Orphans return. Officials cringe.

Update: ABC’s “Good Morning America” ran a story today with video taken during MDRI’s visits. The story–with the MDRI footage included–is here. “I don’t blame the staff, I blame the authorities,” the MDRI official tells ABC.
It’s about time Romania’s orphans returned on the international media scene.

Today, The New York Times printed a story about a report issued by the DC-based nonprofit, Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI) on the state of Romania’s abandoned children–a well-known and somewhat deserved stereotype. “[T]housands of children in government-run institutions are still living in conditions that are little changed from a decade ago,” writes the Times, summarizing the MDRI investigation.

Romanian officials said this is part of a smear campaign to derail Romania from joining the European Union in January 2007. They also say the data in the report is old. MDRI visited hospitals in Braila and Timisoara over the course of the last year with the latter visit occuring in February 2006.

I don’t believe there’s an anti-Romania conspiracy (a conspiracy also at fault for having Steaua face Rapid in the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup).

After all, if the children are doing so much better and the hospitals are rising to European standards, why the hell does the President of Romania go to Austria to be operated on for a herniated disc?!?

The full MDRI report is available here.

6 Responses to “Orphans return. Officials cringe.”

  1. Maybe I should get a Romania baby and do my part.

  2. I meant Romanian. Geez.

  3. You can’t Sara, we’ve banned international adoptions in late 2004, which, considering the way this country was run, was one of the soundest law out there. 🙂 There are a few hundred pipeline adoption cases, a lot of good American families, but there’s also a lot of abuse being prevented (such as giving away siblings to different families from different countries, giving a 4-year old girl who already had a Romanian foster mother who wanted to adopt her to a 64 year old Spanish man who had been trying to adopt in his country for years, etc.)

    As for Basescu, I’m still confused. What the hell happened that would make him abort the Bucharest surgery plan?!… It’s like Nastase all over again in, when was it, 2003?

  4. My views on international adoptions are murky, but they are certainly not when it comes to Basescu and his surgery.

    Let me quote someone who knows what they are talking about when it comes to herniated discs: “The great professional geniuses of Bucharest neurosurgery gathered around the president, made up crap and advised him to go, where they should have done something I do 150-200 times and a year and our staff does 800 times a year. And our results meet standards.” And this is because no matter how many tools they might have at their disposal and how much money they get for doing this work, when it comes to doing good work, they don’t have the courage.

    Sometimes there is a place for defending your country — especially because of certain shortcomings. This is one of them. The President and his advisors should, in my humble opinion, pack up and govern Austria if they enjoy its care so much.

  5. I am assigning this issue to my Romanian 12th graders as their final project. To see how I phrase the assignment, visit http://www.mrmattms.com/12A.htm – any suggestions would be helpful.

  6. I lived in Romania from 99-2004 and never really believed that the country could pull itself together in time for the EU membership. They may have been able to get the roads in shape but the orphanages and hospitals were much more difficult challenges.

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