Raffarin proposes international commission to evaluate Romanian adoptions

18th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

BUCHAREST, Oct 18 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean Pierre Raffarin suggested Monday the setting up of an international body to vet adoptions of Romanian babies by French couples.

BUCHAREST, Oct 18 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean Pierre Raffarin suggested Monday the setting up of an international body to vet adoptions of Romanian babies by French couples.

"I proposed to Mr (Romanian Prime Minister Adrian) Nastase the creation of an international commission under the uncontested authority of a credible organisation of the UNICEF type which could examine the different cases and make it possible to treat particularly painful situations," he told reporters in Bucharest.

Romania opened the floodgates on adoptions after the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu's Communist regime in 1989, with some 30,000 Romanian children adopted by Western couples since then.

Bucharest placed a moratorium on international adoptions four years ago.

In June the Romanian parliament passed a highly restrictive new adoption law, under pressure from the European parliament which is concerned about abuse of adoption procedures by child-traffickers.

It limits foreign adoptions to expatriate grandparents.

Nastase told the same news conference that he backed the idea of a commission.

"Some cases were settled a few months ago, there are still some delicate situations and it is important to resolve in a humanitarian way the situation of these families.

"So I have accepted Mr Raffarin's idea to set up machinery to evaluate particular situations in cooperation with the European Union."

The commission would be set up "in the coming weeks" so Romanian children could be reunited with their French families by the end of the year, Raffarin's staff said.

About 30 cases, said to be the "most advanced" are in abeyance, involving French couples who have had protracted contacts with their planned adoptees.

The EU has welcomed the new Romanian adoption law and encouraged Bucharest to apply it strictly, to conform to international legislation. But the United Sates has called for it to be modified, calling it a "tragedy" for abandoned children on the grounds that there are not enough Romanian couples willing or able to adopt.

Several associations of parents who have already adopted Romanian children have called on Bucharest to review the new law which, they say, deprives children of the right to family life.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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