One of my long-term goals is to see Romanian adoption laws changed on behalf of the abandoned children of Romania. After living in Brasov, Romania for over 12 years, I have seen enough suffering of children who want to be loved by a mother and a father. Every day matters to a child in institution. I am happy to share that my close friends are embarking on a mission to make a difference for the children of Romania. Please read below to follow their plan of action to help:
Letter to Romanian Network
There are more than 70,000 Romanian children in state care, of that only 1200-1400 are considered to be “adoptable.” In order to be considered “adoptable” the child’s biological parents must be deceased or indicate that they have no interest in a relationship with the child.
Due to complex adoption laws, this is not the only requirement. Any number of relatives as distant as siblings of grandparents can claim that child at any point. The sad reality is that less than 3% of those 70,000 children in state care are adopted. That equates to 700-900 Romanian children adopted annually.
Bogdan Panait, head of Romania’s Office for Adoptions has helped lead the charge with a new law that went into effect last April. This law aims to raise the number of children considered to be adoptable from 1200 to 2000. This is a step in the right direction. However, history teaches us that in order to enable true social change, the cause must be supported by society and driven by a group of passionate, like-minded individuals and organizations.
The goal is to do just that. Over the past 6 months we have been reaching out to gather like-minded individuals and organizations with a passion for orphans and a desire to find a loving family. The goal is to work hand-in-hand with the Romanian people to advocate for a more permanent solution to the issue of adoption in Romania. We have been diligent in networking with persons whom have an extensive knowledge on the subject, have or are currently working in Romania on this issue or are involved with similar organizations and have a positive, influential standing with the Romanian people.
The plan is to utilize different media streams to reach a more vast audience’s attention. We will solicit support through social media and the making of a documentary film that will illustrate the struggles and progress of this journey. By using media we hope to empower a generation of Romanians to stand-up for change. The intended result of this will be a constant pressure on decision-makers to enable change from within the government.
Jon Gibson and Matt Flanagan will be traveling to Romania in late May with an eclectic group of individuals passionate about these children. During the trip Jon and Matt will be soliciting the help and leadership of prominent Romanian figures as well as members of organizations that are already involved in this fight. The primary objective is not to push an agenda, but rather to learn more about this issue and the societal take is on it. This will allow for better informed decision-making and dependable partnerships.
In no way will this be an easy task, obstacles and hardships are expected during the journey to raise awareness on this issue. Jon Gibson and Matt Flanagan ask that anyone with a heart for these children that longs to see them in a loving family situation would reach out and lend whatever knowledge or expertise they have to offer. If we change nothing, nothing will change.
If you have interest in connecting with the team please visit: www.jongibsoncompany.com for contact information.
Sarah Vienna Berchtold
President of Firm Foundations Romania