New address

Our new address is ODEMISIOU 34 and FORMIONOS 16231 VYRONAS

International Conference 25-26 May 2017

Thursday May 25th 2017

09:00-09:45 Registration

09:45 - 10:30 Welcome opening

Xeni Dimitriou- Vasilopoulou Greece
Supreme Court DA

10:30- 10:50 Athena Kotzabasi Greece
Professor of Civil Law University of Thessaloniki “ The rights of the adopted person to know about his/her roots and to search for origins: Legal and practical issues. ”

11:00-11:20 Gonda Van Steen USA Cassas Professor in Greek Studies, University of Florida, MA degree in Classics in her native Belgium and a PhD degree in Classics and Hellenic Studies from Princeton University. Chair in Greek Studies at the University of Florida, she teaches cources in ancient and modern Greek language and literature “Adoptees Anonymous. Adoption, Memory, and Cold War Greece”

11:30 -11:50
Aigli Brouskou Greece
Social Anthropologist - Association of Welfare for Children and Young people Thessaloniki
« Could the triangle of adoption be a square? Difficulties in understanding adoption»

12:00 - 12: 15 Break

12:15- 13:00 Marina Van Dongen- Netherland (1967) A Dutch journalist. As a Greek adoptee and critic of international adoption she is a well known speaker for Dutch radio and TV. She is the author of the Adoptionmonologues, in which she interviewed 31 adoptees from all over the world about the impact of adoption on their lives. As a researcher she was involved with the 2017 TV-documentary “ My name was Kostas” about a Dutch TV-host who was adopted from Greece.
André van der Toorn A Dutch TV-host and co-owner of Dutch media production company: Wasp media. Last year this company produced the documentary ‘My name was Kostas’. As a Greek adoptee André wanted to show with this film the impact of being adopted. The film was very successful. More than half a million Dutch saw it and up till today Wasp media receives positive and encouraging messages from adoptees and parents all over the Netherlands. For licensing info:

13:00 - 13:20 Juliette Duchesne ISS Geneva Juliette Duchesne is a jurist specialized in Children’s Rights especially to child protection. Has completed an LLM at the Leiden University in international children’s rights. “Responding to illegal adoptions when searching for origins – moving forward”

13:30 - 14:30 Light lunch and coffee

14:30 - 14:50 Dr. George Fitsialos Greece Founder and Director Councelor of DNAlogy, DNA European Center for Genetics and DNA identification and analysis “ The intersection of Genetics in the search of biological roots ”

15:00 - 15:20 An Badopoulou-Good UK mother “Adopting children with special needs”

15:30 - 15:40 Maria Fragioudaki Greece Social worker at the department Welfare of the Perfecture ( Local Authority) of Heraklion-Crete adoption and foster care expert “ The adoption-roots search journey and its importance”

16:00 - 16:30 Documentary film "My name is Costas"...

16:30- 17:00 Wrap up- end of first day

Friday May 26th 2017
09:45 -10:00 Welcome

10:00 -10:10 Geert Jorgensen - Denmark Consultant. Member of the Management Board of Eurochild “A European – wide perspective on quality care for children”.

10:15-10:30 Maria Herczog Hungary Family, Child and Youth Association, Former President of Eurochild, MA in Economics from Karl Marx University of Economics, a Ph.D. (Csc) in Sociology from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and she was habilitating at the University of Pecs, Hungary. “Investing in children and DI”

10:30 - 10:45 Katerina Nanou –Belgium - Adrian Oros Roumania Policy and Advocacy Officer Eurochild “Opening doors for Europe΄s Children”

10:50- 11:15 Ian Anand Forber Pratt -India Board member of IFCO Program Director Centre of Excellence in Alternative Care of Children (India) Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI) “Care reform in a country of 1.2+ billion people - Gaps between policy and practice in Alternative Care with a focus on family strengthening and foster care”

11:15 - 11:30 Jane Snaith - Estonia CEO of Family For Each Child
“ The primary right of the child-positive attachment”

11:40-11:55 Marina Hoblaj, President Forum za kvalitetno udomiteljstvo djece, the National fostering network in Croatia Alida Fištrek,-Croatia FSCI Foundation for Social Change and Inclusion director of the fostering info center “ Foster care in Croatia”
12:00-12:15 Break

12:15 -12:45 John DeGarmo, Ed.D. USA
The Foster Care Institute
Consultant, Author, Speaker, Trainer, Adoptive and Foster Parent

12:50 - 12:10 Ioanna Kouvaritaki -Greece Lawyer, Expert on the Rights of the Child at Ombudsman office, member of the disability forum
“ Children with disabilities in residential care”

12:15-12:40 Hara Galanou - Greece Juvenile Probation Officer «The institution of fostering as a reformatory measure stipulated by the Greek penal law for young delinquents»

12:45-13:00 Petra Kacirkova Lumos Foundation “ Deinstitutionalization in Greece: lessons to be learnt” George Nikolaidis ICH/Lumos Psychiatrist, MD, MA, MSc, PhD. Institute of the Child Health. Centre for the Study and Prevention for the Child abuse and Neglect Departments of the Mental Health and Social Welfare “The case of Lechaina: implementing intervention, promoting reform and tackling resistances to change”

13:10-14:30 Lunch break
14:30 - 15:30 John DeGarmo, Ed.D. USA seminar

15:40-16:15 Roots seminars
16:20-17:00 closure of the conference.

International Conference 25-26 May 2017


It is our great pleasure to invite you to participate to the 2nd International Conference of Roots Research Center NGO.

“Experience΄s from the adoption triad and how to support children in need with alternative solutions”

The Conference will be held near Athens, at Marathon bay, on 25-26 May 2017, due to the anniversary of the 20 years of the Legislation 2447/96 and especially on issues of Adoption-Family search and Alternative Care

The 2nd International Conference, will work towards the direction of Deinstitutionalization, our organization is National coordinator of the European campaign “Opening doors for Europe΄s Children” and will bring participants closer to the progress of the need to strengthen vulnerable families and open paths to Alternative care. We emphasize in human dimension and treatment methods linking science with society. During the last years, our organization, operating on Family search and reunion, has a lot of experience and would like to give an update to every interested in the adoption triad, in the first day of the conference.
Second day is to bring professionals, stakeholders and families together, so that participants will have the opportunity to get in touch with knowledge and exchange ideas with worldwide distinguished experts from different scientific and community areas on Foster care as alternative care solution.

Both days there will be sessions with the participation of adoptees, foster parents, University specialist, social workers, psychologists, social anthropologists, educators, etc.

Attending this meeting near Athens, at the Marathon bay, will be also an opportunity to discover a seaside environment with a rich cultural and historical tradition.

Membership fee is 50 euros. Conference and accommondation at the wonderful Golden Coast Resort with very reasonable prices for participants. You will receive a personal email for hotel booking and prices.
Book your flights ahead.

Our Colleagues are preparing an event in terms of the program.Setting and the facilities available soon.
We hope you will find your participation rewarding and we look forward to seeing you to Athens!

Mary Theodoropoulou
Founder and Director of Roots Research Center

0030-2103811764 land line 0030-6945414493 mobile

Poetry competition

Cretan poetry competition
Theme : Children in alternative care

Eurochild board in Athens

Eurochild's Management Board visited our colleagues in Greece on 12 & 13 September 2013. The team was deeply touched by the hospitality, passion and commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable children and families.

An Open Letter was written to reflect back on the insights gained and aims to give some proposals on how Eurochild might be able to support our colleagues in Greece in the future:

We heard dramatic stories of the hardship faced by many children and families. Families of migrant origin seem to be particularly vulnerable. There is little doubt that the financial crisis and the governments’ austerity measures have aggravted the problem.

Eurochild is particularly concerned by the situation of children in the public care system, or at risk of entering public care. Many can expect to spend their whole childhood in institutions.

Community-based family support are extremely limited, if not non-existent. We also heard that organisations working at the front (with children and families) are now being penalized by the new tax regime, imposed as a result of the government’s austerity measures.

The crisis is no excuse to postpone reform, which are an integral part of the exit strategy out of the current crisis. In its Recommendation 'Investing in Children: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage' the European Commission advocates for integrated strategies that "go beyond ensuring children’s material security and promote equal opportunities".

But effective child protection requires an effective state; therefore the government must take a leading role in policy and legislative reform, setting investment priorities and establishing standards, monitoring and evaluation. The government also needs effective methods for engaging in civil dialogue – which is both an important source of expertise as well as a necessary means of ensuring government transparency and accountability.

We believe that cooperation among civil society is key to moving forward. Civil society needs to join forces around common goals instead of pulling in different directions. It is important to speak with one voice.

The forthcoming Greek EU Presidency is an important opportunity to put the rights and well-being of children and young people high in the political agenda.
The Greek government can build on recent EU-level achievements and ensure children are visible in the Presidency agenda. Eurochild supports the call from Greek civil society and the children’s ombudsman for a national action plan for children. Adoption of such a plan during the Presidency would create real momentum for child protection reform and improvements in child and family welfare services in the future.

Eurochild looks forward to working with our Greek colleagues in the months and years to come. We applied for EU funding to support an EU Alliance for Investing in Children to deliver real improvements to the lives of vulnerable children and families in Europe. Over a period of four years, we expect to be able to support national alliances in several countries and would be happy to explore how this can be achieved in Greece.

Furthermore Eurochild and Hope and Homes for Children are coordinating a pan-European campaign ‘Opening Doors for Europe’s Children’ which focuses on
deinstitutionalization. The Greek campaign is coordinated by Mary Theodopolou (Roots Research Centre) and we are exploring ways to adapt the campaign messages to the specific circumstances in Greece. De-institutionalisation should be an important part of future reforms, but need to be integrated into a broader platform of investing in children and families.

Eurochild is a platform which aims to bring together advocates, practitioners, researchers and public decision-makers working together to promote the rights and well-being of children and young people in Europe. Partnership and participation are key underlying values of the Eurochild network. We can only make a real sustainable difference together!

DI campaign De-institutalisation

Opening Doors to Europes Children Roots Research Center National Co-ordinators

Mission possible, no baby hatches

Mission possible is a movement against baby hatches globaly. Please vote against it and if you are one of these babies, as I am, sent us your opinion, your feelings at All beings deserver a name, identity, mothers name. You can find us at Facebook Roots research center page mission possible no baby hatches.

The Ombudsman goes to Parliament

The Ombudsman talked at the Parliament about the economicl crisis and the effects on children. Children must not be taken away from their families due to poverty and in case they bshould be in foster families instead of institutions.

Children should be in families not institutions

In many institutions, the standard of care is
poor. Many children are abused and neglected.
Children under three, in particular, are at risk of
permanent developmental damage by not being
cared for in a family setting. For all children, longterm
stays in institutions can have a lasting negative
impact. The harm that can be caused to children by
institutional care has been documented since the
early 20th centuryPoverty and social exclusion are two of the main
reasons why children are unable to live at home.
Families often feel that placing their children
into care is the only way to ensure they get an
education and enough food and other essentials.
Discrimination and cultural taboos also mean that
in some countries a disproportionate number of
girls, disabled children and children from minority
ethnic groups are relinquished or abandoned into
care institutions. With support, the parents and
extended families of many of these children could
care for them.

Happy New Year

Dear friends,
I would like to thank everyone of you for our cooperation during this year, and your patience to the difficult cases which we work on.Every case has its own difficulty, some friends became happy fanding their family, others are still waiting and hoping. Family search is difficult,heart breaking and long lsting.Most of the time we do not have enough information about birth family ans some of them do not want reunion. I am sorry to say but State is not a help.
Our organization had to quit its office,due to finacial reasons, we are hosted at a friend organization for free till better times come.But we still work on your cases, with love and passion.Most of you know my personal story, so you all know that what I do is out of personal interest. We deserve to find our birth families. no matter what.
We need your support, through the difficult times we are into in Greece.We would like to hear more from you and hope for the best.
We wish you a Happy New year, enjoy your families, take care and use your power.Life is valuable.

Human rights........

Human Rights Day on 10 December recognizes the work of human rights defenders worldwide who act to end discrimination. Acting alone or in groups within their communities, every day human rights defenders work to end discrimination by campaigning for equitable and effective laws, reporting and investigating human rights violations and supporting victims.

While some human rights defenders are internationally renowned, many remain anonymous and undertake their work often at great personal risk to themselves and their families. Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.