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Nobody wants to adopt Romani children

5 January 1999

The implementation of the new child protection law in Hungary, which was adopted a year ago, has not been highly satisfactory. The professional and personal requirements for adoption set up by the law are hard to fulfill without an adequate financial background. The strict rules often harm the interests of children in crisis. It is especially difficult to place Romani orphans into families.

"In the administration of children under state care, the most problems arise over the adoption of Romani children", said Éva Kalló, secretary of the National Alliance of Homes Adopting Babies and Children. Kalló believes that the law is in the right spirit, since its basic principle is that children should stay in their (adopted or natural) families, and should be put into state homes only in crisis situations. However, the implementation of the law is problematic.

It can often be dangerous to place the child back into his or her natural family. For Romani children, the biggest problem is that few people want to adopt them, and state homes usually do not have enough money to deal with all the requirements of the law.

In spite of the problems there are a few positive developments. In north-western Hungary, Heves County, for example, they have been able to raise enough money to buy houses in six settlements, which now serve as homes for children under state care. In the beginning, the villagers did not want to accept the presence of the children, most of whom were Roma, and protested against them. But, according to the employees of the children's welfare service, the prejudice of the villagers disappeared when they got to know the children. (Roma Press Center)

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ERRC submission to UN HRC on Hungary (February 2018)

14 February 2018

Written Comments of the European Roma Rights Centre concerning Hungary to the UN Human Rights Committee for consideration at its 122nd session (12 Narch - 6 April 2018).

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The Fragility of Professional Competence: A Preliminary Account of Child Protection Practice with Romani and Traveller Children in England

24 January 2018

Romani and Traveller children in England are much more likely to be taken into state care than the majority population, and the numbers are rising. Between 2009 and 2016 the number of Irish Travellers in care has risen by 400% and the number of Romani children has risen 933%. The increases are not consistent with national trends, and when compared to population data, suggest that Romani and Traveller children living in the UK could be 3 times more likely be taken into public care than any other child. 

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Families Divided: Romani and Egyptian Children in Albanian Institutions

21 November 2017

There’s a high percentage of Romani and Egyptian children in children’s homes in Albania – a disproportionate number. These children are often put into institutions because of poverty, and then find it impossible ever to return to their families. Because of centuries of discrimination Roma and Egyptians in Albania are less likely to live in adequate housing, less likely to be employed and more likely to feel the effects of extreme poverty.

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