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  Romanian child
  In 1991 100,000 children were kept in Romanian orphanages
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  According to "Dan", whatever the rules and regulations were supposed to be there was always a way round - for money.

"The people in the orphanage, the director, even the medical personnel, the nurses, people in the law system, everyone who has the power to put his signature on a piece of paper can be corruptible."

But the word orphanage is a very misleading term in this context. "These people abandoned their children in the orphanages but it is not a real abandonment," Mirel Bran, a Romanian journalist, explained.

"Most of the parents came very often to see their children. Because they have not enough money at home they prefer to put these children in the orphanages where they can eat, they can wash, and they get a kind of an education."

The children were not orphans, they were just poor.

Emma Nicholson is a member of the European Parliament and its special rapporteur on Romania. "Thousands of children who left Romania at that time have vanished," she explained.

"There are no records so we don't know what happened, unless they were lucky enough to go to good, caring, loving families, who are proud of them."

Poverty was a problem for the Government as well as individual families. According to Emma Nicholson, intercountry adoptions brought in an estimated US$150 million a year.

Since then Romania has had several attempts at sorting out the problem. A moratorium on intercountry adoption came into place in 2001.

It proposed a strategy developed for fostering children within Romania, adopting locally and putting intercountry adoption at the end of a long list of alternatives.
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