Russian Adoption Ban Controversy – You Decide

I believe this post which we received is worth responding to.

Before we do, I’d like to make one observation though; this person doesn’t appear to express the level of compassion and understanding of someone who has seriously considered adoption or has adopted. This is not to suggest they don’t have a right to an opinion as we appreciate the time they took to respond to the press release, but the questions seemed a bit detached and unfeeling.

Our responses follow the Post.


Post 1 - It’s interesting you somehow fail to mention all kinds of relevant info regarding the ban, including but by no means limited to:

Our Response 1: Our intent is to foster adoption and as much as we’d like this site to do, one could spend a lifetime trying to cover all of the angles related to adoption.

Post 2 - The US has already violated the new adoption treaty by 1 denying Russian officials consular access to an abused Russian born boy in Florida called Maxim Babayev and 2 failing to provide updates of Russian born kids abused/killed in the USA.

Our Response 2: The tone of this statement sounds very anti-American but deserves an answer. Every adoption story is different, just as different as every family story in America. This is where governments need to take a step back and let the local courts determine if abuse has taken place and keep the media out of it. Many abuse cases are not valid and if the press gets involved, it goes bad quickly and perhaps unwarranted/unjustly. We can chase every case, but instead let’s ask what the statistic is of the number of children sexually abused in orphanages while we’re at it. I’m certain it is exponentially higher than what you’d find with adoptive families. So for one case are you suggesting that we shut down the whole system. Once in America, they are governed by our laws, not theirs. We had to submit reports, pictures and home studies for three years after the adoption. They could have required them until they were 18. We had to bear the expense. What if the U.S. government required that same thing of you for your American born children… pretty ludicrous if you ask me – I imagine you’d be outraged. After three years our children had totally lost their Russian language and what’s the consequence if we were determined to no longer be fit to some imaginary standard – take them back? Short answer – once the adoption is finished, it is finished. The local laws of the land should be sufficient to handle every eventuality. Governments need to steer clear and stand-down at that point. If a country does not like our laws, then that should be sufficient to terminate adoptions, but our laws are sound and decent. P.S. The Russian government is not very organized with reports and processing data. We know this firsthand.

Post 3 - Russia has not yet violated the adoption treaty My Response: on the theory that everyone there is still on Xmas break, government offices are closed and thus haven’t yet had the opportunity to not process adoptions by Americans.

Our Response 3: We’re not sure what you are saying here. Our site does not single out the treaty but the implications are they’ve introduced language that would prevent adoptions and even those currently being processed. We’ll have to live with no more Russian adoptions if that’s the way they want it, but let’s finish what has been started at least. Precious relationships have been initiated.

Post 4 - A Russian orphans options are by no means limited to 1 be adopted by American family and 2 rot in orphanage/premature death.

Our Response 4: 1. True – No only Americans can adopt Russians, but I suspect Americans have been the greatest source of Russian adoptions for the past ten years or so. In 2004 when we adopted, more than 5,000 children were adopted. Fellow Russians haven’t even matched that. Why cut off your main stream to spite your national face. This does not mean the other countries allowed to adopt will pick up the slack, does it? It won’t happen. We are advocates for less red tape and not more, more adoptions and not less. 2 Orphanages are not places were children thrive. They survive the experience no matter how modern the facility. They are places that house 50 to 100 or so children who live in a dormitory style room year around. It’s like boot camp, except when’s the last time you peed out your window on a wintery night because you weren’t allowed to use the outhouse out back? Have you ever been to an orphanage? I think not. Compared to having parents and family to nurture and love them, “rot” sounds like an appropriate word. We want them to have every opportunity you had and more.

Post 5 - Russia has taken genuine steps to reform its child welfare system – encouraging domestic adoption, fewer orphanages via expanding foster care, appointing children’s ombudsman, etc. this is laudable and should be encouraged. Is the reform happening fast enough? No, but neither is the much-needed reform of the US foster care system and nobody is suggesting we adopt out American foster kids.

Our Response 5: We have not tracked Russian reforms and hope that’s the case.  However, 700,000 orphans and 500,000 unsupervised children equally 1.2 million children that need help.  Their national agenda flies in the face of this if you ask us.  Read my article on why consider adoption outside the U.S. We considered adopting foster children first but the Spirit moved us overseas. Everything about adoption suggests there are no boarders. Why haven’t you adopted yet? If you are considering it, will it be in your local area? Will it be boy or girl, one or two or more? Does race matter? Does special needs matter? Lots to consider. Every effort to improve the human condition should be lauded. Governments can’t legislate love and success – In fact they miserably fail at it. It’s done one adoption at a time, one kind deed after another.

Post 6 - let’s pretend Russia has adopted 60,000 US kids over the past 20 years and 19 of them were killed . Would the USA be justified in passing a law to make 100% certain there wasn’t a 20th dead kid? Yes! So why are you condemning Russia for doing the same thing?

Our Response 6: First, we don’t agree with your first statement and conclusion. As you can see from my prior statement, Governments only need to facilitate more adoptions, not less. To adopt – the home studies, background investigations, psych evaluations, financial reviews and costly red-tape, travel expenses, etcetera are overkill already. Every time there is a tragedy where a child dies regardless of nationality, State, family genealogy – the media feeds on the controversy where there is none. The local court system needs to investigate, remedy, punish or declare innocence according to the evidence presented. If there was wholesale slaughter of innocent children adopted from a single country, then that would warrant national interest, but otherwise, it’s a private, local matter. Abuse is rampant world-wide, but we think it’s safe to say adopted abuse victims is a much lower percentage. You can’t and shouldn’t legislate every skewed case by making it more difficult to adopt – that is wrong and counterproductive for society and humanity. What happened to the 3,000 sudden infant deaths last year alone. We didn’t say those American’s can’t take care of their babies. Each case was investigated and adjudicated appropriately. The media spends too much time on the “one” tragedy issue, creates media-hysteria and not enough time lauding the successful adoptions and family opportunities here in America.

Post 7 - Americans are not entitled to adopt Russian kids. It’s a PRIVELEDGE. Russia’s a sovereign nation and thus well within its rights to revoke said privilege for any or no reason at any time.

Our Response 7: Yes they are sovereign and have this right; just as the U.S. does. We don’t question their sovereignty, we question their motives and humanity. As human beings, we have that right.  To adopt is a privilege afforded by God and unfortuantely legislated by man.  How inept we can be sometimes.





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