Romania has agreed to extend the ban on international adoptions until 15 November following criticism from the EU that the system is still tainted by corruption. Romania has been told that it should reform its child welfare system before it can join the EU.
The Romanian government also came under pressure from the United States where thousands of families are waiting to adopt Romanian children. The US want Romania to liberalise international child adoptions. According to the French daily Le Monde, an internal memorandum written by the US Mission to the EU in Brussels directly connects the issue of child adoptions to Romania’s integration into NATO.
According to Le Monde, the Commission’s Directorate General for Enlargement responds to the US non-paper stating that “American experts are not well suited to Romania’s needs in this area”. “The United States are the only country in the world, apart from Somalia, which has not signed the UN Convention on Children’s Rights and the Hague Convention. The US has not developed the administrative capacity to apply this convention,” according to the Commission’s response.
The Romanian government is now preparing a reform of laws that will encourage domestic adoptions and place children in foster families or private child-care centres. Four draft laws, creating a new legal environment for child protection, are to be adopted.