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What has happened to the more than 20,000 Romanian children (30,000 according to some NGOs) adopted between 1990 and 1997, especially by foreigners? According to an investigation carried out by România Liberă, the Romanian state has lost track of them because of the procedure applied at the time in what the Bucarest daily calls a "juicy trans-boundary trade" organised by "unhealthy orphanages". At the time, "children were offered for sale to foreigners in hotel lobbies" in violation of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. As an expert at Defence for Children International explained to the newspaper, the Romanian authorities avoided registering the number of children adopted and, sometimes, "it was enough to select [a child] and sign the act of adoption in a lawyer's office."