Separation of Barbu children from their father – Breach of international norms

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Separation of Barbu children from their father and, or extended family possible breach of international norms

For the Kind Attention of:

  • The Ombudsman of Local Government (UK), Dr Jane Martin,
  • The Leader of Haringey Council, Ms Claire Kober,
  • The Head of Haringey Council Adoption Team,
  • And, Cc’ed to the Romanian Ambassador (UK), Mr. Theodor Cosmin Onisii

Claudia Racolta and Florin Barbu, who are Romanian citizens and who met in London in 2007, have two children together – Diana (now, aged 8) and Andy (aged 5). Unfortunately, Claudia and Florin had some marital troubles, starting in 2013. And, in March, 2014, Diana and Andy were taken into custody by Haringey Council.

Since then, Florin (their father) has sought to regain custody — to no avail, even though all evidence demonstrates that he is a loving father, who has always been responsible for looking after his children’s needs.

Moreover, it seems that Haringey Council may not have followed proper order in its decision to adopt out Mr Barbu’s children…apparently, to a same-sex couple.

Indeed, it seems that a number of international norms on the treatment of children and families have been violated in this case, including:

  • 1. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • 2. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • 3. European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

In this regard, and also under normal conditions, requiring the exhaustion of all relevant remedies in European law cases, it would seem that the option, to allow the children to be adopted by their extended family in Romania (or, elsewhere), was not entertained by Haringey Council.

This is wrong…and relevant. Why?

For three reasons:

1) Because the children (and the parents) are not UK citizens. Residents, yes, but not citizens. So, the country of Romania and the extended family should still have a valid, legal claim on the children.

2) Because it seems unlikely that the Haringey Council Adoption Team exhausted all avenues for uniting the children with their extended family. Mr Barbu claims that they did not even entertain such remedies.

3) Because, even in such extraordinary circumstances as the separation of children from their biological parents, still, children have an ethical right to a mother and a father.

If the reports are true about the children being adopted out to a same-sex couple, this means that Haringey Council would be violating this ethical principle, as well as offending the cultural and religious convictions of millions of Romanians. This would be tantamount to a diplomatic slap-in-the-face.

For these foregoing reasons, we, the undersigned, call on Haringey Council to rescind its decision to give up the Barbu children for adoption. Instead, we call on the Council to reunite the Barbu children with their father, or to unite them with their extended family.

In this petition, we also ask that the Local Government Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin, reviews Haringey Council’s actions and decisions in this case, to ensure that this seeming miscarriage of family justice is nipped in the bud and not made permanent.

Thank you for your serious and urgent consideration.

[Your Name]

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