Bodnariu Family and the permanent destruction of families

4 February 2016

Since weeks there have been demonstrations against the Norwegian child protection services ‪#‎stopbarnevernet, in support of the Budnariu family.

And it continues. Massive protest of Romanians are being organised all over the world. See the above picture taken in Brussels.

Sadly it rarely gets connected to the broader child rights policy issue.

The European Parliaments Petition Committee heard horror stories about what happens in the UK. Forced adoptions. Instead of temporary child protection, children are permanently taken from their families. Adoption as child care measure? Like in the United States, where children are also “freed” for adoption?

Member of the European Parliament Victor Bostinaru about forced adoptions, adoptions without consent:

The US has not ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and sees adoption as a child protection measure. That was not the European view, in 2004, when the European Commission was monitoring Romania’s child rights policies. And thus forced Romania to stop this practice. See report of the Independent Panel of Experts on Family Law.

But, the EU took a u-turn. And now promotes adoption, including intercountry adoption, as child protection.

The first results are there. Denmark, for example, has now legislated forced adoption. So does Bulgaria. Bulgaria now is one of the biggest exporter of children. Portugal now sends children to the Netherlands, Belgium, France.

The European adoption agencies have difficulties to get children from abroad. The intercountry adoption system has imploded. Some 70 % down over the last years.

They are all financially dying. Scandal after scandal about trafficking, abduction, corruption brought the system down. So, now the agencies are exploring new markets.

Euradopt, the European Umbrella organisation of adoption agencies, now invited speakers from the UK to their 2016 conference. To speak about adoption from foster care.

The migrant families in Norway and the UK are now getting support from their home countries and fellow country men. But that is not the case for families who lose their children to their national child protection services.

Bulgarian families are crying out loud that their children are put for adoption. Child rights workers complain that there is no support for families. Just take their children…

When Indian families of children that were taken by the Indian child protection and placed for intercountry adoption were protesting, there was no massive outcry.

Some of these children were even kidnapped and sold on to “orphanages.

India is now implementing the new gold standard: Integrated Child Protection System. Target: to increase adoptions with 500%.

The American Agency Holt International  Children’s Services estimates the costs of such adoptions between 30.000 and 50.000 dollar.

In the meantime, the European Parliament seems to have forgotten the crying parents, and is pushing for cross-border adoption rules and EU wide acceptance of domestic adoption decisions, to cater the LGTBI (because not all EU Member States accept adoptions by LGTBI couples).

The Bodnariu case is a terrible drama. And exemplary of what we will see anywhere in future. Children taking permanently away from their families. A disproportionate measure that should be an extreme measure. But not a “normal” measure of child protection.

Child protection should be about empowering families. Not destroying them.

It is high time to connect worldwide and stand up!