Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Harsh Life of Romanian Orphans"

I read this article late last night on MSNBC. Research done on the children living in Romanian orphanages found that the neglectful conditions has actually damaged their DNA.

Harsh Life of Romanian Orphans

It's horrifying, isn't it? I guess it's something I would have assumed, but to see it verified in print is chilling. The level of neglect in the orphanages of Romania is notorious, well documented, and appalling. While life in other orphanages around the world has not been as thoroughly studied, I believe we can apply the results taking into consideration that the conditions in Romania were extreme. Life for orphans in other countries may not have been "as bad", and some institutions are well- regarded. However conditions are rarely, if ever, ideal. Some may be worse.

My question is, is that lost life span and health recoverable? Or has the child's suffering caused permanent damage. Once those telomeres have been altered will they grow back under better conditions?

I hope so.


  1. so sad. I was actually just thinking absout russian orphanges last night. as my baby fell asleep clean from her bath, smelling like lotions and snuggled in warm jammies in a soft blanket and a warm crib i thought about all the babies in the orphanages around the world that do not have basic care and literally brought tears to my eyes last night. I prayed for all those babies and it really is hard to even think about them its so sad. I want to adopt one day but i doubt we ever would be able to since we already have 6 and they prefer smaller families and due to our very inept finances. my heart is large but my purse is small. if the children were free in orphanges i would take a dozen at least.

  2. Uggghh. So sad, Essie.

    There have been studies conducted in adults demonstrating that adequate nutrition, meditation, reduction of stress levels, etc. can boost levels of the enzyme telomerase (which can repair telomeres).

    But I'm not aware of studies investigating which of these interventions may help in children.

  3. I was here! Once in a while I blogjump which is when I read a blog and then look at someone else's that they follow so here I am. Looking forward to reading more of your blogs. Please come over and visit my blog :)

  4. Wow, that is unbelievable. Conditions so stressful it alters their DNA. This is children we're talking about. Man alive, that is so sad.

  5. I really think it depends on age of adoption, what the prenatal conditions were like, all of that stuff. It's amazing the impact that this can have on them, even children who are "too young to remember it" I'm totally blanking on the study that I read, but I will try to find it. It's an account of the impact of early trauma for kids that were "too young" to remember.

    I'm in tears reading this. I know so many children who were adopted later in life, kids who I adore with every fiber of my being. I know one day I will find my own child among these lost boys and girls. I just hope that I can make up for the past.

  6. I was discussing this with someone the other day and in the guy who wrote The Brain that Changes Itself - has done research that shows that the DNA can be "healed" when children with damage begin to heal and are nurtured in an unconditionally loving environment - says the mom who yelled at her kid before she put him to bed for acting like a RADish. Hopefully I don't undo all the work in one night!.


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