One mother I know—a Christian woman and a personal friend—so treasures the gift of life that she has begun the process of adopting an orphaned little girl from Romania, a child with cerebral palsy many others would have chosen to ignore. After major surgery and countless physical therapy sessions in the United States, this little girl now walks with a walker. But equally as stunning as the physical strides she has taken are the emotional strides. It is no small miracle for her to begin to trust and rest in the love of a Christian home she now enjoys here.
But sadly this little girl is caught in a complicated web of international politics, one that, barring some kind of miracle, will mean that she will be returned in just over a year to a Romanian orphanage, despite the longing heart of her would-be adoptive parents. You see, in 2004, Romania issued a ban on all international adoptions. When that ban took effect, more than one thousand children were already in the process of being adopted by foreign families, including two hundred in the United States. Some of these children have already met and bonded with their would-be adoptive parents.
Today there are an estimated 80,000 children in Romania who lack parental care. Through heroes like Prison Fellowship Romania's Constantin Asavoaie and Romania Christian Enterprises, some of these children are being cared for and adopted by loving Romanian Christians. But despite these noble efforts, as Congressman Jeb Bradley (R-N.H.) states, "It is statistically impossible for all these children to [be] placed" in Romania.
At the root of the foreign adoption debacle lies the dangerous counsel of Baroness Emma Nicholson, a member of the European Parliament from England, who was appointed Romania's rapporteur or "coach" to put Romania on track to become a member of the European Union. The baroness pressured the Romanian government to declare the adoption ban, making baseless accusations that international adoptions spawned corruption and child-trafficking and insisting that anything short of a total ban would prevent Romania's entrance into the European Union. According to Congressmen Chris Smith (R-N.J.), "Lady Nicholson has no facts to support her allegations . . . and indeed her allegations have been refuted by UNICEF."