Interviul cu STEFAN HELL

Stefan Hell, laureatul premiului Nobel pentru chimie din 2014, născut în România, care a emigrat la 15 ani în Germania, mi-a acordat un interviu în această toamnă, la București.
Interviul a fost difuzat în 13 Septembrie 2015, la „Interviurile Telejurnalului” și a avut cea mai bună audiență de la TVR din aceea zi, adică a bătut și emisiunea „Viața satului”, cam cea mai urmărită duminica la noi.🙂

Așadar, mulțumesc că ați fost alături de noi!

Colegul meu, Traian Badea, l-a pus postat pe contul youtube al TVR, așa că îl găsiți aici!

Super om, Stefan Hell! M-am simțit tare bine în preajma lui!🙂
Am mai spus, ar merita un Nobel și pentru modestie!foto nobelprize.org Stefan Hell

foto: nobelprize.org

Published in: on Septembrie 26, 2015 at 12:23 pm  Lasă un comentariu  

Regele Mihai i-a retras decoraţia lui Oprescu

Regele Mihai a decis retragerea calităţii de membru al Ordinului Coroana României, în grad de Ofiţer, lui Sorin Mircea Oprescu. Decizia a fost luată în conformitate cu prevederile Statutului Ordinului Dinastic Coroana României din 30 decembrie 2011, care prevede că decoraţiile regale sunt înmânate unor persoane care dau dovadă şi de înalte principii morale. Ceea ce în cazul primarului Capitalei s-a dovedit că nu prea au existat.
Sorin Oprescu a fost informat printr-o scrisoare din partea Cancelariei Decoraţiilor Regale despre retragerea acestui Ordin. Este pentru prima oară când Majestatea Sa retrage o distincţie regală.
În timpul României monarhice, distincţiile regale se puteau retrage unei persoane condamnate, dar şi persoanelor care au încălcat normele Casei Regale sau anumite principiile morale.
Singurele decoraţii regale care nu se puteau retrage uşor erau cele dobândite în timp de război, excepţie făcând cazul în care persoana în cauză a înfăptuit o faptă gravă, în timp de război.

Sorin Oprescu mai deţine însă alte câteva ordine de stat deosebit de importante, care încă nu i-au fost retrase.

Statul Francez l-a făcut Cavaler al Ordinului National al Legiunii de Onoare, cea mai înaltă distinctie militară şI civilă a statului francez. I-a fost acordată în ciuda faptului ca, în timpul ceremoniei de decorare, peste o sută de bucuresteni au protestat în faţa Ambasadei Franţei.

În 2010, președintele Traian Băsescu i-a acordat primarului Capitalei Ordinul National Serviciul Credincios in grad de Ofiter. În acelaşi an, Oprescu a mai primit ”Steaua Solidarității Italiene” în grad de Mare Ofițer, distincție acordată de Președinția Italiei. În 2011, Mitropolitul Petru al Chişinăului i-a acordat primarului Bucureştiului, Crucea Mitropoliei Basarabiei, cea mai înaltă distincție oferită unui mirean de Mitropolia Basarabiei.

Published in: on Septembrie 7, 2015 at 11:15 am  Comments (1)  

29-30 August 1940, Dictatul de la Viena

Published in: on August 30, 2015 at 7:23 pm  Lasă un comentariu  

Dinner in the sky!

Doar câteva ore mai puteți cina sus de tot :)…va fi și o piesă de teatru!

A fost…super! Deși mi-a fost puțin teamă…:)

Published in: on August 30, 2015 at 6:06 pm  Lasă un comentariu  

” Regele Mihai, 93 de ani de istorie”

Documentarul „Regele Mihai, 93 de ani de istorie” a fost redifuzat sâmbăta aceasta, pe TVR1, pentru a marca ziua de 23 August 1944, când Majestatea Sa a schimbat cursul istoriei.

Documentarul l-am realizat și difuzat prima oară la TVR1, într-o ediție specială dedicată aniversării zilei de naştere a Majestăţii Sale Regelui Mihai, în 25 Octombrie 2014, când a împlinit 93 de ani.

Nu este doar istorie, pentru realizarea filmului am adunat imagini rare din viaţa Regelui Mihai, mai puţin cunoscute publicului. Am încercat să refac povestea celor 93 de ani furtunoşi şi plini de istorie pe care i-a traversat.

Realizator Camelia Csiki

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uT3YPrBtk4

Săptămâna aceasta grea…

Superb Regele Mihai si Principesa copil

În iulie, în una dintre primele zile de vacanță ale băiețelui meu, care are șase anișori, la rugămințile lui, am acceptat să-l iau cu mine la Palatul Elisabeta. Era o ceremonie cu mulți copii. Principesa Moștenitoare i-a premiat pe copiii talentați, câștigători ai concursului „Basmele Reginei Maria”. Știam că deși era foarte curios să o cunoască pe Principesa Margareta, nu va avea suficientă răbdare să urmărească toată ceremonia. E încă mic și au fost peste 80 de copii premiați. I-am spus  înainte că, dacă se apropie Principesa de noi ar fi frumos să facă o reverență și să nu intindă mâna doar dacă i-o întinde Alteța Sa Regală. Cred că după ce și-au ridicat premiile vreo 50 de copii, fiul meu a dat semne de nerăbdare și mi-a cerut să-i dau caietul și creioanele să deseneze. S-a așezat pe geanta operatorului și s-a apucat de desenat. La finalul ceremoniei, a venit și momentul mult așteptat. Principesa Margareta s-a apropiat de noi, așa cum speram, și a venit să-l cunoască. Toma s-a ridicat în picioare, a făcut reverența și s-a prezentat. Principesa i-a răspuns, foarte simpatic, imitând gesturile lui hotărâte, și l-a invitat să guste alături de alți copii o prăjitură în grădina Palatului. Copilul s-a comportat impecabil, deși eu aveam emoții.

Seara, Toma se lăuda în parc copiilor: „Azi am cunoscut-o pe Regina Margareta!”.  Uneori, îi spune Alteței Sale Regale Regina Maria sau Regina Maria – Margareta.  Deși nu cred că face confuzii. Știe cine este fiecare membru al Familiei Regale. Dar cred că și el simte ( ca și mine) că Principesa Margareta are ceva din Regina Maria.

…În anii trecuți, v-am povestit pe FB an de an ce cadouri spunea Toma că mi-ar fi dăruit de ziua mea. Anul acesta nu v-am mai spus. Deși mi-a plăcut foarte tare ce a intuit micuțul. Am considerat că totuși e destul de intim…Până să afle că tatăl lui a cumpărat și pentru el un cadou pe care să mi-l dăruiască, a luat o filă din Calendarul regal, pe care era o fotografie a Regelui Mihai și pe care eu am rupt-o pentru că trecuse luna de pe fila respectivă.  Mă gândeam să refolosesc cumva fotografia ca recuzită pentru emisiune. O păstrăm pe biroul meu, iar Toma a luat-o și se chinuia să o lipească pe o coală mai mare, ca să mi-o dăruiască!🙂

Parcul în care mergem noi în fiecare zi se numește Regina Maria. E cel mai apropiat de casa noastră. Uneori îmi cere să mergem să recitim ce scrie acolo despre Regina Maria. I-am povestit de ce parcul poartă acest nume. O să vă spun și vouă într-una dintre emisiunile viitoare. Alteori, seara, la culcare, mai citim și poveștile pentru copii scrise de Regina Maria.  Când mă mai documentez acasă pentru emisiune, îmi cere să-i citesc și lui câte ceva despre Familia Regală sau chiar din jurnalele Reginei Maria. Știu că o face mai ales să-mi facă mie plăcere!🙂 M-a surprins într-o zi când mi-a explicat ce reprezintă fiecare dintre fotografiile suveranei de pe coperțile celor trei volume. Eu nu i-am spus niciodată.De  vreo trei ani, Toma compară și întreabă mereu cum era un lucru sau altul în urmă cu o sută de ani, dar și cum era atunci când eu eram mică. Știe să diferențieze astfel perioada interbelică, cea a României monarhice, de cea a comunismului.

La alegerile din toamnă, m-a întrebat cine este mai tare: Regele Mihai sau președintele.🙂 V-am povestit toate acestea ca să înțelegeți că în viața noastră și în casa noastră, vorbim mult despre Familia Regală și ne ghidăm după aceste valori.

Săptămâna aceasta am suferit pentru tot ce am văzut și am auzit.  Aplaudaci ai fostului președinte au devenit specialiști în problemele Casei Regale sau”monarhiști”.  Au atacat gratuit și virulent nu doar Casa Regală, ci au încercat să distrugă orice idee despre monarhie. V-am spus din prima zi, mi-aș dori să nu ne uităm valorile și să nu ne trădăm principile, să rămânem cu sufletul alături de Familia Regală, în aceste momente delicate. Am sperat că „mașinăria” denigrării Familiei Regale nu atacă din nou. Într-o zi, poate, am să vă povestesc și despre un alt atac încă necunoscut la care a fost supus Regele Mihai, în 2008, chiar la Nunta de diamant. Exact când a invitat în România atâtea familii regale din Europa, ca să  arate o altă față a României, cea a Majestății Sale. Nici atunci, Majestatea Sa nu a răspuns!

M-am gândit ce tristețe a fost în sufletul Majestății Sale și cât a suferit, când a fost nevoit să ia această decizie. Și, desigur, și ce a fost în sufletul Principesei Margareta, care îl iubește pe nepotul Alteței Sale Regale, ca pe propriul fiu. Sigur, toți ținem la Nicolae și cei mai mulți îl regretăm, dar asta nu schimbă nimic din respectul și prețuirea pe care o port Majestății Sale, Altețelor Lor Regale și întregii Familii Regale, aflate, sunt convinsă în suferință acum. Așadar, nu mai împroșcați cu noroi, nu mai aplecați urechiile la mitocănii. Să rămânem cu sufletul alături de Familia Regală, de Regele nostru.

Published in: on August 13, 2015 at 11:00 pm  Comments (4)  

De ce plânge Principele Nicolae…

De două zile mă gândesc la această fotografie. Astăzi, am inclus-o în montajul reportajului în care am redat reacția nepotului Regelui Mihai la pierderea drepturilor Sale succesorale, dar cred că a trecut neobservată.

Fotografia are o poveste senzațională, chiar dacă nu este atât de celebră ca cea în care îl vedem pe micuțul Nicolae la balcon, fluturând steagul României, în timp ce Regele Mihai este aclamat de un milion de români. Amândouă imagini sunt de la Paștele din 1992, când Majestății Sale i s-a permis revenirea în țară doar pentru câteva zile.

Micuțul din fotografia noastră, care plânge în brațele mamei Sale, este Nicolae, la 7 anișori. I-a plăcut atât de mult în România încă de la prima vizită, încât la plecare a plâns, surprinzând pe toată lumea. Am vorbit adesea chiar și la „Ora Regelui” despre această fotografie cu nepotul Regelui Mihai, cu istoricul Filip Iorga, cel care a scris volumul biografic al Principelui Nicolae sau cu domnul Mihai Ricci, în privat.

Mi-e tare dragă această imagine și e una dintre poveștile simpatice care au avut darul de a mă face să-l văd într-o altă lumină pe Principele Nicolae, când își amintea despre acest moment.Principele Nicolae plange cu Mama lui si Ricci.

Published in: on August 11, 2015 at 7:01 pm  Comments (4)  

Principele Nicolae

Regele Mihai cu Nicolae copilVestea a fost un șoc și pentru mine…A fost ziua în care am primit telefoane, mail-uri si mesaje nu doar de la prieteni sau de la telespectatori, ci și de la cunoștiințe cu care nu am vorbit de ani întregi. Toți vor să le dau un răspuns. Până la urmă, e normal….Pentru că am lucrat până la ora 22.00, nu am putut să dau niciun semn.

Am fost aproape mereu, în ultimii 10 ani, în preajma Familiei Regale. Am simțit din vocea și mesajele multor monarhiști că sunt dezamăgiţi, alții vor să știe mai mult, vor să afle ce a făcut Principele Nicolae. Cei care nu au nimic în comun cu regalitatea au făcut tot felul de scenarii, au împrăștiat bârfe, au presupuneri logice sau ilogice, pe care nu pot să le asociez numelui nepotului Regelui Mihai sau de cel al Casei Regale.

Decizia Majestății Sale, conform protocolului, chiar și ca jurnalist, mai ales în lipsa unor informații detaliate, mă voi feri să o comentez. Nu vreau să fac presupuneri. Pot să vă spun că îl cunosc pe Principele Nicolae din 2008 și pentru mine este și va rămâne același, nepotul Regelui. Un prinț adevărat, cu sânge albastru. Nu cred că a pierdut nicio clipă nimic din calitățile cu care m-a surprins din prima clipă în care l-am întâlnit: bunul simț, faptul că este un tânăr care încă mai roșește, lucru rar întâlnit la cei de vârsta Sa. Am apreciat timiditatea cu care a venit aici și am urmărit cu interes progresele pe care le-a făcut de la prima Sa implicare în activități publice până la ultima. Am apreciat modestia și simplitatea Principelui Nicolae și m-am gândit că este o trăsătură de familie. Am văzut eforturile pe care le-a făcut să învețe limba română și să se integreze aici. Am văzut cum a reușit să se facă iubit și cum a reușit să-i înțeleagă pe români. În Aprilie, îmi spunea că este român… și că nu va părăsi România, pe care o iubește. A descoperit-o la pas sau cu bicicleta, uneori chiar culegând gunoaiele pe care le-au lăsat alții prin păduri, când s-a implicat în primul Său proiect de mediu, în România. Și mi-am spus că puțini prinți ar putea face așa ceva. În iulie, aștepta să plece într-o vacanță în Kenya, părea ușor obosit. Apoi, mi-a mărturisit că își dorește să se implice mai mult în activități de mediu, voluntariat, aici în România. Nu știu să fi încălcat vreodată cuvântul Regelui Mihai. Atât pot să vă spun.

În acest moment delicat, cred că e important ca fiecare dintre noi să nu ne trădăm valorile și să fim alături de Familia Regală. Nepotul Regelui rămâne nepotul Regelui.

Published in: on August 10, 2015 at 8:05 pm  Comments (28)  

La orfelinat…

Această fotografie are 14 ani…am găsit-o de curând, când am fost în vizită la părinții mei. Uitasem că o mai am.:) Cred că este un instataneu surprins de fotograful ziarului „Monitorul Expres”, din Brașov, unde lucram atunci.

Are o poveste, pe care  am mai povestit-o pe Facebook, în urmă cu doi ani!

…Eram în vizită la un orfelinat din Brașov, ca jurnalist. Băiețul din imagine este unul dintre orfanii care ne-au fost prezentați. Evident, pentru că ne-am dus la orfelinat mai mulți jurnaliști, orfanii erau frumos îmbrăcați și chiar ne-au cântat și recitat…Băiețul a venit la mine și m-a ales…mi-a așezat această pălărie pe cap și s-a jucat cu mine. Mi-a spus „mama”, iar eu m-am gândit să-l adopt, pentru că m-a topit!

O vreme numai la asta m-am gândit. Familia mea s-a opus, pentru că nu eram căsătorită și ai mei spuneau că am vreme să am un băiețel al meu etc etc. Ca să-l uit pe micuț, nu m-am mai dus la centrul din Brașov…o vreme l-am visat. Era chinuitor, visam că l-am adoptat, dar tot venea cineva să mi-l ia. Iar eu alergam să-l caut. De fiecare dată, la finalul visului îl găseam…dar nu mai era brunet, ci blond și arata cu totul altfel. Am înțeles visul, abia după ce s-a născut fiul meu…

Nu mai știu nimic despre acest băiețel. Sper că până la urmă a găsit o mămică și o familie, așa cum trebuie să aibă fiecare copil. Eu la ofelinat 2001

Published in: on August 8, 2015 at 10:01 am  Lasă un comentariu  

Abandonați pe viață

Reportajul „Abandonați pe viață” difuzat la” Reportajele Telejurnalului”, sâmbătă și duminica trecută, în două părți a fost postat pe canalul youtube, al TVR1. Îl puteți vedea aici, integral, cele două părți au fost unite. E mai ușor de urmărit așa.

E unul dintre reportajele pe care le-am început cândva în 2001, la Brașov. Am scris și atunci, mult, mult…cât am putut și cât am știut din poveste.  A fost nevoie de 14 ani să pot spune tot adevărul, pe care l-am aflat eu. Sunt sigură că ițele sunt și mai încurcate.

Vă mulțumesc pentru mesaje și miile de vizualizări și like-uri. Sper că viața acestor orfani va fi schimbată curând. Vă mărturisesc că a fost proiectul la care am plâns cel mai mult. Cu cât aflam, auzeam mai multe mărturii și vedeam mai multe imagini. Așa că vreau să vă rog ca fiecare dintre voi, atunci când puteți face ceva pentru orfanii aceștia, să nu stați pe gânduri!

Sper ca legea adopției să fie schimbată cât mai rapid și toți copiii să crească alături de o mamă și de o familie. E greu să-i vezi pe toți legănându-se singuri, ca să înlocuiască mama! E greu să vezi cum niște mărunței ai nimănui sunt bătaia de joc a unor inconștienți. Și mă refer la toți…de la îngrijitoarea pe care nu o duce capul să-i mângâie până la cei care le-a frânt destinele, E greu să știi că în aceste centre sunt așa puțini oameni care îi îngrijesc cu sufletul. Ar fi multe de spus, dar cuvintele și poveștiile lor nu mai au nevoie de alte explicații.

Varianta în engleză,

O traducere de Valentin Nas (sorry for any flaws):
Abandoned for life. Stories from the horror orphanages. How international adoptions were blocked.
„I was rocking back and forth all the time to replace a mother’s cradle sway”.

„When you got in the orphanage they shaved your head.”

These are the disturbing memories of children in Romanian orphanages who got adopted by foreigners after 1989. Why did they ban international adoptions for children in Romanian orphanages? What are the chances today for children with disabilities to be adopted? What about the immense harm done, can it be remedied in any way? Find the answer in a report signed Camelia Csiki. The second part will be aired on Sunday night, after the news bulletin.
„I was told by my parents that I had a big bite on my left cheek, because some girl bit me after I stole an apple from her. And I was always very hungry,” says Alexander Kuch.
„You were served like… mush,” recalls Veronica Clark.
„They used to gather us all and tell us: do not to accept to be adopted, because they will be selling your organs!” It is Viorel Faur’s testimony.
„They stole my childhood and many more children’s childhood, not only mine!” says Ioana.
Izidor: „Several times in my life I was hit by a nurse, before the Revolution… so bad, that I thought I would die.”
„When you cam in the orphanage you would be shaven your head and forced to wear clothes 3 times larger than your size,” adds Veronica Clark.
“Yes, I have been beaten… what can I say… I was also hungry.”
“We are treated like objects, the girls are raped and sexually abused…”
These are Romanian orphans’ disturbing testimonies.
More than 25 years after the Revolution, orphans are still a serious problem, which the Romanian authorities are hiding. The 1990 horror orphanages have disappeared, but tragedies have not ended.
Senator Sebastian Grapă: “Today, the children have conditions, have heat, have clothes… many times they have more than children in poor families have, but what they totally lack, besides maternal and paternal love, is the link with a family which creates a bridge… of course, and this is marking us throughout our life.”
The terrifying memories of children adopted from the horror orphanages in the ‘90s don’t let them carry on with their lives. They feel indebted and keep returning to Romania to save the other orphans stranded in the system. International adoptions have been blocked since 2001, and the number of children in state care has tripled since then.
Today there are 60,000 orphans abandoned in the system! Izidor is the biggest campaigner for Romanian orphans’ rights. He was rescued from the orphanage of terror in Sighetu Marmaţiei when he was 11 years old.
„If I had stayed here in Romania, I believe that I was now on the street or in a home for the elderly. Or dead.”
His savior was John Upton – an American who became famous after he revealed to the world the horrors of the Sighet center for the irrecoverable.
John had promised to try to bring Izidor to America.
He has kept his word. He saved the lives of hundreds of children in Romania, orphans with severe disabilities. For them, international adoption has meant the chance to survive.
They were the sick children who were rocking back and forth, a typical orphans’ behavior, because they had no mother to cradle them.
In Romania they were declared irrecoverable. In the United States they began to lead normal lives.
The American TV channel ABC followed up on their evolution.
On October 8, 1991, Izidor had the chance to say „Mom”.
„My mom who adopted me is my real mother. Because she raised me, she was there for me all my life, for everything I did good and bad,” says Izidor.
Six leg surgeries, swimming and various therapies gave him a new life.
In 2001 he returned to Romania for the first time. He found several former colleagues at a home for the elderly. He also met the mother who abandoned him in the hospital when he was 6 months old, because he was having polio.
“All those who were adopted outside Romania are doing much better than those who stayed!”
Izidor has published his story. „Abandoned For Life” is the title of the book.
He holds conferences in America, too. He also made a film. In all these he included the cry for help of the orphans he left back in Romania.
Izidor is certain that “international adoption must be opened for sick children, for children with disabilities, yes, it is possible to save them”.
Izidor is joined by Alex. He was born on the streets, where he also lived with his mother in his first days of life. Then he lived for two years in an orphanage in Cluj, where nobody comforted him. He developed a mental delay and behavioral disorders. When he was 2 he was adopted by a family in Germany.
He graduated from a math college, he is a pentathlon champion, he is fluent in German and English and studies Japanese language. He will apply for the Institute of Robotics.
Alex and Izidor want to change the adoption law in Romania. To support them, Jones from Canada and Veronica from America have crossed the ocean.
„I want to save every child here. And, sometimes I wish I wasn’t adopted, because I feel like I didn’t deserve to be adopted, I feel like I could have saved someone else’s life for mine. And also for the children who aren’t adopted, I wish they would get the love and affection that I’ve had,” says Veronica Clark.
Abandoned by her parents in the hospital when she was several months old, sick, she had already passed through two orphanages before she was 4 and a half.
„I and other children were poorly fed, we were malnourished and we didn’t have much affection, we were not loved. That’s common in a lot of the children there.”
Veronica even found her biological mother in Râmnicu Sărat. The woman who abandoned her gave her another slap: she did not want to see her! An art student at a university in America, Veronica is volunteering in Romania. Like Jones, who now works with disabled children.
„Romania unites us. And what unites us even more is that we care about the country and we care about the orphans in the country and we want them to have a better future,” explains Jones.
Jones was adopted when he was just two months old. He had a beautiful childhood in Canada. He has finished college and in the fall and will start master’s courses in political science.
Almost 60 thousand orphans are living at the state’s expense. Today, in placement centers there are exactly as many children as in 2001, when the government blocked international adoptions through a moratorium. However, only 4,000 orphans were declared adoptable. Only 1,009 adoptions were completed in 2014.
There are counties where the percentage of children with disabilities is over 80%.
“I don’t think the state is interested, I think it’s more… I don’t think the state is interested in this subject, I think it’s a disinterest.” (Senator Sebastian Grapă)
The state does not have time to explain why the number of orphans has increased since international adoptions were blocked. Gabriela Coman, head of the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights and Adoption (NAPCRA), replied in writing that she is too busy.
After much insistence, we obtained answers to 36 questions – an X-ray of the system which keeps the orphans hostage. Cold statistics and harsh, official answers.
Senator Sebastian Grapă has been struggling for three years to change the law on adoptions.
He initiated the bill together with several NGOs dealing with adoptions, but was rejected each time. The last time, one month ago.
“In fact, there is a profile of the child who is adopted by a parent in Romania. He must be blonde with blue eyes, he must not be older than… let’s say, 4-5 months or, anyway, under one year old, so that he would grow up in my family, he must not be gypsy, and he must look more like the European type. And this is a reality that we must accept.”
He is fighting to save especially the orphans that no Romanian parent would want. Feeling angry that his efforts are ignored, he points to culprits.
„Baroness Nicholson is one of the greatest enemies of children in Romania, I don’t know whether intentionally or because she does not know certain things (…) Emma Nicholson, who was rapporteur for Romania, basically requested that these adoptions be blocked in return for Romania’s accession to EU. At the time, Romania’s interest to access the European Union and NATO was very big, so it was sort of a semi-blackmail, but I name it blackmail. So they ceded and they agreed overnight to stop international adoptions,” says Sebastian Grapă.
NAPCRA too admits that the blocking of international adoptions „was based on a series of requests from the European Parliament and the European Commission, which in the process of negotiating our accession to the EU have given special attention to this topic.”

Here is my translation of the (most interesting) 2nd part of the TVR report (sorry for any translation mistakes I might have made). Valentin Nas
Abandoned in horror orphanages. Who blocked the international adoptions from Romania and why?
Watch the second part of a report by Camelia Csiki about the fate of children abandoned in orphanages and about the ban on international adoptions from Romania.
Almost 60 thousand orphans are living at the state’s expense. Today, in placement centers there are exactly as many children as in 2001, when the government blocked international adoptions through a moratorium. However, only 4,000 orphans were declared adoptable. Only 1,009 adoptions were completed in 2014.
There are counties where the percentage of children with disabilities is over 80%.
The state does not have time to explain why the number of orphans has increased since international adoptions were blocked. Gabriela Coman, head of the National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of the Child and Adoption, replied in writing that she is too busy.
After much insistence, we obtained answers to 36 questions – an X-ray of the system which keeps the orphans hostage. Cold statistics and harsh, official answers.
Senator Sebastian Grapă has been struggling for three years to change the law on adoptions. He initiated the bill together with several NGOs dealing with adoptions, but was rejected each time. The last time, one month ago.
Feeling angry that his efforts to save the children – especially those who are not wanted by any Romanian parent – are ignored, he points to culprits.
„Baroness Nicholson is one of the greatest enemies of children in Romania, I don’t know whether intentionally or because she does not know certain things (…) Emma Nicholson, who was rapporteur for Romania, basically requested that these adoptions be blocked in return for a favorable report on Romania. At the time, Romania’s interest to access the European Union and NATO was very big, so it was sort of a semi-blackmail, but I name it blackmail. So they ceded and they agreed overnight to stop international adoptions,” says Sebastian Grapă.
Even the National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of the Child and Adoption admits that the blocking of international adoptions „was based on a series of requests from the European Parliament and the European Commission, which in the process of negotiating our accession to the EU have given special attention to this topic.”
Camelia Csiki: OK, but what was Emma Nicholson’s interest [to block international adoptions]?
Senator Sebastian Grapă: Emma Nicholson, let me tell you, was very good friends with a certain gentleman, Mr. Ţiriac… as a matter of fact, all her flights to Brussels and back took place with his plane.
But before Emma Nicholson turned her attention to Romania’s orphans, a scandal was bursting in Braşov, the scandal which led to the blocking of international adoptions. It was happening in May 2000 at the Sun Meadow Compound – a private orphanage belonging to the Ion Ţiriac Foundation, housing 100 children. At that time, the court decided that five of the orphans be adopted by families abroad. But Ion Ţiriac stopped the orphans from leaving.
„They used to gather us all and tell us: don’t go there, don’t accept to be adopted, because they will be selling your organs! That’s how they intimidated us,” says Viorel Faur, an orphan raised at Sun Meadow.
At that time, the businessman told journalists that no child would leave the Sun Meadow, although he was thus breaching the law. And he brought Emma Nicholson to Braşov to see Florentina Pini, whose adoption was completed and who was ready to leave for Italy.
Viorel Faur: “There were several scandals before Ţiriac came there. Two days before, Florentina’s adoptive parents came to take her home, I know this because I was there that day. The institution’s lawyer showed up, the family’s lawyer also came… the orphanage lawyer started beating the family’s lawyer…”
Florentina was already emotionally connected to her adoptive parents. But this did not matter.
Viorel Faur: “It was a big mess. A huge team from a security company came and surrounded the compound so that no media and no one else could enter. After that, a helicopter landed behind the compound, bringing Emma Nicholson and Ţiriac, who walked to Villa #2, where Florentina was living. They wanted to talk with Florentina Goroh (that was her name before, now her name is Pini). They wanted to talk with her, the rest of the children (including the other ones who had also been legally adopted) were taken to an institution for the elderly in Săcele. We were instructed that in case anybody would ask us anything, we had to say that everything was nice, everything was pink etc.”
Zsigmond Kolayanos (orphan, formerly institutionalized at Sun Meadow, religion teacher): “I was in the villa housing the naughty children. Mr. Ţiriac and Emma Nicholson came with the helicopter, they landed on the other side, by the lake. They came inside the orphanage, they were supposed to talk with us, with the children, to see if we agreed to and wanted the blocking of adoptions. Unfortunately, they never did this, they didn’t talk with us. They went to the management office and talked with the staff and this was all.”
After the visit to Sun Meadow, in June 2001 Emma Nicholson requested that the Romanian state ban international adoptions. And she argued that children had been trafficked for organs and for pedophile networks.
Senator Sebastian Grapă: “I submitted several requests at several state institutions, asking them to answer if there was at least one single case of international adoption where the connection was lost with the child who was adopted. And let me tell you, there is none.”
Camelia Csiki: “Do you believe that anybody abroad would adopt Romanian children for organs?”
Izidor Ruckel: “No. Never! And if there are people, in 2015, who still believe that there are Americans who sell children or kill them for organs… This is not true!”
Giuseppe Giallombardo (adoptive parent): “I think this is a lie, we know many families who have adopted children internationally. We also know families who have adopted from Romania, whose children are doing very well, and a living proof is our daughter, present here.”
Szilvia Giallombardo (adopted in 2004): “It is not true, because look, here I am again.”
Anna Maria Pissano (adoptive parent): “As far as we know, the children who were adopted are fine, are happy, they go to school, have many friends. And let me give you the example of my daughter, who is surrounded by many friends… who want only what’s best for her.”
Baroness Emma Nicholson’s statements have never been confirmed, neither by the National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of the Child and Adoption, nor by any other institution.
No one understood why Ion Ţiriac did not want to let the children from Sun Meadow go to their adoptive parents. At the Ţiriac Foundation orphanage, the children had very good conditions. Funding was coming from both the state and from foreign sponsors. The businessman’s intentions seemed positive, but the nurses at the orphanage, the so-called „social mothers”, were beating the children, and many of them fled the institution.
Moreover, upon leaving the orphanage at 18 years old, according to the law, the orphans were supposed to receive a part of the donations and the allowances provided by the state. According to them, it was only upon their departure when they discovered that their accounts were empty.
Monica Jinga (lawyer): “From the list submitted by UniCredit Ţiriac during the lawsuit – UniCredit Ţiriac and the Ţiriac Foundation being defendants… – the list included 98 children. The estimated value was around 10 billion ROL [1 million RON ~ USD 260,000].”
The lawyer for the six orphans who had the courage to sue the Ţiriac Foundation says that the lawsuit was moved from Braşov to Timişoara. But even so, she still fought for the orphans.
Monica Jinga (lawyer): “We recovered approximately USD 18,700 (the equivalent in Romanian currency) for six persons.”
Senator Sebastian Grapă: “Amounts of money which they did not pay to those who left the orphanage after reaching 18 years old, although the state made monthly transfers to the Foundation’s accounts, representing the amounts needed for these children.”
Viorel Faur (orphan, formerly institutionalized at Sun Meadow): “But there was the money sent from abroad, from our sponsors, for every one of us. The bottom line is that we were very clearly told: upon leaving the placement center, we would receive an amount of money to help us manage in our lives. This didn’t happen. So I sued the manager of the compound…”
Zsigmond Kolayanos (orphan, formerly institutionalized at Sun Meadow, religion teacher): “Viorel started the law suit and we joined him. We sued them, we later won and eventually received our money. It was a difficult fight.”
In 2004, following pressure from Berlusconi, the adoption of several more children was allowed. Among them was Silvia from Miercurea Ciuc.
Giuseppe Giallombardo (adoptive parent): „Berlusconi sent a letter requesting this for families who had begun the adoption process, and the Romanian Government and the Prime Minister of that time, Adrian Năstase, basically accepted Berlusconi’s request.”
This angered baroness Emma Nicholson, European Parliament’s rapporteur for Romania between 2000-2004. Since then, international adoptions were completely blocked.
This past Sunday, Szilvia celebrated her 16th birthday in Romania.
Szilvia Giallombardo (adopted in 2004): “I am lucky for having been adopted, because I am in a family who wants my well-being…”
Anna Maria Pissano (adoptive parent): “I too believe that international adoptions should be reopened, to give these abandoned children the chance to have a family.”
Giuseppe Giallombardo (adoptive parent): “Giving a family to a child means giving him/her a chance, a better future, means giving hope for what is going to come. Keeping the abandonment status is wrong both for the child and for the Romanian society. It is good to offer the child a family to relate with, a family who would support and lead the child forward.”
After five years of lawsuits in various courts, only one of five children adopted from the Sun Meadow compound was able to move to her new family in Italy.
The photos show that Florentina Pini is happy today.
The scandal of adoptions from Sun Meadow even reached the ECHR, who sentenced Romania to pay 35,000 euros for not enforcing the court decisions on adoption. The Strasbourg Court heard Baroness Emma Nicholson, Ion Ţiriac and a representative of the Romanian Government.
Emma Nicholson requested herself to intervene in the lawsuit and, together with Ion Ţiriac stated that they were „against international adoptions which they considered export of children. And that Florentina Pini’s true family was at the compound founded by Ţiriac”.
The Romanian Government showed that, following the case in Braşov, international adoptions were blocked through a moratorium and an emergency ordinance, when Romania became a member of the European Union.
Contacted by TVR, Ion Ţiriac did not answer our questions until the broadcast of this report. His only statement related to international adoptions was given to the Express Gazette in 2005: „I do not agree with international adoptions, I believe that we can raise our children ourselves. I wonder, have we exhausted all the solutions in the country, to have to send our children abroad?”
Emma Nicholson’s decision in 2004 ruined the fates of 1,115 Romanian orphans, whose adoption files were open in 2004. Ioana was four years old at the time.
Ioana: “I lost my family in Switzerland because international adoptions were banned.”
In order for her to lose the connection with her family in Switzerland, the authorities moved her through two orphanages and two foster families. At one of the families, when she was 13 years old, Ioana was raped by a neighbor, and the sexual abuse lasted several years.
Ioana: “Both emotionally and sexually…”
Her reintegration in the biological family was also tried, although her mother had abandoned her in a hospital for dystrophies when she was very young. It was then when she found out that she was born from incest, that her father was also her grandfather.
Ioana: “I wish I was still a child, so I could be adopted…”
Since 2005, only grandparents abroad were allowed international adoption. Until 2009, only two orphans were adopted by grandparents living abroad. In 2009, Catharsis Association in Braşov started a campaign to change the adoption law.
Azota Popescu (president, Catharsis Association): “In the last years I determined, with regret, that while the number of abandoned children was amazingly increasing, the number of internal adoptions was decreasing. Let me give the example of 2012: of the 65,000 plus institutionalized children, there were only 600 adoptable children, and there were only 1,222 families certified as being able to adopt. And yet, none of the 600 children was adopted. We have Romanian families who gave up adoption after 3, 4, 5, 6 years of waiting. It is humiliating!”
The law was changed for the first time in October 2009, under pressure from Catharsis Association. Article 39 which allowed only grandparents living abroad to adopt their Romanian grandchildren has become Article 45, which entitles relatives up to the third degree to adopt.
Mixed families may also adopt from Romania, if one of the spouses is Romanian. However, he/she would have to live at least one year in Romania until he/she is certified as adopter.
Until now, only 26 orphans were adopted abroad since 2009. 13 mixed families have adopted 15 children.
Azota Popescu (president, Catharsis Association): “We have notified the presidency of Romania that there are over 70,000 abandoned children in Romania, that these children are sentenced to a life without a family. We have written to the Romanian Government, because the government sets the policies. All the answers we have received from the Romanian Office for Adoptions (an institution subordinated to the Romanian Government), all the answers were encouraging. They admitted that the law has flaws, they admitted that the law must be changed, but they did not act where and when they had to act. In 2006, the European Parliament has launched a written declaration, signed by 412 MEPs, demanding that Romania set up a policy in accordance with the European Union’s requests. They ignored that as well.”
America, too, supports the reopening of international adoptions from Romania. Please watch Katherine Estes, Deputy Consul General, US Embassy in Bucharest.

The National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of the Child and Adoption admits that orphans with disabilities are adopted only by foster families who have cared for them since they were babies.
Senator Grapă’s bill would allow the international adoption of any orphan for whom no family for national adoption was identified for six months, and would allow parents in all states signatory of the Hague Convention on international adoption to qualify as adopters.

Senator Sebastian Grapă: “If we continue to keep the children in Romania, we sentence them to a slow but certain death, especially those whose profile doesn’t fit the profile of the child wanted for adoption by Romanian families, i.e. blonde with blue eyes. If the child belongs to an ethnic group [Roma] and if the child has a disability, he/she is sentenced to a slow but certain death.”