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Council of Europe investigates claims of illegal infant adoptions in Moldova

On February 6 a delegation from the Council of Europe wrapped up a two-day visit to Moldova to investigate claims that infants have been illegally given to adoptive parents. The rapporteur for the human rights institution, Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold, said in a statement that "before coming to any final conclusions concerning the situation here, I need to gather additional information, including some from other countries." The fact-finding mission was prompted by claims that newspaper advertisements in Moldova target unmarried mothers who might be willing to sell their children for illegal adoption. The team, which visited maternity wards and orphanages and met with Moldovan officials and NGOs, is due to present its findings at the end of the year in a report to the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly.