Over 700 Romanian children have been adopted so far in 2012, while some 1,200 families have been cleared for adoption in the country, officials have announced.Romania eased adoption regulations in April, following adoption of a new law aimed at encouraging more adoptions.
The goal is to slash the number of children kept in the country’s scandal-ridden orphanages and close these institutions for good over the next ten years.
“We are hoping to double the number of adopted children in a year, as the new law allows them to leave the state protection system much earlier,” Bogdan Panait, president of the Romanian Office for Adoptions, ORA, said in April 2012.
ORA recently issued demographic statistics for children adopted this year. Over half the adopted children are Romanian, 25 per cent have no declared ethnicity, and 19 per cent are of another ethnicity.
Forty per cent of adoptive families chose to take in a child with health or developmental issues, while the age of the children ranges evenly from newborn to 12, and the numbers are split squarely between girls and boys. Children over 13 have the hardest time adapting to a new family, government officials said.
Most adoptions finalised this year took place in Bucharest, followed by Constanta and Prahova County, while most adoptive parents are between 36 and 40 years of age.
Adoptions of Romanian children was a sensitive point for the country in the early years after the end of Communism in 1989, when many took issue with foreign parents adopting children from Romania.
According to media reports, many adoptions in the early 1990s were carried out without following state regulations, and bribery was an issue.
While the rules are more tightly upheld today, and international adoptions are possible, they represent only a small portion of adoptions in the country, and the process remains slow and difficult.