05BUCHAREST1062 / 2005-04-29 12:47:00
Embassy Bucharest
                C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 001062 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/29/2015 
REF: STATE 73821 
1. (C) Begin Summary: Recent conversations with the 
President,s domestic affairs advisor and the State Secretary 
for Adoption Affairs reveal substantial philosophical 
opposition to international adoption and even concern about 
alleged irregularities in the registration of such cases. 
This is despite general acknowledgment of the pledge made by 
President Basescu in the White House to find a solution to 
the problem of so-called &pipeline cases.8  Romania is 
currently engaged in a &protection plan8 that entails the 
case review of every child abandoned in Romania, with the 
expressed intent of reuniting such children with their birth 
parents if possible, or with other Romanian families. Even if 
not specifically targeting U.S. adoptive families, the 
on-going program may drastically reduce the total number of 
pipeline cases.  End Summary. 
2. (C) Charge called upon Presidential Domestic Affairs 
Advisor Claudiu Saftoiu on April 23rd and raised reftel 
points concerning pending international adoption cases. 
Saftoiu readily acknowledged the commitment made by President 
Basescu during his recent White House visit to seek 
resolution of the so-called &pipeline cases8 and said he 
will attempt to &work8 this category of adoptions.  Charge 
also warned that formal signature of Romania,s scheduled 
entry into the EU on April 25 would mark the beginning of a 
much more active campaign on our part to secure changes in 
Romanian adoption law and practices.  In a later conversation 
that day, Saftoiu reported that he had briefed the President 
on our demarche. 
3. (C) Unfortunately, Saftoiu would not directly reply to 
Charge's questions about implementation of the Child 
Welfare/Adoption Law.  Charge stressed that implementation 
should not target prospective international adoption cases as 
the government investigated whether birth parents or extended 
families were now in a situation to take back children from 
institutional care.  Saftoiu responded that he had just been 
briefed by Theodora Berti, State Secretary of the Romanian 
Office for Adoption, who told him that many of the 
international pipeline cases had been registered after the 
2001 moratorium on international adoptions went into effect 
were regarded as &corrupt8.  Charge urged Saftoiu to seek 
more concrete information on ostensible corruption so that we 
might find a way forward without that damaging charge hanging 
over the process. 
4. (U) On April 26, the Consul General (CG) called on Berti 
to inquire how the GOR planned to proceed on the adoption 
question following the April 25 signing of the EU agreement, 
and to follow up Charge,s conversation with Saftoiu. 
5. (U) Berti stated that she had no evidence that corruption 
per se was involved in the registration of any adoption 
request by U.S. citizens.  But she did aver that unspecified 
irregularities may have been in play.  Regarding the specific 
&targeting8 of U.S. adoptive parents, she claimed that the 
ROA is creating a &protection plan8 for every abandoned 
child in Romania, not only for those matched with U.S. 
families.  That process will be completed in July, and will 
include scrutiny for any evidence of corruption.  After July, 
the ROA will consider whether to recommend the GOR create an 
international commission to assess "exceptional8 cases for 
potential international adoption.  Berti doubts that such a 
commission would be needed, believing that there are domestic 
solutions ) family reunification or domestic adoption ) for 
all the children. 
6. (U) Other foreign embassies have withdrawn many cases 
pending international adoption since January 1, Berti said, 
and have followed up with lists of cases of exceptional 
humanitarian concern.  CG declined to provide such a list of 
U.S. cases, as our position is that child welfare experts 
should determine the best interests of each child in a legal, 
transparent process. 
7. (SBU) Asked whether there was any hope that cases 
registered during the moratorium could ever be processed for 
international adoption, Berti responded that, at present, 
Romanian law and the philosophy the GOR has adopted preclude 
international adoption except by biological grandparents. 
The ROA will try to resolve cases that were registered during 
the moratorium if current law allows, for example by 
recommending approval of Romanian residency for foreigners 
seeking both to become residents and adopt Romanian children. 
 (Note: This same option was raised by Saftoiu with the 
Charge, but the latter dismissed it as impractical and 
missing the point.  End Note.) 
8. (SBU) COMMENT:  Despite President Basescu's commitment for 
positive action on the adoption issues, we see no movement by 
the GOR towards processing the pending international adoption 
cases to conclusion.  Rather, the ROA has more explicitly 
embraced opposition to international adoption, in part out of 
philosophical conviction and, in part, owing to an admitted 
fear of EU criticism.  Assistant Secretary Maura Harty,s 
upcoming May 10-11 visit to Bucharest will be an important 
opportunity to emphasize to the GOR leadership the importance 
the USG places on finding a legal, transparent method for 
processing to conclusion international adoption cases 
registered before the ban. 

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