Are there still orphanages in Romania? 

In this blog post, we will answer the question “Are there still orphanages in Romania?” Doing so, we will try to understand the troubled history of Romania and how it affected their orphans. We will also talk about the current situation of those orphans and orphanages. 

Are there still orphanages in Romania? 

One of the first British journalists, Bob Graham of the Daily Mail, visited a Romanian orphanage in Bucharest in January 1990.

This journey reveals the stormy orphanage history in Romania. In a 2015 interview with Public Radio International, he observed, “Normally, when you walk into a room full of cribs, you expect a lot of commotion, chatting, weeping, and sometimes even whispering.” 

“There was nothing when the kids were awake. They reclined on the bunk beds, occasionally focusing on two or three people on each bunk bed. Quietness. I was nearly terrified.”

He remembered the living conditions of the folks he saw and said, “They were horrible. “Children and babies were treated like animals in these stalls. No, I’m mistaken—at least I thought the animals had the audacity to make noise.”

Jjournalists in 1989 like Graham The horrific history of the Romanian orphanage started to emerge in December. The international community’s hearts were broken by their report. 

The efforts of numerous charities, fundraisers, and adoption programs increased as the irreplaceable situations of such locations became clear.

Toys, baby formula, blankets, and other supplies were delivered through fervent relief efforts. Little progress was made in the 10 years following the fall of the Iron Curtain, nevertheless. 

The current government has absorbed a lot of the traits of the previous, corrupt regime. This halted all development and left the orphans in a sad state, unable to be cared for.

However, Emil Constantinescu announced the need for significant reforms when he was elected in 1997. Services for orphans in his nation have been implemented under his direction, including the creation of new child protection organizations and the promotion of foster parents. 

The system has substantially improved since then. Orphans’ living situations are still a problem today throughout Romania and Eastern Europe.

The infamous decision

The legislation set everything in motion.

In order to support his conviction that population increase results in economic progress, Nicolae Ceausescu, the last Communist leader of Romania, borrows a page from Stalinist theory in the 1930s and enacts his prenatal legislation. did. 

In October 1966, Decree 770 was published. For women under the age of 40 who had children under the age of four, both abortion and contraception were outlawed.

These years are known as the Decreței years for children. The word “decret” implies decree in Romanian, from whence the word “decretei” is derived. 

Ceausescu pronounced: “The unborn child belongs to society as a whole. The law of national continuity is abandoned by everyone who chooses not to have children.”

The birth rate considerably increased from 1967 to 1969 after the edict. It ascended and took a terrible blow. More and more unwanted children are being placed in state orphanages as a result of this policy, which is compounded by the poverty of Romania. 

In order to “manage their behaviour,” they experienced institutionalized neglect, sexual abuse, and indiscriminate injections.

Because they disregarded medical gadgets and did not sterilize them, more than 10,000 children had AIDS by the end of the 20th century. 

According to a report by the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch, “Children suffered from an inadequate diet, shelter, clothes, medical care, lack of stimulation and education, and carelessness.”

Children with impairments experienced harsher circumstances and care. Many were underweight, unwell, confined to their beds, or in danger of being imprisoned in their clothing. 

In an orphanage, they found a startling developmental issue in the 1990s when Western psychologists came. Her terrible encounter functioned as a tragic experiment to demonstrate what would transpire if kids were denied access to healthy connections.

Cognitive Development

A 12-year investigation into 136 infants and kids left at a Romanian facility has been launched by the Bucharest Early Intervention Project. They discovered that institutionalized youngsters developed linguistic skills slowly. 

In comparison to foster children, they also lacked reasoning and problem-solving abilities. Children receiving care also had smaller brains and poorer IQs, according to the study.

They also had a higher incidence of mental illnesses, particularly emotional ones like anxiety and sadness. Children who were institutionalized also had improper social development. 

This backed up the idea of “sensitive periods” of acquisition—a condensed time period for the development of particular abilities.

According to Charles Zeana, principal investigator at BEIP, “for children reared in all kinds of adversity, the sooner they may be placed in the correct care environment, the more likely they are to grow normally.” Unfortunately, Romanian adoptive orphans continue to experience hardship as adults.

Orphanages in Romania in the present context

Only one-third of Romanian youngsters today reside in state-owned housing.

Orphanages in Romania have a poor reputation historically. They can get the considerate attention and care they deserve in a number of ways today.

Many of the issues we face now have their roots in Ceausescu. His program has led to the yearly abandoning of tens of thousands of kids in an effort to create Romanian worker bee strains. 

Because parents couldn’t afford to raise their children, the state’s orphanage system grew. Many parents thought that the government could provide better care for their kids. And regrettably, especially among the poor, such a spirit still exists today.

Foster parents care for the vast majority of Romanian children in the public system. Foster parents in Romania are paid by the government to care for their children. There are also families with between five and six children who live together. 

The government has openly pledged to close all of the more troublesome institutional structures—the so-called mediation centres—by 2020.

Finally, many Eastern European nations are working to reduce the number of orphans and orphanages. Since 2011, the number of orphans in Moldova, the poorest nation in Europe, has decreased from 11,000 to 2,000. 

There are now only two state orphanages in Georgia, down from 50. Additionally, Bulgaria has concentrated its efforts on ensuring that all children with impairments receive family-like care from state organizations.

Eastern Europe, which had had the largest percentage of orphans, is now at the forefront of the campaign to remove children from orphanages.

A deeper look into the unfortunate generation 

The media made public the situation in children’s homes around the world following the fall of the Ceausescu regime in the Romanian Revolution of 1989.

These locations go by numerous titles, including “Slaughterhouse of the Soul,” “Holes of Hell,” and “Gulag of Children.” 

Malnourished youngsters can be seen being crammed into a chilly, dark dormitory, chained to a rusted metal bed, or imprisoned in a cage in 4,444 photographs and reports. 

There was frequently only one staff member available for every 12 or more kids. This required the infant to spend hours on his back without being touched or bothered.

136 Romanian infants aged 6 to 31 months who had been living in an orphanage since birth were surveyed by an American team lead by researchers from the Universities of Maryland and Tulane. 

The other half were sent to foster parents who were chosen and prepared by researchers while the majority remained there.

A control group of Romanian kids who had never lived in the program was also tested.

Up until the age of 16, children underwent multiple examinations. The findings highlight how crucial a parent’s early involvement is to a child’s growth.

What happened to the Romanian orphans 

Thousands of Romanian children were adopted into foreign homes in the late 1990s and early 2000s as the world learnt about their experiences, from the United States to the United Kingdom. 

Although numerous battles to meet the extra needs brought on by their earlier carelessness have been covered by the media in the intervening years.

With little education or ability to care for oneself, a large number of elderly individuals from the Romanian care system were left on the streets.

Large nursing homes still exist, and NGOs are working to further reform and support it despite the fact that the child protection system has greatly improved over the past 20 years (and was one of the requirements for joining the EU in 2007). 

We’re still advocating for this. Children are unaware of the change from one generation to the next.

Izidor Ruckel, a polio survivor, has joined the advocacy group. What do his adoptive parents’ love, sympathy, and affection mean though?

He was one of the persons adopted by an American family and had significant issues with his behavior and relationships with other people. He claimed to have picked up the skill.

He admitted to ABC, “There is something that scares me.” 

“Even though I’m not very intelligent, I’m trying to make progress and keep going in life. I think people are capable of expanding their thinking. Anything is conceivable.”

Romania as an example

Romania aspires to enter the EU by 2007 and is eager to do so. Romania is under pressure from the EU, particularly from UK MEP Lady Emma Nicholson, who has been fighting to ban Romanian adoption for many years. 

Romania is being urged by other nations, such as the United States and Canada, to create a new adoption system that is more in line with the Hague Convention. 

According to The Guardian, “Yesterday’s decision (on adoption bans) was a rare success for Brussels over Washington in a poor Eastern European country that is typically extremely desired to subordinate Washington.”

The same article stated further. Adoptive organizations claim that the new rule is too severe to stop organized criminal thugs from transferring Romanian children abroad and making millions of dollars. 

Intercountry adoption is prohibited in many nations, as demonstrated by Romania. Countries are sensitive to the idea that they “export” their kids and participate in the “adoption industry.”

Due to a lack of infrastructure and resources to oversee adoption processes, developing nations are more susceptible to corruption by private organizations, lawyers, and government agencies. 

The lobbying organization for international adoption is also exerting pressure on them. Many people are losers. The foster parent or institutional setting continues to house the children. 

When faced with the heavy burden of generations of children reaching maturity without parental supervision and support, families find their adoption options constrained, and the country loses.

Romania adoption changes 

Due to Romania’s ban on international adoption, these youngsters have only been able to anticipate adoption for the previous ten years. 

But for families where at least one adoptive parent is a Romanian citizen, adoption is now a real prospect.

The number of expectant parents is unfortunately constrained by this rule. However, Romanians maintain strong bonds with their children, their hometowns, and their local communities in the United States. 

So it appears that allowing only a few parents to adopt these kids is adequate. Due to a weakness in the adoption system, adoption in Romania has been prohibited to those living outside of Romania for more than ten years.

Intercountry adoption is prohibited in many nations, as demonstrated by Romania. Countries are sensitive to the idea that they “export” their kids and participate in the “adoption industry.” 

Due to a lack of infrastructure and resources to oversee adoption processes, developing nations are more susceptible to corruption by private organizations, lawyers, and government agencies. 

The lobbying organization for international adoption is also exerting pressure on them. Many people are losers. The foster parent or institutional setting continues to house the children. 

When faced with the heavy burden of generations of children reaching maturity without parental supervision and support, families find their adoption options constrained, and the country loses.

Despite internal and international criticism, the Romanian government continues to address this matter, and since April 2012, the number of adoptions in Romania has increased the shorter the stay in an institutional setting. 

Eligibility to adopt 

  • Candidates must be older than the youngster they are recruiting by at least 18 years. Adoptions from Romania are possible for both couples and single women. 
  • One of the applicants must be a citizen of Romania. 
  • Criminal records, drug or alcohol addiction, and pornographic content are not accepted in Romania. 
  • Families with significant medical, psychological, or psychiatric issues are rarely accepted in Romania.

References 

  1. https://www.mamamia.com.au/romanian-orphans/
  1. https://www.npr.org/2012/08/19/158924764/for-romanias-orphans-adoption-is-still-a-rarity#:~:text=Romania%20in%202009.-,Romania%20has%2C%20in%20general%2C%20improved%20conditions%20in%20orphanages%20that%20provoked,the%20care%20of%20the%20state.

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