Shameful adoption ban

Russia using its children as political pawns

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The “reset” button has been pushed on U.S.-Russian relations, all right. But they haven’t been reset for the better.

Four years after the Obama administration promised better relations with Russia by hitting the “reset button,” things have gotten so bad between the two nations that Russia is banning adoptions of its children by Americans.

Just since May, The New York Times writes, “Russian officials have used a juggernaut of legislation and executive decisions to curtail United States influence and involvement in Russia, undoing major partnerships that began after the fall of the Soviet Union.”

The latest measure in Moscow, however, is the most disgusting – using Russian orphans, many of them with special needs, as helpless pawns of a new Cold War.

If the law holds, then Russian President Vladimir Putin will have consigned thousands of Russian children to lives without the love and care and nurturing that so many American families would have provided them.

“The State Department says more than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by Americans since 1992,” writes the Voice of America.

The law reportedly terminates even those pending adoptions that have been approved.

The law was passed in retaliation for a U.S. law that denies visas to Russian officials accused of human rights violations.

Unfortunately, Russian lawmakers also were able to hang their hat on a tragedy in which a U.S. adoptive father allowed a Russian child to die in a locked car. In another case cited by The New York Times, “a 7-year-old boy was sent on a flight back to Russia alone by his adoptive mother in Tennessee.”

Still, plenty of tragedies and cases of neglect occur everywhere – including Russia. That’s no reason to give up on all adoptions.

But that’s a canard; some in Russia were looking for an excuse to halt adoptions to the U.S. anyway. Consider the Russian leaders’ attitude about it all: According to The New York Times, Pavel Astakhov, Russia’s child rights commissioner, shrugged, “I think any foreign adoption is bad for the country.”

Notice what he said: “bad for the country.” Not the children. Their welfare is not foremost in the mind of Russia’s “child rights commissioner.” It’s Mother Russia that counts. To heck with her children.

This unforgivable politicization of child welfare will break the hearts of loving adoptive parents-to-be here, and stunt the futures of babies there. How cold.

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JRC2024 01/03/13 - 10:04 am
We have a great deal of

We have a great deal of children that need help in this country. Adopting them by parents able to take care of them would also take them off of government support. Adopting Russian children with special needs would add to government support. Look to the USA first.

allhans 01/03/13 - 11:15 am
I have never understood the

I have never understood the need to adopt from other countries when we have so many right here living in foster homes, etc. I guess they want them to fit a specified description or something.

Jane18 01/03/13 - 11:50 am
Always The Children Lose......

JRC and alhans are so right in thinking about America's children first. But, look at this for what it is, Russia does not like us(I would even say hates), and this is just another way to get at America. Russia will never change, they have been jealous of us from our beginning............

RonRoberts 01/03/13 - 01:35 pm
Spare me the righteousness...

...when your editorial board's fought, tooth and nail, against marriage equality and I'd go out on a limb and guess against loving gay couples adopting, either.

InChristLove 01/04/13 - 07:20 am
Last I checked there were a

Last I checked there were a lot of gay couples and single gays who have adopted children.....Ricky Martin has two, Clay Aiken has one, Rosie O'Donnell and her partner has several, so it's not like gay "couples" can not adopt.

There are several reasons why people choose to adopt outside the US and one is that most of the children in the US are not actually orphans but children from abusive/neglectful homes who have physicall or emotional problems. Most have been in the foster care system and when finally released to be adopted are older children. Many have several siblings also in the system and there are not many first time parents-to-be who can afford or have the know-how to raise multiple children with needs. Usually first time adoptees are looking for newborns and looking to avoid having the birth mother come back and want to reclaim the child. Most feel even a child who is in foster care here in the US is in so much better circumstances than those poor children in orphanages in foreign countries.

Whatever the reason I pray a special blessing to those parents (or parent) who adopts a child and gives it the love they deserve.

itsanotherday1 01/05/13 - 11:18 am

For the love of Pete, how could someone give you a thumbs down on that post? Some people are so intellectually dishonest it is pathetic!

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