Letter: Putting children first in adoption

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The Independent Online
Sir: The case of Edita Keranovic (report, 18 February) has once again focused attention on international adoption which, at best, offers a solution for a very small number of children and, at worst, makes large numbers of others vulnerable to exploitation.

Agencies such as the Romanian Orphanage Trust are working to promote long-term, in-country solutions to child care problems in Central and Eastern Europe. We have had considerable success in Romania where we have got over 3,000 children out of orphanages and back into family life, entirely within the framework of Romanian law. Eighty percent of these children have returned to their original or extended family. When this is not possible, there are plenty of Romanian families willing to adopt.

Solutions can be found which prioritise the right and the best interests of children. These rights, and those of their families, should be safeguarded. International adoption should never be the first recourse.

CATHERINE STEVENS

Head of Fundraising

The Romanian Orphanage Trust

London EC4

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