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January 31, 2023

UNICEF’s Blanchet: More families need to adopt children, but open-minded families

UNICEF representative to Romania Sandie Blanchet underlined on Wednesday, in the context of the recent modifications brought to the adoption law, that more families need to adopt children in Romania, but that these families must be open-minded, because most children eligible for adoption are over 7 years old and 21 percent of them have a form of disability.

Contrary to the things we sometimes hear, in Romania there isn’t a problem of lack of children eligible for adoption. The problem is that we don’t have enough families wanting to adopt. We need more families to adopt children in Romania, but we need open-minded families. Every family wants an infant, with perfect health. Most children eligible for adoption in Romania are, in fact, between 7 and 14 years old. We need families wanting to adopt these older children. 700 of these children have disabilities, she pointed out in a press conference organised by the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights and Adoption and UNICEF.

During the briefing devoted to the presentation of the main modifications brought to the adoption law and the corresponding methodological norms, Sandie Blanchet showed that the number of the necessary forms was reduced from 24 to 13, and that a time limit has been set up for each step of the adoption process. Under the given conditions, it is estimated that the length of this process, which so far covered 15 months, will be halved.

Adoption mustn’t be regarded in the context of meeting objectives, or from the perspective of certain time or quantity indicators. Some countries which proposed such targets are confronted with serious challenges, the moment when adoptions fail and the children come back to the child protection system. For instance, in the UK, 25 percent of the adoptions of children aged 6 years and over fail, she said, according to Agerpres.

Labour Ministry’s Secretary of State Oana Toiu said that a series of documents have been cut off, digitised, simplified, merged, but in spite of the simplifications adopted the adoption process quality will be carefully checked.

National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights and Adoption president Gabriela Coman mentioned that the situation of the child in the adoptive family will be monitored, but also that an additional procedure has been introduced in the National Adoption Registry for the children who are less likely to be adopted, namely for those children for whom, after having become eligible for adoption, the actual procedure hasn’t been initiated for nine months. Thus, regarding these children, each directorate will have images and information, in a secure database, which the future parents can access.

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