Romanian orphans 21 years on

10 October 2011

The English and Romanian Adoptee (ERA) Study will feature in a BBC Radio 4 documentary to be broadcast on Tuesday 10 October

After the fall of Nicolai Ceausescu in Romania, news of how babies and children were treated in Romanian orphanages horrified the world. But little was known about the long-term effects of such extreme, early deprivation: how would the babies and toddlers who had been denied basic human contact and care, adapt and recover when they were transfered to their new, loving and caring families?

The English and Romanian Adoptee Study (ERA) was established to try and answer this question. Part-funded by the Foundation, the ERA is a longitudinal, multi-method investigation of the development of children adopted into the UK from Romania in the early 1990’s. Led by Professor Sir Michael Rutter and Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke, the ERA has followed a random sample of 165 Romanian children, most of whom had spent their early lives in institutions in which conditions ranged from poor to abysmal. 

Presenter Claudia Hammond talks to Professor Sir Michael Rutter and his team, as well as some of the adoptees and their families. 

The programme will be braodcast at 21.00 on Tuesday 10 October and repeated on Wednesday 12 October at 16.30.