University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The “Rescued Romanian Orphans” Revisited: Coming of Age

Misca, Gabriela ORCID: (2016) The “Rescued Romanian Orphans” Revisited: Coming of Age. In: 5th International Conference on Adoption Research (ICAR5), 7th - 11th January, 2016, Auckland, New Zealand. (In Press)

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In the early 1990s references to Romania became almost synonymous with concerns about child welfare, as worldwide media broadcast images of orphan children living in appalling institutions—those “over-crowded Romanian orphanages”. As a result, large numbers of “abandoned” Romanian children were adopted by foreign families, who were seen as “rescuing” the orphans.
The Romanian children adopted abroad received particular attention mainly because their situation was intensively publicised by Western media, and for a short period Romania was the largest source of children for international adoption (Selman, 2000). Moreover, references to “Romanian orphans” seemed to attract the attention of various segments of the international research community who seized the opportunity to study the Romanian children, thereby bringing much needed awareness to the impact of institutional child rearing on subsequent child development.
This keynote presentation will revisit the messages that emerged from this body of research in light of latest findings. The research population of children scattered throughout the Western world—whose main common feature was that they were rescued from the “severe global early deprivation” in Romanian orphanages—have unknowingly contributed significantly to our knowledge of risk and protective factors in international adoption outcomes after early deprivation. However, less remains known about the lives and stories of the young adults that the Romanian adoptees have become or how they fared in their adoptive countries. There is, however, increasing anecdotal evidence that with the global advances in media and communication technologies, Romanian international adoptees are making use of Internet and social media channels to: search for their birth details; learn about their birth country and culture; share and celebrate their trips back to Romania; and establish connections with other Romanian adoptees. As illustrated by various Facebook groups, a special connection seems to have been formed between many of those Romanian now-grown-children who were adopted abroad.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Romanian orphans, intercountry adoptees, adoption, law
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Gabriela Misca
Date Deposited: 16 May 2016 08:28
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2024 12:11

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