Country Update: Romania



Romania is currently OPEN to intercountry adoptions (with restrictions).



The terrible state of Romania’s orphans hit the international scene in 1989, after communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was executed. Ceausescu’s policies over the previous decades had caused a truly horrific state of affairs for Romanian children. His laws banning birth-control, displacing entire populations, and pursuing industrial growth led simultaneously to extreme poverty, the breakup of traditional family structures, and a sharp increase in child abandonment. By 1990, there were roughly 170,000 children living in over 700 institutions. After his death, the deplorable conditions of these institutions were exposed, and the world immediately responded, leading to the international adoption of thousands of Romanian orphans.


The new government of Romania responded by becoming a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, and ratifying the Hague Adoption Convention in 1994. Over the next decade, Romania continued to implement new laws and policies regarding these children. In 1993, it created the National Committee for Child Protection; in 1997, the Department of Child Protection; and in 1999, it reorganized and placed all child welfare issues under the authority of the National Agency for the Protection of Children’s Rights (NAPCR).


Despite these measures, the rate of child abandonment did not decrease, and even with the steady flow of international adoptions, the number of institutionalized children remained constant. Allegations of corruption, fraud, child trafficking and illegal adoptions were rampant, and under pressure from the European Union (whom Romania aspired to join in 2007), a moratorium was placed on all international adoptions in 2001 until a new framework for Romania’s child welfare system was implemented. Of great concern to the international community were the many pending adoptions, or “pipeline” cases, that were affected by the suspension. In response to these concerns, an Emergency Ordinance was issued to allow extraordinary cases to be finalized, but after further allegations of fraud and corruption, the ordinance was repealed.


On June 21, 2004, Law 272 was signed into law, which effectively banned all intercountry adoptions – with only the exception of the biological grandparents of Romania orphans. Despite international pressure to the contrary, Romania has retained the ban, and remains solely focused on domestic solutions.


U.S Department of State Alerts & Notices

June 28, 2012 - Notice: Agency Authorization Required by Romanian Law

April 10, 2012 - Notice: Romania New Adoption Law in Effect



All of the information listed below is from the following source:

Romania Web Page, U.S. State Department, Office of Children's Issues


Number of Adoptions to the U.S.

Fiscal Year Number
FY 2013 0
FY 2012 0
FY 2011 0
FY 2010 0
FY 2009 5
FY 2008 2
FY 2007 3
FY 2005 2
FY 2004 57
FY 2003 200
FY 2002 169

Hague Country: Yes


Central Authority: Romanian Office for Adoptions