We got an email from our international agency today announcing a possible holdup (permanent holdup?) with adoptions from Russia to the US. Essentially America has been making Russia crazy for a long time. See my previous post, “Newsweek“). Americans have adopted several children from there and ended up treating them terribly as attachment problems began to surface and the parents couldn’t cope. These cases ended terribly, many in death. Russia didn’t take too kindly to these several incidents and has threatened to cut America off from adopting Russian children ever since. But each time it has been an idle threat. Adoptions have continued. But our image has not improved and there are groups lobbying the Russian government to cease adoptions to the US. And now…
(excerpt from the letter sent to me by our agency):
“We’d like to make you aware of media reports that have surfaced this week stating that Russia is considering a ban on all U.S. adoptions from Russia. The proposed ban is considered a retaliatory measure to counter a bill President Obama signed into law last week, the Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions against Russian individuals who are deemed to be connected to human rights violations. (It was triggered by the death of Sergey Magnitsky, a Russian who claimed that corrupt officials were carrying out fraud.)
Individuals in Russia’s parliament who have been against adoptions to the U.S. brought an amendment to ban any U.S. involvement in the adoption of Russian children to the Duma, where the legislature approved it. Tomorrow, December 19, it’s expected that the Lower House will consider the bill. Our Moscow office reports that Russian mass media have created a widespread discussion about the possibility of a ban on American adoptions from Russia, and many politicians are expressing their opinion. Our Moscow office explained that most Duma legislators are angry at the U.S. for passing the Magnitsky Act. Unfortunately, our Moscow office says there are few people voicing opinions against the adoption ban in Russia, despite what many considered significant progress made in support of inter-country adoption to the U.S. with the recent ratification of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Agreement.
It’s expected that we will know tomorrow if the Duma’s Lower House will approve the amendment to ban U.S. adoptions from Russia. If the Duma does approve it, we must wait to see if President Putin will sign the amendment. Some speculate that President Putin will wait until January to make a decision, when President Obama is expected to visit.”
This is more than a threat. But we will wait to see what materializes.
Josh and I are praying that Russia stays open to the US for adoptions and I know many, many other families out there are as well. Many people have traveled there and met their child; and I can’t imagine being in that place and then having the process severed. It’s not fair that a spat between countries is able to destroy the placement of a child to a loving home. But it could happen. So please join me in praying that our leaders will rectify this and come to an agreement that allows these precious children to find homes wherever there is love for them.
And if it doesn’t work out…. because life is often unfair and we are not in a world always under God’s control, then Josh and I will continue on our path to help the homeless and orphaned. We will just have to pray about what that will look like to our family.
I got another email from our international agency today:
“As you may have seen in today’s news, the Duma approved a second reading of the proposed legislation to ban adoptions from Russia to the U.S. The legislation is known as the “Dima Yakovlev” bill and must undergo a third reading in the Upper House before going to President Putin for consideration. While it has significant support from Russian lawmakers, it remains to be seen if President Putin would sign the bill.”