My Thoughts on the Russian Adoption Ban

Russia's President Vladimir Putin signed a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin

Yesterday I woke to the headline “Putin signs anti-US adoption bill”. Since that time, I have felt a variety of emotions about the issue and have been asked my opinion, as if I am some sort of “expert”. I am no expert. Having been adopted and even adopting a child from the US foster care system do not make me an expert on adoption, especially foreign adoption. I am just one person, with one story.

That said, the things that stand out most in my mind about today’s events are two-fold. First, my heart is breaking for the families who will be most directly effected by Putin’s decision. It has been reported that 46 children who were about to be adopted in the US will now remain in Russia. My heart breaks for those families… the families who fell in love with those children, who mentally prepared for them to come “home”. My heart breaks for those children who had light at the end of the tunnel and who now have nothing but darkness.

The silver lining to this “top news” is the opportunity to have open discussions about adoption within the mainstream media. Watching the comments play out on my local new outlet’s Facebook page made me realize how much misinformation is out there about adoption in the US, particularly adoption from foster care. I would encourage anyone looking into foster care or adoption to check out the common myths on AdoptUSKids.org:

Contact your local state office or adoption agency to get FACTUAL information. Please do not believe what you see on Facebook or what you hear from the “friend of a friend”. The road to adoption through foster care may be bumpy, but it IS worth it. But remember, I am just one person and this is my truth. You have to find your own truth.

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2 Comments

  1. Sandra

     /  December 29, 2012

    It’s exasperating that the news fails to mention that:

    1) the USA already violated the brand new adoption treaty by failing to give Russian officials access to an abused Russian born boy named maxim baylev in Florida and failing to provide Russian officials with info on abused/killed Russian born adoptees. The usa promised to do these things and did not. The USA isn’t letting the fact that they agreed and are legally obligated to cooperate.

    http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_23/US-failing-to-honour-adoption-agreements-exclusive-interview-with-Russian-diplomat/

    2) Americans aren’t entitled to adopt Russian kids. It’s a PRIVELEDGE and Russia, being a sovereign nation is entitled to revoke that PRIVELEDGE at any time for any reason.

    It’s sad that some Americans may not be able to complete their in progress adoptions, but the options for those Russian kids are by no means limited to 1) get adopted by an American family and 2) early death in horrible institution.

    And I’m with you — adopting from foster care is hard but so very worthwhile! My adopted daughter only lived at home with me for about 10 months as a senior in high school (I’d been her english teacher when she was in jr high, she through a looooong series of unfortunate events, most of which weren’t her fault, ended up in foster care and then an rtf as a high school junior and wrote me begging for help… And well, hubby and I ended up adopting her), before she left for college. She cane home to us summers, spring breaks, etc just like Everybody else’s college kids. Every kid needs that kind of support, even if they’re 18 and technically a grownup. (Little things, like KNOWING you have a place to live over Xmas breaks when the dorms are closed, parents to spot you the $800 first/last months rent on your new apartment, because payroll took 4 wks to send you your first paycheck, etc). She’s a fabulous girl, now a 34 yr old happy, delightful, married with kids social worker. I, hubby and our much-younger bio kids cannot imagine our lives without her.

    There are sooooooo many fabulous kids in foster care who deserve homes right here. It’s hard but ultimately so worthwhile!!

    Reply
  2. Even though Putin is closing adoption now, I experienced an “unofficial” closing of the adoption of my daughter over a two year period. It was excrutiating. Looking back, some of the problem was probably the fault of the US adoption agency. They, too, were horrible. I met my daughter when she came to the US for a “meet your future adoptive parents” trip (although she did not know that was why she was here) at the age of 10. I fell in love with her and began the process. The weaknesses of the agency became apparent after I was too far in to the process. The liaison for the agency was probably misleading but I fell hook, line and sinker for the little girl. Other families experienced the same long, slow process. I know how these families feel in the waiting game.

    I have heard that Putin has back pedaled and is allowing the court approved cases to go through. I would encourage families considering adoption to look “in your own backyard.” I have found there are many benefits available for families adopting in their home State. If I were to consider another adoption, I would most certainly look for an US child.

    Reply

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