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Romania's policy of emptying its orphanages raises controversy

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7529.1360 (Published 08 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1360
  1. Grainger Laffan
  1. Bucharest

    Romania claims to have removed one of the main obstacles to its entry to the European Union in 2007 after closing down a large number of its huge children's homes without resorting to overseas adoptions.

    Its policy of returning abandoned youngsters to their natural families has meant that dozens of the state run institutions have closed their doors, and Romania is pledging to continue the programme, despite pressure from countries such as Israel and the United States that wanted overseas adoptions to be restarted.

    The country's problems with large numbers of unwanted children began when the then dictator Nicolae Ceauçescu decided to increase the country's population. He banned sex education, contraception, and abortion and offered financial incentives to parents to produce large …

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