had to learn from what happened as “opening the gates widely for international adoption” had meant for Romania child-trafficking networks, kidnappings and children being sold in western Europe.
His colleague MEP Elena Basescu said Romania was under pressure to resume international adoption, halted in 2001, but there were more families in Romania wishing to adopt than children available, despite about 22,000 children in care centres there.
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Roberta Angelilli, an Italian MEP who introduced the debate, said there were many abandoned children across Europe. They could end up in poverty or exploited by organised crime for prostitution, organ-trafficking and illegal adoption. These children had a right to be adopted and should not stay in an institution for longer than necessary.
Slovak MEP Monika Flašíková-Benová said the problem of abandoned children in Europe was getting more and more serious. “We have to abolish the rights of biological parents if they do not care for the children,” she said.
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