Hi, I’m Mariela. I worked on the reform of child protection system in Romania between 1999-2009 in different policy roles. In that context, I came across intercountry adoption and how it operated, its practice and the politics around it.
This was at the time when Romania introduced regulations to replace international adoption with foster care, domestic adoption or small group homes. Some media and interest groups held that this was in the detriment of the children in institutions and Romania. In 2012, I moved to Oxford, UK and researched that policy and its impact on children. As a result, I published an article, a blog and a book ‘Voices from the Silent Cradles’ on this topic.
The book reflects the experiences of 40 young people, 10 of which were adopted internationally (in the US, England, Ireland, Italy) and 30 who were raised in Romania (in institutions, foster care or domestic adoption). This was my attempt to understand care from the perspective of those who went through it and what matters most for them.
I hope those in policy and practice will help professionals improve care for children who cannot be raised by their parents and reduce as much as possible the trauma induced by separation.