Nobody wants to adopt Romani children
05 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)