U.S. congressman to seek flexibility in adopting Romanian children

The adoption of children by people in other countries, now banned in Romania at the request of European Union lawmakers, is an issue that should be judged case by case, a visiting U.S. congressman said Tuesday. Congressman Robert Wexler, from the state of Florida, said he will press the case for flexibility in permitting Romanian children to be adopted abroad, particularly in the case of Florida residents Richard and Karen Springer, who adopted a Romanian girl seven years ago and have been fighting to adopt her two younger twin sisters.

There are about 1,000 adoption cases that had been under way in Romania when the country, under pressure from the European Union, imposed a moratorium in 2001 and legislation in 2004 banning inter-country adoption. About 200 cases involved would-be adopters in the United States. The European Union, which Romania hopes to join in 2007, had accused Romanian authorities of tolerating corruption in the adoption system and asked it to ban inter-country adoptions.

The United States has said inter-country adoption should be allowed on a case-by-case basis. The European Parliament has also urged Romania to allow inter-country adoptions under special circumstances. "What is most important is for the child to be placed in a loving home. Inter-country adoption is one of the tools available to childcare givers ... which should be considered on a case by case," Wexler told The Associated Press. Wexler added that: "a blanket prohibition would not seem to be what is in the best interest of the child." The children's' Romanian father flew to Florida from Italy to testify that he wanted the siblings adopted, something their mother had already agreed. "It is a story as compelling as can possibly be," Wexler said. "This is not about the European Parliament. These three little girls should hopefully be reunited," he said, reports the AP. N.U.

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