Romania`s Abandoned Children

Romania`sAbandoned Children

Thefall of the Romanian Ceausescu regime in 1989 had a number of social,economic and political implications in the country. One of the mostdevastating impacts was the neglect of the children by the societyand the lack of structured support of the government. According toNelson (9), the fall of the regime left thousands of childrendesperate in dysfunctional institutions that were overcrowded andunderfunded. The institutions were inadequate to handle the needs ofthe children and lacked financial support. Ralph(113)argues that that the orphanage institutions that the thousands ofchildren shared were impoverished and undermanaged. This caused asignificant problem of the wellbeing of the children in the country.

Theabandonment of the Romanian children happened because of theimmediate withdrawal of the basic services that the fallen regime hadprovided. According to Nelson (25), the fall of the Ceausescu regimecaused the immediate withdrawal of the support by the state to thechildren`s institutions. This led to a gap in the structure ofsupporting the children, as well as the development of moreinstitutions to care for the increasing number of abandoned children(Ralph113).In addition, the lack of a stable social structure to support thechildren led to deprivation of their care, poor social interactionand lack of psychological care. This led to a crisis that waschallenging for the institutions to handle because of theirincapacity to manage the needs of the large number of children.

Anothercause for the crisis was the social-political policies of theCeaușescu regime that sought to increase the number of children inthe state (Nelson25).The government had banned abortion and criminalized the use ofcontraceptives. In addition, the regime pressured women to give birthto more children and increase the population (Nelson26).This was a policy of the government in total disregard of the abilityof the women and the country to support the raising of children. Dueto the inability of some families to raise children, they turned tosocial institutions, which led to an increase in the number ofchildren in such facilities.

Theproblem of child abandonment increased when the number of children inthe country and increased social support structures failed to caterfor their needs. The increase in the numbers of children in theseinstitutions in Romania led to a horrific crisis due to theoverburdening of facilities and human support (Ralph113).Children were left to live and get raised in the devastating humanconditions that sparked international concern of human workers tocome and help them. The children lacked enough food and were exposedto the overcrowded living conditions at the institutions. With thefall of the government, the ability of the state to support thecritical situation in public children institutions reduced greatly.

Theabandonment of children in Romania was further compounded by the lackof the aggressive initiatives that the leader of the fallen regimehad implemented. The lack of the financial incentives that thegovernment had promised to mothers to increase the population led tothe concentration of children in orphanages. With the population at avery high level, and support of the orphanages withdrawn, thechildren were left abandoned. They had to be raised in theimpoverished orphanages that became the image of the crisis in thecountry. The crisis revealed the extent at which the social andpolitical developments in the country at the time had on children.


Nelson,Charles. Romania`sAbandoned Children.Harvard: HarvardUniversity Press, 2014, Print

Ralph,Margaret. RealizingtheRducational Rights of Institutionalized Romanian Children.In John, Mary. Children in Our Charge: The Child`s Right toResources. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1996, Print