Journal Opinion Article “Putin bans adoptions by US citizens”

On 28 of December of the 2012 year Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a degree concerning bans on adoptions of Russian orphans by United States citizens. This decision will come into effect on first of January of the 2013 year. He thinks it will harm the economy of Russia because Russian population decreases. Russian parliament considers it will harm relations in future between Russia and the USA, so its population resources need to be protected so as to avoid demographic problems of the country.

Approximately 50 children were in final stages of the international adoption process but now appeared in the uncertain position. A spokesman from Kremlin announced that final approval from Russian courts were given to six adoptions and government will allow US foster parents to continue the adoptive process, even for the moment when they are have not time to take the children away. Concerning other Russian orphans who intended for families in the U.S. would be redirected to new adoptive parents within Russian country. That is why Putin decided to give benefits for Russian citizens; he issued a decree that simplifies internal adoption process. But less than 20 000 Russian families registered as potential candidates for adoption, whereas 120 000 Russian orphans listed in government databases. Besides, many families returned their children because they couldn’t manage with them. Furthermore, 1 500 adoptees died in Russian families (Cullison at alias, 2012).

Russian officials emphasized that 19 children adopted by US parents during previous 20 years died from domestic violence, aggression and disregard. For example, Dima Yakovlev spent nine hours in his forgotten by his father car in Virginia and died. Russian authorities accused American courts of mercy to adoptive parents; despite abuse rate for orphans in adopted families at home is much higher. But it is just the top of the iceberg. Most of the American parents treated to their adopted kids in a harsh way using ways of corporal punishment. Other countries such as Italy and Spain reported information of absence of child’s abuse (White, 2012).

But every cloud has a silver lining. Even in adoption by US citizens. Russia has a lot of ill orphans, and America is their single chance to be cured, because Russia cannot provide such treatment for these children. For example, an American couple, Heather and Aaron Whaley, who wanted to adopt a 4-year-old girl, Regina, the child with special needs suffers on fetal alcohol syndrome and she is slow in intellectual growth and speech development. But due to the new decree issued by Russian legislation, they are not able to even to explain to her why they couldn’t adopt her.

According to Adam Pertman, author of the book “Adoption Nation” and executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, the number of Russian adoptions by US citizens was reduced since the 2004 year from 6 000 to nearly 900, including 89 with various disabilities in the 2011 year (Picture 1). America being the largest destination place for children from Russian orphanages is source number three after China and Ethiopia. According to State Department, about 70 000 Russian orphans were adopted by American citizens for the last few decades.

In my opinion, each child deserves to have own loving family, whereas adoption is a perfect chance for a child to have parents, good education and future not only by the USA but also other countries. For most of the orphans, there is no good life in future, when nobody takes care of them.

But why should Russian handicapped and orphans with other problems suffer from political disagreements? Probably the answer to this question only Vladimir Putin knows oneself. We hope that Russian-based adoption agencies will find a compromise for the better life for orphans.

Picture 1. (White, 2012).
orphans adoptions by different countries in 1999-2011
References

  1. White, G.L. (2012, December 28). Putin Signs Adoption Ban, Putting Pending Cases in Limbo. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323530404578207390201149074.html>.
  2. White, G.L. (2012, December 28). Putin Signs Ban on U.S. Adoptions. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324669104578205144020860054.html>.
  3. Cullison, A., Stein, M. L., Esterl, M. (2012, December 27). Families Await, Lament Moscow’s Move. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323984704578205780666293440.html>.
  4. Magnitsky row: Putin backs Russian ban on US adoptions. (2012, December 20). BBC News. Europe. Retrieved from <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20795523>.

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