Renault’s children

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Ziua, Nov 11 2006  (Google translation from Romanian)
Romania is again under pressure to reopen the tap with children for international adoptions. This time the pressure comes from Brussels – the same place where three years ago Baroness Emma Nicholson called for the restriction of adoptions.

The Government of Bucharest is facing a formidable opponent this time: the main advocate of reopening the adoption process is Francois de Combret – a member of Renault’s board of directors and the craftsman of the creation of the EADS company. The Victoria Palace has very little room for maneuver: Renault is the main European investor in Romania, and the EADS has won the tender for border security (an essential issue in accession to the European Union).

If in February 2004, Baroness Emma Nicholson threatened to suspend Romania’s accession negotiations in case Bucharest does not close the international adoption process, this time Romania will be put in a similar situation just to reopen the adoption process. In any case, as a British study shows, Romania is no more obliged by international law than France or Germany to open the tap with children. But Bucharest has the US pressure on its head. (GD)

MEPs Jean-Marie Cavada and Claire Gibault are supporters of the European initiative that calls on Romania to amend its legislation on international adoptions. “We want to propose a European adoption model that will apply to all EU countries and which cannot be subject to restrictions on international adoptions, and in support of our efforts, 407 MEPs have signed in support of Resolution 23, from August this year. , to encourage international adoptions, “said Claire Gibault.

At a meeting organized Thursday in the European Parliament by the Liberal group, Jean-Marie Cavada, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and member of the Delegation of the EU-Romania Joint Parliamentary Committee, and Claire Gibault, member of the Committee on Culture and Education, the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, as well as the Delegation of the EU-Bulgaria Joint Parliamentary Committee, insisted that there are many children who could be adopted by families from abroad, admitting that international adoption should be the last solution, in in case a family from the country is not found.

Franco Frattini reminded that in the EU countries there are no common regulations regarding international adoptions. In this context, the participants expressed the idea of ​​the need to adopt a common legislation in the EU on the topic of adoptions, arguing that as adults have the right to free movement and children should have this right by allowing international adoptions.

The Renault director strengthens
The 2004 law on adoptions in Romania includes an article that is against the United Nations Convention and the Hague Convention, because it prohibits international adoption, said the president of the SERA France Foundation, Francois De Combret (who is also a member of Renault’s board of directors ), in an attempt to force the Romanian authorities to return to the legislation in this area. His position as Combret is contradicted by the study of the British jurist Andrew Bainham, widely presented on this page.
De Combret explained that the international adoption of a Romanian child is not possible today unless the adopter is the grandfather of the minor. “This is a disguised ban on international adoptions. This article (no. 39 of Law 273/2005 – no) does not respect the international conventions ratified by Romania. The authors of this law are not Romanian, but alleged international experts sent by the European Union”, De Combret declared on Thursday, in the European Parliament, on the occasion of the conference “A European policy of adoption”.

He claimed that no director from the Directorates of Social Welfare and Child Protection was consulted when the law was drafted, although, in his opinion,

Advocacy for adoption
“A country in Europe should be open to international adoptions and Romania is best suited for this concept. It has been 16 years since the fall of the Ceausescu regime and, unfortunately, this tragedy of children continues to wreak havoc in this country”, a said the president of SERA (Solidarite Enfants Roumains Abandonnes). To convince those present of the need to resume international adoptions in Romania, he quoted again the UNICEF report of 2004, according to which over 9,000 children are abandoned annually in Romania, although this has been fought by countless or Romanian authorities. “The pace of abandonment is about the same as the old regime. I do not explain this situation. There are many countries in the world poorer than Romania, but children are not abandoned at this rate. The explanation would be that Romania is the only country in the history of humanity where the state organized and encouraged the adoption of children. This legislation, due to Ceausescu, remained in force for 27 years. It has left deep traces in the mentality of some people, and abandoning a child is considered a social and amoral act. It’s easier to change the law than the morals, “said Francois De Combret.

Against maternal assistants
Although he acknowledged that since the fall of the communist regime, Romania has made remarkable progress, De Combret criticized maternal assistance in Romania, in his opinion, this system being more harmful than institutionalization. “From the Moratorium, a new phenomenon has appeared, of the maternal assistants, at present being about 20,000 and their number continues to grow, which is a worrying situation. Placing in the assistance is very expensive, a maternal assistant costing about 200 euros per month, so it comes to costs of 4 million euros per month for all maternal assistants. Wouldn’t it be easier to help the families of origin, than to pay maternal assistants? “, stressed De Combret.

He also argued that social assistance departments do not have enough staff to oversee the work of maternal nurses to ensure that children are well treated.

According to the president SERA, the placement does not offer the stability of a family, because the reception in this family is provisional, and the child cannot form roots. Also, because maternity care receives money to care for a child, it is not capable of giving her love. “We must guarantee children the right to have a family. The first and most natural guarantee is to help families in difficulty. The number of dropouts in Romania proves that this is not the case today. Generals of Social Assistance and Child Protection – no) complain that they have no social budget, which would help them cope with the crisis situations and would help them avoid the abandonment of children, “added Francois De Combret. In these conditions, the only alternative solution to upholding the right of children to a family, according to De Combret, is adoption. (GD)

Combret, the EADS tactician and director Renault
Francois de Combret (pictured above) is one of the strongest businessmen in the political world in France. He is currently a member of the board of directors for the following companies: Renault, Safran and Bouygues Telecom.

At 64, Francois de Combret graduated from the National School of Administrative Studies in Paris and began his career working at the French State Audit Service. Between 1971 and 1974 he was Valery Giscard d’Estaing’s counselor on economic and industrial issues (the period when he was the Minister of Finance of France). Combret followed d’Estaing at the Elysee Palace after the latter became president of France, holding the position of presidential adviser on economic issues between 1974 and 1978. In 1978-1981, Francois de Combret was the head of the French presidential administration. Between 1982 and 1005 Francois de Combret was the director of the Lazard Bank, representing Paris. From this position Combret has led several major French privatizations, such as Renault, France Telecom. Francois de Combret was the craftsman of the merger of the French company Aerospatiale with Matra and Daimler Aerospace, which resulted in the EADS concern, which won in Romania the controversial tender for border security. De Combret was also involved in the merger of Agem with Snecma under the name Safran. Starting with 1990 Francois de Combret runs the SERA (Solidarite Enfants Roumains Abandonnes) foundation. (GD) Incepand din 1990 Francois de Combret conduce fundatia SERA (Solidarity Romanian Abandoned Children). (GD) Incepand din 1990 Francois de Combret conduce fundatia SERA (Solidarity Romanian Abandoned Children). (GD)

Baby bazaar Romania
The trafficking of children through international adoptions and the miserable conditions in which institutionalized children were living were, after 1989, “hot” topics in the Romanian media, in European countries and later in the debates of the European Commission. After 1989, dozens of foundations appeared, like mushrooms after the rain, with the object of activity: ADOPTION. In 1997-2000 alone, there were 9150 international adoptions. Behind the care of orphans and abandoned children was, in many cases, a traffic of live meat. The price of a child varies from 10 to 50 thousand dollars, depending on the environment from which the “goods” came from. After many interventions by the European Union, the Romanian government banned, in 2001, international adoptions. But, Until the adoption of the new law on international adoptions, in 2004, the Nastase Government violated the moratorium and gave children more for international adoption. After many “grievances” the law 273/2004 on the regime of children’s adoptions in Romania appeared, which entered into force on January 1, 2005. This law prohibits international adoptions, except for those in favor of grandparents.

Dream children at the farm
In 1997, the law of international adoptions in Romania was changed according to the provisions of the Hague Convention, the adoptions of Romanian children being allowed only to the signatory countries of this convention. We mentioned that, at that time, in the international press it was stated that the countries of the former communist bloc were viewed by the Westerners as a huge “baby-bazaar” from where the wishers can choose the child of their dreams. Thus, it is stated that Romania and Hungary are among the most popular places for Westerners who want to adopt children, stressing that on the Internet, for Romania, more than 12 adoption agencies appear that showed the photos and biographies of “available” children. To control the phenomenon, the Romanian Government created the Romanian Committee for Adoptions (CRA). This body had in each county a Commission for the Protection of the Child, which deals directly with each case of adoption. Unfortunately, these county commissions, together with the foundations that had the object of activity the adoptions, formed an attained system of corruption.

What the law said in ’98
A law of adoptions was enacted in 1998, which was in line with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. According to that law, the Commission for the Protection of the Child could entrust a child for the adoption and to a person or family who did not have Romanian citizenship, but who had been resident in the territory of Romania for at least six months and fulfilled the conditions required by the Romanian law and the legislation of the country whose law citizen was the adopter. According to the law, it was forbidden to adopt children who were not on the record of the Romanian Committee for Adoptions, and the approval of the adoption was the competence of the judicial bodies.

Mafia “international adoptions”
However, there were cases where, with the help of the courts, institutionalized children were given for adoption without even being asked if they agreed with the new “parents”. Moreover, the processes in which the court decisions granting the adoption were kept secret. We mention the case of the adoption of five institutionalized children from “Poiana Soarelui”. The civil lawsuits before the Brasov Court, which decided to entrust the five children for adoption, were judged on the sixth, without the approval of the Romanian Committee for Adoptions (which represented the Romanian state and the interests of orphans and abandoned children). In these circumstances, the Romanian Committee for Adoptions (CRA) could not file an appeal within the legal deadline of 15 days, and the court decisions remained final.

They were even intermediaries of illegal adoptions carried out even by Romanian lawyers. Thus, in November 1998, lawyer Viorica Zaharia, from Buzau Bar, was detained by the police because between 1995 and 1998 she determined the parents of 13 children to consent to their adoption by foreign citizens (most of them in the USA), promising them money. and material goods. She was a representative of a foundation accredited by the Romanian Adoption Committee.

Also, there were also directors of the child protection departments who demanded bribes for issuing favorable opinions and facilitating the adoption of some children. There have been cases in which maternity medical staff facilitated the abandonment of abandoned children without the natural parents to accept them.

In 1999, the General Directorate for the Protection of the Rights of the Child Braila “sold” children to families in the US, Greece, Italy and Germany for amounts between 100 and 300 million lei. The money was given by the foundations with which the Directorate had concluded partnership contracts. “We sell our children legally,” says the director of the Braila Children’s League. All the adoptions were made with the consent of the Romanian Adoption Committee, having of course the opinion of the Braila Child Protection Commission.

The European Union intervenes
Starting with the year 2000, pressures from the European Union began to appear so that Romania could stop the trade of children, Mugur Isarescu, at that time Prime Minister of Romania, was invited by Baroness Emma Nicholson de Winterbourne, First Vice-President of the Commission of Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament to discuss the status of programs on institutionalized children. Regarding international adoptions, Nicholson said that these should be done when it is the best solution for the children in question, according to the conventions on the rights of the child. In May 2001, there was a threat that the EU could “break” accession negotiations. Baroness Emma Nicholson says Romanian officials are involved in international adoption of children. These accusations were contained in a foreign policy report of the European Parliament. In February 2001, Baroness Emma Nicholson, rapporteur of the European Parliament for Romania’s integration into the European Union, declared in Bucharest that she was waiting for the Romanian Parliament to adopt a statement regarding the protection of children. She points out that this would be a sign that Romania wants a quick solution to the problem of institutionalized children, while also suggesting that Parliament ask the Government to temporarily block international adoptions. In May of the same year, the European rapporteur for Romania brings back the issue of institutionalized children, in the context of the accession negotiations. Emma Nicholson says in an interview,

The Romanian Committee for Adoptions (CRA) revoked the scoring system under which the adopted children were assigned to the foundations, so that international adoptions became impossible to complete until new regulations in the field appeared. In June, the reception of new applications for international adoption was suspended, and a moratorium was instituted for this purpose.

They did not delay to appear interventions by some European officials so that the citizens of their countries can continue to adopt children from Romania.
In July 2001, French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin took advantage of his visit to Romania to plead directly with the Romanian Government in favor of French families facing the suspension of international adoptions. With 1020 Romanian children adopted between 1997-2000, out of a total of 9150 international adoptions, France is – along with the United States, Italy and Spain – among the first destination countries for orphans in Romania.

Moratorium violated
In October of the same year, the European Commission asked the Romanian Government to elaborate the Law on international adoptions as soon as possible. One month later, Adrian Nastase and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar discussed, at the Victoria Palace, the situation of families in Spain who intend to adopt institutionalized children from Romania, but whose adoption files have not yet been finalized.In December 2001, a solution was found to unlock certain international adoption files, such exceptions being regulated in an emergency ordinance. The first 49 adoption files have been unlocked, with children leaving for the United States. In the summer of 2002, another 81 files were released, targeting children adopted by foreign families from Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany, the United States, Italy, Belgium, France or Romanian citizens established in one of the mentioned countries.

In 2003, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called, in a letter to Adrian Nastase, “the lifting of the moratorium” quickly, while an Italian parliamentary delegation came to Bucharest to ask the authorities to adopt “emergency” 100 children by Italian families. Thus, despite the moratorium decided by Bucharest in June 2001, the Nastase Government approved the adoption of 105 children in Italy. For this reason, the Romanian Government had many explanations. “I made this decision after carefully analyzing each case. It is about exceptional situations, which we have approved according to a special procedure and it would be a mistake to talk about a violation of the embargo on child adoptions by foreign nationals. ” explains Gabriela Coman, head of the Child Protection Authority. “I could not talk about pressure from Italy” regarding these adoptions, added Gabriela Coman. (Corina SCARLAT)

American pressures
Washington authorities will not forget the promises made by Romania regarding the adoption of Romanian children by American families, said US Ambassador to Bucharest Nicholas F Taubman in January this year. “The US government believes that some promises have been made regarding the adoption of children by American families, and this promise will be taken into account as such,” said the American diplomat at a conference held in Cluj-Napoca, recalling that The European Parliament has adopted a resolution in favor of international adoptions, applicable especially in the case of adoption files blocked following the Moratorium imposed in 2001. Although it is not entirely in accordance with the provisions of the Romanian legislation regarding adoptions, The US government can do nothing but respect them, added Ambassador Taubman. “We do not agree, in principle, with the law that came into force on January 1, 2005, but we respect that this is a law of the Government of Romania,” the US official said. (OF)

Bainham study The
British academic publication “The Law of the Family and the Child” published in 2003 a comprehensive study dedicated to the issue of international adoptions in Romania, a study signed by Professor Andrew Bainham, associate of Christ’s College and lecturer in family law at Cambridge University. Professor Bainham analyzes the international legal provisions that refer to international adoptions and to which Romania is a signatory party, namely the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), The Hague Convention for the Protection of Children and Cooperation on International Adoptions (The Hague Convention) and The European Convention on Children and the jurisprudence of the European Court (European Convention).

“Auction”, “Market”, “Price”
After comparing these legal provisions and the situation in Romania Professor Bainham draws the following conclusion: “Romania has no international obligation to resume international adoptions and there are more provisions in international conventions that ask Romania not to do so.”

Professor Bainham cites a 2001 report, prepared by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which states: “Almost every discussion we have had about adoptions in Romania has included the use of commercial terms, such as” auction. >>, <<read>> and <<pret>>. Frequently, the people I talked to apologized for using these inappropriate terms, but explained that they best describe the situation. This phenomenon shows how deeply it is affected. the system of international adoptions in Romania of the influence of money and can help to explain the concerns regarding the change of children for money “.

Hague Convention vs. UN Convention
The Hague Convention on International Adoptions has as its main source of inspiration the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which states that the child’s interest is the most important aspect. The Hague Convention also shows that international adoption “can only be considered as an alternative if the child cannot be placed in a foster care center or foster family or cannot be adequately cared for. in his home country “. Professor Bainham shows that in Romania “international adoptions were automatically resorted to and where the child was wrongly declared abandoned, and the Hague Convention provides very weak protection for the children and families involved.” Professor Bainham states that ”
UNCRC is also featured in Professor Bainham’s article. UNCRC states the child’s right to be cared for by his or her biological parents and to “preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relationships.” UNCRC also highlights the right of the child to “maintain personal and direct contact with his / her parents on a regular basis, except when this would be against his or her interest.” Professor Bainham argues that “it is clear that international adoptions are seriously threatening to preserve the child’s identity because of the problem of maintaining contact.”

The argument “in the interest of the child”
Professor Bainham points out in the article’s conclusions that there is a counterargument that it is in the child’s best interest to be in a family environment, even internationally, rather than in a care institution. Professor Bainham believes that “this statement is an attractive one, but it is based on a profound ignorance of the conditions in Romania and the fact that many of the children who could benefit from the care of a family would not be institutionalized if there was no adoption market” . Bainham says that “there is a clear relationship between the artificial and distorted notion of abandonment that has been in force in Romania and the practice of international adoptions. In other words, children are abandoned just for international adoptions.”

The final conclusion of the quoted article is simple: “The last thing Romania currently needs is the threat that, for political reasons, it would be better to liberalize the international adoption market again.” (GD)

The Peckenpaugh Prada Case
for an American Pedophile
Earlier this year, US citizen William Delos Peckenpaugh (pictured) was sentenced by a court in Salem, Oregon, to 30 years in prison for sexual abuse committed on a child he adopted from Romania. Peckenpaugh, 38, was convicted on 33 counts, three of which were related to sexual abuse and nine to sodomy. District Attorney Darin Tweedt told US media that sexual abuse began as soon as the boy was adopted in Romania in 2001. The trial was initiated at the end of last year, after Peckenpaugh returned a camera to an electronics storefrom Wilsonville. The sellers of the store found in the respective camera a box with images that showed the abuses committed on the minor of Romanian origin, and as a result of this macabre discovery they announced the police.

False Catholic bishop and nudist
Peckenpaugh has expressed himself as a fervent supporter of nudism through the Internet, signing under various pseudonyms a series of articles published on dedicated electronic pages. Peckenpaugh claimed in these articles that he holds the status of Catholic bishop. Peckenpaugh was also an active member of the American Naturalist Society and the American Nudist Recreation Association.

The convict for pedophilia is the author of the article “Social and family attitudes towards nudity and the effects on child development”, an article often cited by supporters of nudism and arguing that exposure to nudity does not affect the emotional development of children.

Excellent references
Marcela Dumitras, the director of the Buzau County Directorate for Child Care, said that he was facing one of the most favorable references regarding the request for adoption by William D. Peckenpaugh. “The person requesting the adoption of Daniel, a four-year-old child abandoned by his parents at Placement Center no. 6 in Ramnicu Sarat, was presented as a respectable person, pastor at the local Methodist church, involved in many activities at the community level. during his free time, he participates in community volunteering activities and helps his brothers and sisters to raise their children, “said Marcela Dumitras. The Romanian authorities claimed that they had received only positive reports from the American authorities, whose faces were monitoring the child’s evolution. (OF)

Copiii lui Renault
Romania este din nou supusa presiunilor pentru a redeschide robinetul cu copii al adoptiilor internationale. De aceasta data presiunea vine de la Bruxelles – acelasi loc, de unde acum trei ani baroneasa Emma Nicholson solicita restrictionarea adoptiilor internationale. Guvernul de la Bucuresti se afla de aceasta data in fata unui adversar redutabil: principalul avocat al redeschiderii procesului de adoptii este Francois de Combret – membru in consiliul de administratie al Renault si artizanul crearii concernului EADS. Palatul Victoria are foarte putin loc de manevra: Renault este principalul investitor european din Romania, iar concernul EADS a castigat licitatia pentru securizarea frontierelor (o chestiune esentiala in aderarea la Uniunea Europeana). Daca in februarie 2004 baroneasa Emma Nicholson ameninta cu suspendarea negocierilor de aderare ale Romaniei daca Bucurestiul nu inchide procesul adoptiilor internationale, de aceasta data Romania se vede pusa intr-o situatie asemanatoare tocmai pentru a redeschide procesul adoptiilor. In orice caz, dupa cum arata un studiu britanic, Romania nu este mai obligata prin legislatia internationala decat Franta sau Germania sa deschida robinetul cu copii. Dar Bucurestii au pe cap si presiunea SUA. (G.D.)

Eurodeputatii Jean-Marie Cavada si Claire Gibault sunt sustinatorii initiativei europene care solicita Romaniei sa-si modifice legislatia cu privire la adoptiile internationale. “Noi vrem sa propunem un model de adoptie europeana care se va aplica tuturor tarilor comunitare si care nu poate intra sub incidenta restrictiilor privind adoptiile internationale, iar in sprijinul demersurilor noastre, 407 europarlamentari au semnat pentru sustinerea Rezolutiei 23, din luna august a acestui an, pentru incurajarea adoptiilor internationale”, a declarat Claire Gibault.

La o intalnire organizata joi in Parlamentul European de grupul liberalilor, Jean-Marie Cavada, presedinte al Comisiei parlamentare pentru libertati civile, justitie si afaceri interne si membru al Delegatiei Comisiei parlamentare mixte UE-Romania, si Claire Gibault, membra a Comisiei pentru cultura si educatie, a Comisiei pentru drepturile femeilor si egalitatea intre sexe, precum si a Delegatiei Comisiei parlamentare mixte UE-Bulgaria au insistat ca sunt foarte multi copiii care ar putea fi adoptati de familii din strainatate, admitand ca adoptia internationala trebuie sa fie ultima solutie, in cazul in care nu este gasita o familie din tara.

Franco Frattini a reamintit ca in tarile UE nu exista reglementari comune in privinta adoptiilor internationale. In acest context, participantii au exprimat ideea necesitatii adoptarii unei legislatii comune in UE pe tema adoptiilor, cu argumentul ca asa cum adultii au dreptul la libera circulatie si copiii ar trebui sa aiba acest drept prin permiterea adoptiilor internationale.

Directorul Renault forteaza

Legea din 2004 privind adoptiile din Romania include un articol care este impotriva Conventiei Natiunilor Unite si a Conventiei de la Haga, pentru ca interzice adoptia internationala, a declarat presedintele Fundatiei SERA Franta, Francois De Combret (care este si membru al consiliului de administratie al Renault), in incercarea de a forta autoritatile romane sa revina asupra legislatiei in acest domeniu. Pozitia lui de Combret este contrazisa de studiul juristului britanic Andrew Bainham, prezentat pe larg in aceasta pagina.

De Combret a explicat ca adoptia internationala a unui copil roman nu este posibila astazi decat in cazul in care cel care il adopta este bunicul minorului. “Este vorba de o interdictie deghizata a adoptiilor internationale. Acest articol (nr. 39 din Legea 273/2005 – n.r.) nu respecta conventiile internationale ratificate de Romania. Autorii acestei legi nu sunt romani, ci pretinsi experti internationali trimisi de Uniune Europeana”, a declarat, joi, in Parlamentul European, De Combret, cu prilejul conferintei “O politica europeana a adoptiei”.

El a sustinut ca nici un director de la Directiile de Asistenta Sociala si Protectia Copilului nu a fost consultat in momentul in care s-a elaborat legea, desi, in opinia sa, aveau o pozitie mai buna decat a expertilor straini si stiau mai bine care este situatia din judetele lor.

Pledoarie pentru adoptii

“O tara din Europa ar trebui sa fie deschisa adoptiilor internationale si Romania este cea mai potrivita pentru acest concept. Au trecut 16 ani de la caderea regimului Ceausescu si, din pacate, aceasta tragedie a copiilor continua sa faca ravagii in aceasta tara”, a mai spus presedintele SERA (Solidarite Enfants Roumains Abandonnes). Pentru a-i convinge pe cei prezenti de necesitatea reluarii adoptiilor internationale din Romania, el a citat din nou raportul UNICEF din 2004, potrivit caruia peste 9.000 de copii sunt abandonati anual in Romania, desi acesta a fost combatut de nenumarate ori de autoritatile romane. “Ritmul abandonului este cam acelasi cu cel din vechiul regim. Nu-mi explic aceasta situatie. Exista multe tari in lume mai sarace decat Romania, dar copiii nu sunt abandonati in acest ritm. Explicatia ar fi ca Romania este singura tara din istoria umanitatii unde statul a organizat si a incurajat adoptia copiilor. Aceasta legislatie, datorata lui Ceausescu, a ramas in vigoare 27 de ani. Ea a lasat urme adanci in mentalitatea unor oameni, iar abandonarea unui copil este considerata un act social si amoral. Este mai usor sa schimbam legea, decat moravurile”, a mai spus Francois De Combret.

Contra asistentilor maternali

Desi a recunoscut ca de la caderea regimului comunist, Romania a facut progrese remarcabile, De Combret a criticat asistenta maternala din Romania, in opinia sa, acest sistem fiind mai nociv decat institutionalizarea. “De la Moratoriu, a aparut un nou fenomen, al asistentilor maternali, in prezent fiind aproximativ 20.000 si numarul lor creste in continuare, ceea ce este o situatie ingrijoratoare. Plasarea in asistenta este foarte costisitoare, un asistent maternal costand aproximativ 200 de euro pe luna, deci se ajunge la costuri de 4 milioane de euro pe luna pentru toti asistentii maternali. Nu ar fi mai usor sa ajutam familiile de origine, decat sa platim asistenti maternali?”, a subliniat De Combret.

El a mai sustinut ca directiile de asistenta sociala nu dispun de personal suficient care sa supravegheze activitatea asistentelor maternale, ca sa se asigure ca sunt bine tratati copiii.

Potrivit presedintelui SERA, plasamentul nici nu ofera stabilitatea unei familii, pentru ca primirea in aceasta familie este provizorie, iar copilul nu-si poate forma radacini. De asemenea, pentru ca asistenta maternala primeste bani pentru a ingriji un copil, aceasta nu este capabila sa-i ofere dragoste. “Trebuie sa le garantam copiilor dreptul de a avea o familie. Prima garantie, si cea mai fireasca, este sa ajutam familiile aflate in dificultate. Numarul de abandonuri din Romania dovedeste faptul ca acest lucru nu se intampla astazi. Directorii de la DGASPC (Directiile Generale de Asistenta Sociala si Protectia Copilului – n.r.) se plang ca nu au buget social, care i-ar ajuta sa faca fata situatiilor de criza si i-ar ajuta sa evite abandonarea copiilor”, a mai precizat Francois De Combret. In aceste conditii, singura solutie alternativa pentru a sustine dreptul copiilor la o familie, in opinia lui De Combret, este adoptia. (G.D.)

Combret, taticul EADS si director Renault

Francois de Combret (foto sus) este unul dintre cei mai puternici oameni de afaceri cu legaturi in lumea politica din Franta. In prezent este membru al consiliului de administratie pentru urmatoarele firme: Renault, Safran si Bouygues Telecom.

In varsta de 64 de ani, Francois de Combret a absolvit Scoala Nationala de Studii Administrative de la Paris si si-a inceput cariera lucrand la Serviciul de Audit de Stat al Frantei. Intre 1971 si 1974 a fost consilierul pe probleme economice si industriale al lui Valery Giscard d’Estaing (perioada in care acesta din urma a fost ministru de Finante al Frantei). Combret l-a urmat pe d’Estaing la Palatul Elysee dupa ce acesta din urma a devenit presedinte al Frantei, ocupand postul de consilier prezidential pe probleme economice intre 1974 si 1978. In perioada 1978-1981, Francois de Combret a fost seful Administratiei prezidentiale franceze. Intre 1982 si 1005 Francois de Combret a fost directorul Bancii Lazard, reprezentanta de la Paris. Din aceasta pozitie de Combret a condus mai multe privatizari franceze de anvergura, cum ar fi Renault, France Telecom. Francois de Combret a fost artizanul fuzionarii firmei franceze Aerospatiale cu Matra si Daimler Aerospace, in urma careia a rezultat concernul EADS, concern care a castigat in Romania licitatia controversata pentru securizarea frontierelor. De Combret a mai fost implicat si in fuziunea Agem cu Snecma sub denumirea Safran. Incepand din 1990 Francois de Combret conduce fundatia SERA (Solidarite Enfants Roumains Abandonnes). (G.D.)

Baby-bazar Romania

Traficul de copii prin intermediul adoptiilor internationale si conditiile mizere in care traiau copii institutionalizati au fost, dupa 1989, subiecte “fierbinti” in mass-media din Romania, din tarile europene si mai apoi la nivelul dezbaterilor din Comisia Europeana. Dupa 1989 au aparut, ca ciupercile dupa ploaie, zeci de fundatii, cu obiect de activitate: ADOPTIA. Numai in perioada 1997-2000 au fost 9150 de adoptii internationale. In spatele grijii fata de orfani si copiii abandonati se derulau, in multe cazuri, un trafic, in toata regula, de carne vie. Pretul unui copil varia de la 10 la 50 de mii de dolari, in functie de mediul din care provenea “marfa”. Dupa multe interventii din partea Uniunii Europene Guvernul roman a interzis, in 2001, adoptiile internationale. Insa, pana la aparitia noii legi privind adoptiile internationale, in 2004, Guvernul Nastase a incalcat moratoriul si a mai dat copii spre adoptie internationala. Dupa multe “chinuri” a aparut legea 273/2004 privind regimul adoptiilor copiilor din Romania, care a intrat in vigoare la data de 1 ianuarie 2005. Prin aceasta lege se interzic adoptiile internationale, cu exceptia celor in favoarea bunicilor.

Copii de vis la taraba

In 1997, legea adoptiilor internationale din Romania a fost schimbata conform prevederilor Conventiei de la Haga, adoptiile de copii romani fiind permise doar tarilor semnatare ale acestei conventii. Mentionam ca, la acea vreme, in presa internationala se afirma ca tarile din fostul bloc comunist erau vazute de occidentali ca un imens “baby-bazar” de unde doritorii isi pot alege copilul visurilor lor. Astfel, se afirma ca Romania si Ungaria sunt printre cele mai populare locuri pentru occidentalii care vor sa adopte copii, subliniind ca pe Internet, pentru Romania, apar mai mult de 12 agentii pentru adoptii care aratau fotografiile si biografiile copiilor “disponibili”. Pentru a controla fenomenul, Guvernul Romaniei a creat Comitetul Roman pentru Adoptii (CRA). Acest organism avea in fiecare judet cate o Comisie pentru Protectia Copilului, care se ocupa direct de fiecare caz de adoptie. Din nefericire, aceste Comisii judetene, impreuna cu fundatiile care aveau ca obiect de activitate adoptiile, au format un sistem atins de coruptie.

Ce spunea legea in ’98

In 1998 era promulgata o lege a adoptiilor, care la acea vreme era in concordanta cu recomandarile Adunarii Parlamentare a Consiliului Europei. Potrivit acelei legi Comisia pentru Protectia Copilului putea incredinta un copil in vederea adoptiei si unei persoane sau familii care nu avea cetatenia romana, dar care avea resedinta pe teritoriul Romaniei de cel putin sase luni si indeplinea conditiile cerute de legea romana si ale legislatiei tarii al carui cetatean era adoptatorul. Conform legii, era interzisa adoptia copiilor care nu se aflau in evidenta Comitetului Roman pentru Adoptii, iar incuviintarea adoptiei era de competenta organelor judecatoresti.

Mafia “adoptiilor internationale”

Insa, au fost cazuri in care, cu concursul instantelor de judecata, copiii institutionalizati erau dati spre adoptie fara macar sa fie intrebati daca sunt de acord cu noii “parinti”. Mai mult procesele in care se dadeau hotararile judecatoresti care incuviintau adoptia erau tinute secrete. Amintim cazul adoptiilor a cinci copii institutionalizati din “Poiana Soarelui”. Procesele civile aflate pe rolul Tribunalului Brasov, prin care s-a decis incredintarea spre adoptie a celor cinci copii, au fost judecate pe sest, fara instiintarea Comitetului Roman pentru Adoptii (care reprezenta statul roman si interesele orfanilor si copiilor abandonati). In aceste conditii, Comitetul Roman pentru Adoptii (CRA) nu a putut sa formuleze recurs in termenul legal de 15 zile, iar hotararile judecatoresti au ramas definitive.

Au fost chiar intermedieri de adoptii ilegale derulate chiar de avocati romani. Astfel, in noiembrie 1998, avocata Viorica Zaharia, din cadrul Baroului Buzau, a fost retinuta de politie pentru ca intre 1995-1998 a determinat parintii a 13 copii sa consimta adoptarea acestora de catre cetateni straini (majoritatea din SUA), promitandu-le bani si bunuri materiale. Ea era reprezentanta unei fundatii acreditata pe langa Comitetul Roman de Adoptii.

De asemenea, au mai fost directori ai directiilor pentru protectia copilului care cereau mita pentru eliberarea avizelor favorabile si facilitarea adoptiei unor copii. Au fost si cazuri in care cadre medicale din maternitati facilitau infierea unor copii abandonati fara ca parintii naturali sa-si dea acceptul.

In 1999, Directia Generala pentru Protectia Drepturilor Copilului Braila “vindea” copii unor familii din SUA, Grecia, Italia si Germania pentru sume curpinse intre 100 si 300 de milioane de lei. Banii erau dati de fundatiile cu care Directia incheiase contracte de parteneriat. “Noi ne vindem copiii legal”, declara directorul Leaganului de Copii Braila. Toate adoptiile erau facute cu acordul Comitetului Roman de Adoptii, avand bineinteles si avizul Comisiei pentru Protectia Copilului Braila.

Uniunea Europeana intervine

Incepand cu anul 2000 au inceput sa apara presiuni din partea Uniunii Europene pentru ca Romania sa puna capat comertului de copii, Mugur Isarescu, la acea vreme primul-ministru al Romaniei, era invitat de baroneasa Emma Nicholson de Winterbourne, prim-vicepresedinte al Comisiei de Afaceri Externe a Parlamentului European sa discute stadiul programelor privind copiii institutionalizati. Referitor la adoptiile internationale, Nicholson preciza ca acestea trebuie facute atunci cand reprezinta cea mai buna solutie pentru copiii in cauza, potrivit conventiilor privind drepturile copilului. In luna mai 2001, a aparut amenintarea ca UE ar putea sa “rupa” negocierile pentru aderare. Baroneasa Emma Nicholson afirma ca oficialii romani sunt implicati in adoptii internationale de copii. Aceste acuzatii erau cuprinse intr-un raport de politica externa a Parlamentului European. In februarie 2001, baroneasa Emma Nicholson, raportor al Parlamentului European pentru integrarea Romaniei in Uniunea Europeana, declara, la Bucuresti, ca asteapta ca Parlamentul Romaniei sa adopte o declaratie privitoare la protejarea copiilor. Ea arata ca acesta ar fi un semn ca Romania doreste rezolvarea rapida a problemei copiilor institutionalizati, sugerand totodata Parlamentului sa ceara Guvernului blocarea temporara a adoptiilor internationale. In luna mai a aceluiasi an, raportorul european pentru Romania readuce in discutie problema copiilor institutionalizati, in contextul negocierilor de aderare. Emma Nicholson afirma, intr-un interviu, ca abordarea deficitara privind protectia copilului ar putea sa impiedice Romania sa deschida in mod corespunzator si sa incheie capitolul referitor la justitie si afaceri interne, incetinind ori chiar blocand negocierile pana la solutionarea problemei.


Comitetul Roman pentru Adoptii (CRA) a revocat sistemul de punctare in baza carora copiii adoptabili erau atribuiti fundatiilor, astfel ca adoptiile internationale au devenit imposibil de finalizat pana la aparitia unor noi reglementari in domeniu. In iunie, a fost suspendata si primirea unor noi cereri de adoptie internationala, fiind instituit un moratoriu in acest sens.

Nu au intarziat sa apara interventii din partea unor oficiali europeni pentru ca cetatenii din tarile lor sa poata continua sa adopte copii din Romania.

In iulie 2001, premierul francez Lionel Jospin a profitat de vizita sa in Romania pentru a pleda direct pe langa Guvernul roman in favoarea familiilor franceze confruntate cu suspendarea adoptiilor internationale. Cu 1020 de copii romani adoptati in perioada 1997-2000, dintr-un total de 9150 de adoptii internationale, Franta figura – alaturi de Statele Unite, Italia si Spania – printre primele tari de destinatie ale orfanilor din Romania.

Moratoriul incalcat

In octombrie acelasi an, Comisia Europeana cerea Guvernului Romaniei sa elaboreze cat mai repede Legea privind adoptiile internationale. O luna mai tarziu, Adrian Nastase si premierul spaniol Jose Maria Aznar au discutat, la Palatul Victoria, situatia familiilor din Spania care intentioneaza sa adopte copii institutionalizati din Romania, dar ale caror dosare de adoptie nu au fost inca finalizate.

In decembrie 2001, a fost gasita o solutie pentru deblocarea anumitor dosare de adoptie internationala, astfel de exceptii fiind reglementate intr-o ordonanta de urgenta. Primele 49 de dosare de adoptie au fost deblocate, copiii plecand spre Statele Unite. In vara lui 2002, au fost deblocate alte 81 de dosare, vizand copii adoptati de familii de straini din Grecia, Italia, Spania, Germania, Statele Unite, Italia, Belgia, Franta sau de cetateni romani stabiliti in una din tarile mentionate.

In 2003, premierul italian Silvio Berlusconi a cerut, intr-o scrisoare adresata lui Adrian Nastase, “ridicarea rapida a moratoriului”, in timp ce o delegatie parlamentara italiana a venit la Bucuresti pentru a cere autoritatilor adoptarea “de urgenta” a 100 de copii de catre familii italiene. Astfel, in pofida moratoriului decis de Bucuresti in iunie 2001, Guvernul Nastase a aprobat adoptia unui numar de 105 copii in Italia. Pentru aceasta Guvernul roman a avut de dat multe explicatii. “Am luat aceasta decizie dupa ce am analizat cu atentie fiecare caz. Este vorba despre situatii exceptionale, pe care le-am aprobat conform unei proceduri speciale si ar fi o eroare sa vorbim despre o incalcare a embargoului asupra adoptiilor de copii de catre cetateni straini”, explica Gabriela Coman sefa Autoritatii pentru Protectia Copilului. “Nu as putea vorbi despre presiuni din partea Italiei” in privinta acestor adoptii, a adaugat Gabriela Coman. (Corina SCARLAT)

Presiunile americane

Autoritatile de la Washington nu vor uita de promisiunile facute de Romania in ceea ce priveste adoptarea unor copii romani de catre familii americane, a declarat in luna ianuarie a acestui an ambasadorul SUA la Bucuresti, Nicholas F Taubman. “Guvernul american considera ca au fost facute cateva promisiuni in ceea ce priveste adoptarea unor copii de catre familii americane, iar aceasta promisiune va fi luata in considerare ca atare”, a afirmat diplomatul american in cadrul unei conferinte sustinute la Cluj-Napoca, amintind ca Parlamentul European a adoptat o rezolutie in favoarea adoptiilor internationale, aplicabila mai ales in cazul dosarelor de adoptie blocate in urma Moratoriului impus in 2001. Desi nu este intru totul de acord cu prevederile legislatiei romane referitoare la adoptii, Guvernul american nu poate face altceva decat sa le respecte, a adaugat ambasadorul Taubman. “Nu suntem de acord, in principiu, cu legea care a intrat in vigoare la 1 ianuarie 2005, dar respectam faptul ca aceasta este o lege a Guvernului Romaniei”, a precizat oficialul american. (D.E.)

Studiul Bainham

Publicatia britanica academica “Legea Familiei si a copilului” a publicat in anul 2003 un amplu studiu dedicat problemei adoptiilor internationale din Romania, studiu semnat de profesorul Andrew Bainham, asociat al Christ’s College si lector de legislatie a familiei la Universitatea Cambridge. Profesorul Bainham analizeaza prevederile legale internationale care se refera la adoptiile internationale si la care Romania este parte semnatara, respectiv Conventia ONU privind drepturile copilului (UNCRC), Conventia de la Haga pentru protectia copiilor si cooperarea in privinta adoptiilor internationale (Conventia de la Haga) si Conventia Europeana asupra copiilor si jurisprudenta Curtii Europene (Conventia Europeana).

“Licitatie”, “piata”,”pret”

In urma compararii acestor prevederi legale si a situatiei din Romania profesorul Bainham trage urmatoarea concluzie: “Romania nu are nici o obligatie internationala pentru a relua adoptiile internationale si exista mai multe prevederi in conventiile internationale care cer Romaniei sa nu faca asa ceva”.

Profesorul Bainham citeaza un raport din 2001, alcatuit de Agentia Statelor Unite pentru Dezvoltare Internationala (USAID), care afirma: “Aproape fiecare discutie pe care am avut-o despre adoptii in Romania a inclus folosirea unor termeni comerciali, cum ar fi <<licitatie>>, <<piata>> si <<pret>>. Frecvent, cei cu care am vorbit s-au scuzat pentru folosirea acestor termeni nepotriviti insa au explicat ca acestia descriu cel mai bine situatia. Acest fenomen releva cat de profund este afectat sistemul adoptiilor internationale din Romania de influenta banilor si poate ajuta la explicarea ingrijorarilor referitoare la schimbarea copiilor pe bani”.

Conventia de la Haga vs. Conventia ONU

Conventia de la Haga privitoare la adoptiile internationale are ca sursa principala de inspiratie Conventia ONU privind drepturile copilului (UNCRC) care statueaza ca interesul copilului este cel mai important aspect. Conventia de la Haga mai arata ca adoptia internationala “poate fi luata in considerare ca o alternativa doar in cazul in care copilul nu poate fi plasat intr-un centru de ingrijire sau intr-o familie adoptiva sau nu poate fi ingrijit intr-un mod adecvat in tara sa de origine”. Profesorul Bainham arata ca in Romania “s-a recurs la adoptii internationale in mod automat si unde copilul a fost declarat in mod gresit ca fiind abandonat, iar Conventia de la Haga asigura o protectie foarte slaba pentru copii si familiile implicate”. Profesorul Bainham afirma ca “in mod categoric nu exista nici un fel de prevedere in Conventia de la Haga care sa oblige Romania sa ofere vreun copil pentru adoptie internationala”.

UNCRC este de asemenea prezentata in articolul profesorului Bainham. UNCRC statueaza dreptul copilului de a fi ingrijit de parintii sai biologici si sa isi “pastreze identitatea sa, inclusiv nationalitatea, numele si relatiile de familie”. De asemenea UNCRC releva dreptul copilului de a “pastra contactul personal si direct cu parintii sai in mod regulat, cu exceptia faptului cand asa ceva ar fi impotriva interesului sau”. Profesorul Bainham argumenteaza ca “este clar ca adoptiile internationale ameninta in mod grav pastrarea identitatii copilului datorita problemei mentinerii contactului”.

Argumentul “in interesul copilului”

Profesorul Bainham arata in concluziile articolului sau ca exista contraargumentul conform caruia este in interesul copilului sa se afle intr-un mediu familial, chiar si international, decat sa se afle intr-o institutie de ingrijire. Profesorul Bainham apreciaza ca “aceasta afirmatie este una atractiva, insa se bazeaza pe o profunda ignorare a conditiilor din Romania si a faptului ca multi dintre copii care ar putea beneficia de ingrijirea unei familii nu ar fi institutionalizati daca nu ar exista o piata a adoptiilor”. Bainham arata ca “exista o relatie clara intre notiunea artificiala si distorsionata a abandonului care a fost in vigoare in Romania si practica adoptiilor internationale. Cu alte cuvinte copiii sunt abandonati tocmai pentru adoptii internationale”.

Concluzia finala a articolului citat este simpla: “Ultimul lucru de care are nevoie Romania in prezent este amenintarea ca, din motive politice, ar fi mai bine sa liberalizeze din nou piata adoptiilor internationale”. (G.D.)

Cazul Peckenpaugh

Prada pentru un pedofil american

La inceputul acestui an cetateanul american William Delos Peckenpaugh (foto) a fost condamnat de tribunalul din Salem, Oregon, la 30 de ani de inchisoare pentru abuzuri sexuale savarsite asupra unui copil pe care l-a adoptat din Romania. Peckenpaugh, in varsta de 38 de ani, a fost judecat pentru 33 de capete de acuzare, dintre care trei s-au referit la abuzuri sexuale si alte noua la sodomie. Procurorul districtual Darin Tweedt a declarat presei americane ca abuzurile sexuale au inceput imediat dupa ce baietelul a fost adoptat din Romania in anul 2001. Procesul a fost declansat la sfarsitul anului trecut, dupa ce Peckenpaugh a returnat o camera de luat vederi unui magazin de produse electronice din orasul Wilsonville. Vanzatorii magazinului au gasit in respectiva camera de filmat o caseta cu imagini care prezentau abuzurile savarsite asupra minorului de origine romana, iar in urma acestei macabre descoperiri au anuntat politia.

Fals episcop catolic si nudist

Peckenpaugh s-a manifestat ca sustinator fervent al nudismului prin intermediul internetului, semnand sub diverse pseudonime o serie de articole publicate pe pagini electronice dedicate. Peckenpaugh a sustinut in aceste articole ca detine calitatea de episcop catolic. Totodata Peckenpaugh era membru activ al Societatii Naturiste Americane si al Asociatiei Americane pentru Recreere Nudista.

Condamnatul pentru pedofilie este autorul articolului “Atitudini societale si familiale fata de nuditate si efectele asupra dezvoltarii copilului”, un articol citat adesea de sustinatorii nudismului si in care se sustine ca expunerea la nuditate nu afecteaza dezvoltarea emotionala a copiilor.

Referinte excelente

Marcela Dumitras, directorul Directiei judetene Buzau pentru ocrotirea copilului, a precizat ca s-a aflat in fata uneia din cele mai favorabile referinte in ceea ce priveste cererea de adoptie inaintata de William D. Peckenpaugh. “Persoana care solicita adoptia lui Daniel, un copil de patru ani abandonat de parinti la Centrul de plasament nr. 6 din Ramnicu Sarat, era prezentata drept o persoana respectabila, pastor la biserica metodista din localitate, implicata in multe activitati la nivelul comunitatii. In timpul liber, acesta participa la activitati de voluntariat in folosul comunitatii si isi ajuta fratii si surorile sa-si creasca copiii”, a mai spus Marcela Dumitras. Autoritatile romanesti au sustinut ca primisera numai rapoarte pozitive din partea autoritatilor americane care chipurile monitorizau evolutia copilului. (D.E.)