Part one of local documentary: The rescue of Iani

Thursday, February 15th at 8:30pm

When Kiwi nurse Alan Cleland was ordered to return her adopted son Iani to the Romanian authorities early 2005 it appeared to be a human rights tragedy. The first part of this two-part Inside New Zealand documentary reveals the story behind the headlines, screening Thursday, February 15th at 8:30pm.

This is a landmark case that has shocked New Zealand and made headlines in Romania. The must-see documentary reveals how Alana and Iani have become trapped in a bureaucratic nightmare; and why Romanian authorities are panicking about inter-country adoptions.

It is of particular current interest since Alana and Iani are among several hundred families from around the world that have been devastated by Romania’s decision to end all international adoptions.

Twenty families are currently trapped within Romania, caught up in the bureaucracy that won’t grant them the children they have fostered. Their story will sound warning bells for any New Zealander considering an international adoption.

When New Zealand paediatric Nurse Alana Cleland volunteered to work in a Romanian orphanage as a 22-year-old, she fell in love with ten month old gypsy baby, Iani Lingurar, and was determined to give him a new life in New Zealand.

She fostered Iani, taking him out of the orphanage and for nearly two years worked to go through the official adoption process when they left the country for New Zealand and a holiday together.

On arrival in New Zealand she discovered she could continue the adoption process from afar. Iani started school and to all intents and purposes, became a Kiwi kid. He spoke only English and called Alana “mum”.

Then, Romania suddenly slammed the doors on inter-country adoptions leaving Alana and Iani in limbo. Its government claimed Alana had stolen the boy and demanded Iani be returned.

Despite the shocking turn of events, attempts by the New Zealand Government at diplomatic intervention proved futile.

And so they left New Zealand, heartbroken, Alana ready to battle bureaucracy face-to-face. Alana was told her chances of adopting Iani are remote, but she insists Iani is her son and she will fight to the end for him.

This is their story on Inside New Zealand: The Rescue Of Iani, Part One, screening Thursday, February 15th at 8:30pm.

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