Why Has Moscow Passed a Bill to Ban U.S. Adoption of Russian Orphans?

The bill is meant to retaliate against a human-rights slap on the wrist by Washington, but it will deprive thousands of Russian orphans of better lives

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Vladimir Konstantinov / Reuters

Orphan children attend a class at an orphanage in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on Dec. 19, 2012

Passing a new bill in Russia has never presented much of a problem for President Vladimir Putin. With perpetual control of both houses of parliament and a couple of loyalist “opposition” parties to boot, legislation backed by Putin generally amounts to a Kremlin fiat. The hard part this week was in explaining his newest initiative to the public. Intended as a political strike against Washington, the bill does some shocking collateral damage. In effect, it will doom the chances of thousands of Russian orphans, many of them handicapped and emotionally scarred, from being adopted by families in the U.S. How do you justify that?

On Thursday, Putin tried to explain himself in front of a hall full of Russian and foreign journalists, many of whom were clearly outraged by the adoption bill passed the previous day. The first question asked Putin why he had made “the most destitute and helpless children into instruments of political battle.” The second was even more blunt, calling the bill “cannibalistic.” Live on Russian television, Putin mounted a strange defense: How could the journalists stand idly by while the U.S. “humiliates” Russia? “You think that’s normal?” Putin demanded. “What’s normal about being humiliated? You like that? What are you, a sadomasochist? The country will not be humiliated.”

(MORE: Russia and Its Syrian Debacle: When the Enemy of My Friend Becomes My Friend)

The humiliation Putin had in mind was the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which was passed this month by a huge bipartisan majority in both the House and the Senate. The act seeks to punish a group of Russian officials who have been implicated in the torture and death of a Russian lawyer named Sergei Magnitsky. In 2008, Magnitsky discovered that a group of Russian officials had stolen $230 million from the Russian treasury. When he blew the whistle on their scheme, some of those same officials allegedly conspired to get him arrested, and he died in a prison cell a year later, having been reportedly beaten and denied medical treatment.

Three years since his death, all of his alleged tormentors are still free. Nearly all of them have either kept their government jobs or been promoted. As a last resort, Magnitsky’s friends and colleagues took their pleas for justice to Western capitals, and Washington has now banned the implicated officials from traveling to the U.S., owning property in the U.S., or holding U.S. bank accounts. Putin called the act “unfriendly” and pledged that it would get an “adequate” response from Russian lawmakers.

On Dec. 11, when that response was presented to the Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, I went to the chamber to hear how the lawmakers would justify it. They had some talking points prepared, but some of the bill’s supporters admitted that it was little more than childish chest-thumping, which could blow up in the Kremlin’s face. Vladimir Ovsyannikov, a shaven-headed lawmaker from a nationalist party, called it an example of zhlobstvo, a Russian word that combines the notions of rudeness, pigheadedness and spleen. But since the bill was a Kremlin initiative, he said, his party would be sure to support it. “It is a question of pride,” says Ovsyannikov. “Our sovereignty has been threatened [by the Magnitsky Act], and we need to hit back. Maybe it sounds dumb, but it’s part of the Russian mentality.”

From Putin’s political party, United Russia, one of the main parliamentarians behind the bill is Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the Duma’s foreign-affairs committee, who also hosts a popular political talk show on one of the government’s propaganda channels. Dapper and prim, he met me that day in his office, which is decorated with a portrait of Putin and a little porcelain statuette of the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong. In explaining the need for a Russian response to the Magnitsky Act, he claims that Washington has long exhausted the moral authority needed to preach about rights violations and must be taught some humility. “In Russia, not only the political class, but the public at large has grown tired of the U.S. lecturing on human rights,” he says. “The hypocrisy has gone through the roof. It’s even funny sometimes,” he adds. “It’s like an alcoholic coming to you and saying, I’ll help you get sober.”

(MORE: Will Russian Science Be Stunted by Putin’s Fear of Espionage?)

Fine. But why use orphans as a political weapon? Over the past 20 years, more than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by American families, and 19 of them have died in their care through negligence or domestic violence. Each death is a tragedy, but the rate of child mortality, deprivation and abuse in Russian orphanages is far higher. Pushkov admits as much. “But if the U.S. federal authorities wanted, they could act to at least restore a sense of justice,” he says. “These parents adopt children to get extra welfare benefits, to get money, or they just began to hate this child. It doesn’t matter. There needs to be justice. It is a nationwide consensus. That is why we initiated this.”

His point about a nationwide consensus is, at best, an overstatement. In a survey released on Dec. 7 by the Levada Center, an independent pollster, 39% of respondents said they support the U.S. Magnitsky Act as a way to punish corrupt Russian officials. Only 14% were against it, while 44% of Russians said they would like to see similar legislation passed in Europe. Pushkov brushed this off as the result of ignorance. “When people say it’s good they passed this law to fight corruption in Russia, I think they simply don’t know what’s really going on,” he tells me.

But even among Russia’s political elite, there have been some voices of outrage. Education Minister Dmitri Livanov tweeted on Wednesday that the flawed logic of the bill amounts to revenge. “But that logic is wrong, because our own children may suffer, the ones who could not find foster parents in Russia.” The television celebrity Vladimir Solovyov, known for being a dogged Kremlin loyalist, said according to the bill’s reasoning, “we should now ban giving birth in Russia, because children also get killed here.”

Still, when the bill went up for a vote on Dec. 19, only four Duma deputies voted against it; two abstained, and 400 voted in favor. When the vote was over, the chamber discovered that one of the lawmakers who had supported the bill had died the previous day. Vyacheslav Osipov, a member of Putin’s party, had been ill and absent from the chamber for weeks, and on the morning of the vote, the Duma observed a minute of silence in his honor. But that did not stop one of his colleagues from casting his vote posthumously in support of the adoption bill. The United Russia party explained that this was allowed under Duma rules, but said it would not happen again.

In the coming days, the Duma will have to hold one final vote on the bill, and Putin must sign it before it goes into effect, as expected, on Jan. 1. After that, the adoption ban could be extended to Canada and various European states that are planning to pass their own versions of the Magnitsky Act. “The law has flexibility built into it,” Pushkov tells me of the Russian response. Certainly, though, it gives no flexibility to the orphans waiting to be adopted in Russia. As their numbers jump as a consequence of this bill, Putin and his allies will surely have more explaining to do. And thumping their chests might not do the trick.

PHOTOS: Protesters Rally in Opposition to Vladimir Putin’s Rule

226 comments
RobbiePaul
RobbiePaul

Russia.. is a resource rich nation.  It has dangerous neighbors.  The people of Russia have a hard time "holding steady" while the neighbors are fierce with every growing need .  With so many Russian "adoptions" you have to wonder.  Where do these Russian babies come from?  Is it possible that these russian babies that are up for  adoption..  "international" are stolen?..What about the documentations of the history of the child?.  what kind of documentation do those russian babies that come to the usa have?  Could it be possible that international organized crime is stealing babies in russia and selling them abroad?  These babies could have been stolen from their original family to be sold by organized crime.  The corruption of Russia is notorious.. With these russian children being adopted (sold) out of russia you have no documentation of the background of the child.  You have Russia facing strategic population issues and pressures and you have questionable international  "adoptions".   **I mean I think it just "fairy tale" to think you just international "adopt" a child in need.  

4qm56r
4qm56r

This is only political games as usual (

jbmp1390
jbmp1390

Can we just kill Putin already? For some reason we just allow this guy to get away with whatever he wants. Instead of invading Iraq for oil, the US should have sent our troops to Russia to put a bullet in Putin's head.

Gonki
Gonki

I would normally oppose any bill passed by the Russian government that includes a word "ban". However I support this ban on adoptions. As a Russian national I lived in the USA for many years and have first hand knowledge of the brutality and bullying to which me and my compatriots are subjected. I applaud the Duma for this bold step in curbing supply of bully fodder to violent US schools. Ruthlessness, hate and violence purported toward Russians in the USA is epidemic. It is not a surprise that US mass media skips the issue of brutalizing Russian nationals altogether. Of course Russian orphanages are far from ideal. Yet I am positively sure that there is no ethnic hate, no belittling based on ethnic facial features, no disparagement of native tongue, no being singled out for violent bullying and maltreatment to which Russians are subjected in the land of the free, whatever.

Nellie46947
Nellie46947

It's really a shame that Russia is banning US adoptions.  You ought to read "The Boy From Baby House 10"..it is a true story...Sad....Has a happy ending.  My Niece and Nepehew were adopted from Russia.  The politics should be left out...Children are in need over there....There are people here in the US that are willing to adopt these children...pay thousands and thousands of dollars....Russia can't take care of them.  The children are the ones who will suffer.  They are being neglected in orphanages..they die in orpahanages...It's very stupid to ban adoptions. Children should not have to suffer!!!

robgrimshaw
robgrimshaw

Why can't Canada adopt these poor Russian children in mass? It's because we talk a good game but that's all it is. Talk. We could easily absorb hundreds of thousands of needy children into our population. We need children, we're aborting out own by over a hundred thousand a year.

Politicians give preference to rich immigrants, most of those want to come to Canada because their running from their own Governments for embezzlement or some other crime. So lets bring in kids. We can educate them, they'll be better citizens. Because they will grow up with our values, respect for others, equal rights. All of that. Why not?

Kayli
Kayli

Children in Russian orphanages and many Eastern European countries are being sexually abused and raped by high ranking government officials.  Is this banning of US adoption just another cover-up for these sins.  "The  Lithuania government has been avoiding and postponing a ratification of the Convention that would protect children in Lithuania from the sexual trafficking, abuse, and molestation. I’ve also heard about horrible things such as one orphanage was closed after it was revealed that most children were incontinent and needed to wear diapers. When they were checked medically, it was found out that their rectum/anus were injured… To avoid any scandal, the orphanage was just closed and no one knows what happened to the children.”  When are we going to address this?  When are we going to stand-up and save these children!!!!

jane.tuls
jane.tuls

As the mother of a son chosen through adoption from the Michigan fostercare system and a daughter chosen through adoption from Irkutsk, RU, please leave politics out of this issue.  These are children we are talking about.  They are  being used as pawns in a political chess match.  Shame on us, Adults!!  There are over 150 million orphans today who will go to sleep tonight without a mother or father.  This number is increasing every single day!

No matter where you live, you can be the difference in the life of an orphan child. So shut-up and stand-up for those without a voice.  BE THE DIFFERENCE! 

jaydiamond
jaydiamond

I’m sick of the the rightwing breast beating that has deliberately stoked anti Russian sentiment in the USA in an effort to bring back the cold war.

Putin is correct in this matter and the fault is most definitely with American right wing stooges who long to bring back the cold war with Russia whom they consider the same as the USSR, with whom the same faction created a cold war from whole cloth.

Pat Buchanan, on Soviet lover, was the first to decry the new Anti Russianism when he blasted the expansion of NATO to the doorstep of Russia following the fall of the USSR.


Buchanan correctly wrote many times that this was an unnecessary provocation directed by American neo-cons.  Buchanan was correct !!!

RochelleWA
RochelleWA

Perhaps the Dumas should outlaw "mail order brides" - The children are not exploiting Americans for green cards and financial aid they just need a decent home with parents who love them!

MirahRiben
MirahRiben

TO JasperG and SoCalMom:

Why do either you think I disparaged ALL who adopt? I stated that there are so-called "forever" families who have abused, murdered, tortured, given away, sent back and abandoned the chidlren they went out of their way to accept responsibility for. No one adoptes by accident which can excuse SOME abuse by natural parehts. there is no excuse for abuse, murder or abandonement by those entrusted with others children who went through a great deal to do so. None whatsoever.

This is not about you or SocalMom or any other adopter. It's about the children. The adoption industry makes it all about you - the only paid cleint in the transaction. but the INTENT of adoption is to do what is best for the children.

If we agree that a large number of Rusian children coming out of insiutions and born in a nation with a high rate oif FAS are difficult chidlren...and if we agree that many adopting them are ill-prepared to handle their problems....why keep sending these children here?

There are more than 100,000 childrne in US foster care wgo could be adopted. Let's take care of our own and let Russia take care of their own. PERIOD.

As an author and researcher, I have done nearly 40 years of "homework" on this subject. Far more I would imagine than you have.

JasperG
JasperG

All around the world it is known that if you assemble the right facts together and ignore the right facts, interweave a clever commentary, perhaps twist a few facts, and play upon the prejudices of the people, you can make what superficially appears to be a strong argument for or against just about anything, as has been demonstrated by the anti-American and anti-Russian propaganda on this thread.

That said, the bill misses the mark by punishing honest Americans (and yes, there are many more of them than some would like to believe) who want to adopt a child, and by punishing Russia's own orphan children by diminishing their opportunities. The bill is a poor excuse for protesting the Magnitsky Act, it fails to take a stand for human rights (and seems to do the opposite), and I suspect much of the world will recognize this fact.

ВикторДудник
ВикторДудник

Ваш гражданин усыновил ребенка и забыл его в машине, в последствии чего ребенок умер. Какие бы мы в России не были плохие, но даже самая не путевая мать удивляется, как можно забыть о существовании ребенка, и зачем его вообще брать с собой на работу???

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

"During Obama's presidency the USA has not expanded its international legal obligations in the humanitarian field and still participates only
in three out of nine core human rights treaties. The Americans have not so far ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (only Somalia has not also acceded to it). Washington refuses to cooperate with convention mechanisms to consider individual and collective complaints related to violations of human rights by states, arguing that American judicial system copes with that task without outside assistance."

http://www.mid.ru/bdomp/ns-dgpch.nsf/03c344d01162d351442579510044415b/d1f00ba27055995e4425798300518468%21OpenDocument

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

REPORT ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS
SITUATION IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
MOSCOW, 22 OCTOBER 2012
www.mid.ru/bdomp/ns-dgpch.nsf/8f29680344080938432569ea00361529/2ab49ff642baf0c244257aa000254663/$FILE/Report.doc

"Rights of children"
Hundreds of thousands of children in the United States are subject to ill‑treatment which in some cases (1,600 in 2010) leads to
death. Corporal punishment is legal in 19 states, and it is incurred by nearly 7.5 per cent of schoolchildren in some of those states. The United States has educational centers where children receive "treatment" involving electric shock, food deprivation and forced inhalation of ammonia fumes. Violence against adopted children from Russia is still a grave concern. The United States is one of the two States of the world which have not ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. According to the report of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the number of children who suffered ill-treatment in this country in 2010 reached 695 thousand, and almost 1,600 of them died (more than 79 per cent of them were killed by their parents). About 80 per cent of children who died were under 4 years. In general, over the reporting period, the U.S. guardianship authorities received about 3.3 million allegations of violence against approximately 5.9 million minors.



naserrezaie
naserrezaie

Extremist Islam is the child America gave birth to, around 12 years ago, after 9/11. It was not existed before, well, it all was done through Americans, me being one -as someone who did not start to challenge it and soon being prodded with Bush's cajoling remarks. If the situation in Syria is dismal and gloomy in one sense, it is what American politicians want to acquire, the way they did in Afghanistan and Iraq. Take a close look, every four years we directly or indirectly sparke a new war around the world.

We would find easily fault with anyone who doesn't concord with our ideas, though, some of them even are tangible enough for one to perceive. What's done in Russia is the consequence of what American congress did a week ago. But superpowers have the means to retaliate one another and petty powers such as Iraq, Syria, Iran do not. To me, Islam or another religions is not a violent nasty disease, it is the corrupt  ideology, system cultivated in a nation making an endeavor to create new cults with religions, being Islam or Christianity.


MirahRiben
MirahRiben

It is good to end Russian-US adoptions, but sad that it was done as political retaliation and not simply for the well-being of the children.

The United Nations has long proclaimed that International adoption should always be a last resort and the U.S. has half a million of our children in at-risk foster care, more than 100,000 of whom COULD be adopted.

19 Russian children died at the hands of their American adopters. 16 of those deaths led to murder convictions.  Untold numbers are enduring abuse and we know not how many have been sent to "The Ranch" in Minnestoa, abdnadoned by thir "forever families" who took legal and moral responsibility for them.

Russia has threatened to ban adotpions over and over. They have demanded follow-ups.  There will never be follow-ups because in America once an adoption is finalized it's over and done - no inteference.

Mirah Riben, author, THE STORK MARKET: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adopt5ion Industry 

fookalah
fookalah

why would russia want the usa adopting children when the USA is openly sponsoring islamic terrorism in syria . lift your game america . extremist islam is the enemy of everyone globally yet , in syria ,you are in bed with the people your troops are fighting in afghanistan and Iraq.

wake up islam is a disease. a violent nasty disease 

bojimbo26
bojimbo26

" Suffer little children ............ " .

swstoecker
swstoecker

It is extremely unfortunate that Putin has responded to the passage of Magnitsky Act in this way. I have been to Siberia and studied child homelessness and the state of orphanages in Russia. That, in and of itself is a human rights abuse.  BUT I am a  staunch supporter of the Magnitsky Act and I am very proud that we have taken measures to punish the criminals who killed Magnitisy and uphold this brave and honest whistleblower. In the end, human rights are what matter--respect for free speech and dignity, integrity, honesty and hope. With the passage of the Magnitsky Act I would like to believe that the Russians who strive for justice in that corrupt society will find a glimmer of hope.

prodigydancer
prodigydancer

The answer is actually very simple: the U.S. Magnitsky Act doesn't only ban entry (they wouldn't care SO much about just that). It also sanctions assets freeze and they do care about their money.

I'm from Russia. I don't know how to describe the situation here. You need to be here to understand. This country used to suck but it's much, much worse now. There's no hope, not even a glimpse. People don't know what they live for and die for. Not even to fight another day, we have no will to fight anymore. Nobody cares about elections because there's nothing to choose from. No matter who wins, things can only get worse.

SvetaValueva
SvetaValueva

When I got to know about the Duma's decision, I felt rage and desperation. I'm not a great supporter of the opposition due to many reasons. Still, after this I've reconsidered my attitudes. This law shows perfectly the state of current madness among the top leaders and absolute misunderstanding and ignorance about what's happenning in the country in reality. As though they are watching some kind of a hypocritical channel where the reality contradicts the picture they see (as the salary of a teacher, for example, in their minds as 24,000 rubles, while in reality it's 7,200 per month). Being a Russian citizen and actually living in the country I have to state we are at the point of witnessing unprecedented stupidity of narrow-mided government.   

carlloeber
carlloeber

most people have absolutely no idea what it was like for Sergei Magnitsky .. this is great to see the Kremlin reacting like this .. bringing new attention to the year long torture of this man who had such unbelievable courage .. he discovered a crime of 250 million dollars stolen from the Russian people .. he was locked up and killed by the men who did the crime ..  Sergei had a wife and two young children who were not allowed to visit him in jail for the year before his murder .. it shows how much the Kremlin cares about Russian children .. 

carlloeber
carlloeber

the Kremlin response to keeping dictators out of the US makes perfect sense.. if the torturers and murderers cannot come to the US then they are not going to let the children come either .. it is the safest response .. the children cannot protest like other Russians could .. 

DukeConntingham
DukeConntingham

the russians are mad because this magningsky bill basically allowes for the US goverment to put sanctions on any russian that "violates" human rights and abuses and the such.  But the russians know better, they know the americans will abuse this power and point to any russian they dislike and have on their agenda and sanction them from doing business.  You don't see any other country in the world putting sanctions on the US for human rights abuses? (they have way to many to count, ALSO, just like russia, and china)

paulwall0101
paulwall0101

how about its not your effing country and its really none of your business what another country does since this really is not harming you or anyone else in any way.

If you say this is bad because it is harming children by forcing them to live in Russia than you are just an ignorant person. 

if another country passes legislation, its not the job of the US or anyone else for that matter to stick their nose in it. You are not entitled like the media wants you to think you are.

AnotherName
AnotherName

@Gonki @Gonki Where were you living? Alabama? Arkansas? We love Russians in Northern California... First time in my life I've ever heard that stereotype, and I am very well traveled / moved around the country quite a bit. Media's in every country are corrupt and do the biding of interest groups (wether they be government or corporate). It's silly to point the finger because there's always three pointed right back (reference to your media), because blame games never go anywhere. But, it would be naive to think an American couldn't possibly suffer as you did if they were to live in Russia, wouldn't it? I mean, we can't be so bold as to say we know the behaviors of hundreds of millions of other people unbeknownst to us. In fact, this subject is fairly well documented by social psychologists, occurring, at least to some respect, within every country around the world. It's an in-group out-group mentality, it shares the same premise as being a fan of a sports team, where you root for your team, and wish the other team to lose at all costs, only your scenario occurred on a nationalist level. Bullying is also well documented across all cultures, including aboriginal types, not to mention the copious amounts of other species that display this behavior social behavior.... Including dolphins!!! One couldn't possibly believe by pure statistical improbability that all the people who think one way somehow ended up in America, and those who think another way somehow ended up in Russia. If you had been born in America, I'm sure you would share the American sentiments, as I'm sure I would share Russian sentiments if I had been born in Russia. We're a product of our countries. There are undoubtedly Americans who are currently being treated as you were treated by other Americans, and other Russians being treated as you were by other Russians. People are cruel, governments are corrupt, and those of us who are intelligent and emotional enough to step outside of petty first world problems (Which I am inferring you to be judging from your sound and coherent argument, and that is serious) are left think how our lives are so greatly affected by so few. I don't want to get into the whole "let's all just get along" rhetoric, but I encourage you to think about the rest of the population. I don't know how many American's you may have met (and interacted with), but let's say 2,000. Have faith that within the 299,998,000 other Americans,  there are some good ones, that feel and experience life just as you do.  The whole "mine is better" and other extreme ideals are really going out of style. I'm not entirely convinced that you could readily tell the difference between an American and a Canadian in a blind social setting, it is merely my title as an American that would cause stereotypes and prejudice, and that's a terrible thing. By categorizing Americans as whole when stating negative emotions towards a minutely small sample of the population you do millions an injustice, because that really is no different than any racial stereotype, which is generally rooted in hatred. Your anger, could be construed as hatred, and what does that do, piss American's off and continue this cycle of aggression towards Russian's you claim to exist. It highly likely that you just don't give a shit, but someone does, and while your opinion is extremely important and should be heard, the way you choose to express it really does count in the end.

sportsismylife42
sportsismylife42

@Nellie46947 yes. i am a child who was from russia... and i am damaged still bc of what has happened to me when i was an infant up to 2 and half.. even possibly longer than that. abandoned neglected in the orphanage... i was in horrible conditoon... but if u saw me today u would never guess that i was a child who was physically delayed.. who couldnt hear, eat, talk, sit, stand, hardly crawl. i was malnourished had rickets born with a cleft lip and palate. U could never guess any of this and if u could it would just be the scar on my upper lip area from wen i got my lip repaired. but no other evidence is shown to an outsider... i wish i had a way to telll those russians my story..


Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia


I am grateful to you for your honest position. According to Vladimir Putin's most Americans adoptive parents are honest people, but there is another side to the coin.

Our diplomats simply can't trace the fates of many children adopted by Americans. The USA doesn't feel obliged to spread such information. But in accordance with the legislation of Russia, these children are our citizens until they turn 18 years of age, and this means that the United States should provide such information. The United States do not provide information on each of the child - where and in which the family of the child, " do you understand?
In the United States, the question of organ donation is allowed simple way is for an adult is sometimes enough to put a tick on the back of the driver's license. For a child - quite the consent of the parents. And if the child is not native?

in the United States (where officially there are registered more than 200,000 patients waiting for years for donor organs from children and are willing to pay from 200 thousand dollars for each «dismantled» part from a child), there are over 100 thousand children, mostly orphans, sent for international adoption. It is worth mentioning last year's official recognition by the Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, who said that 1260 «foster» children from Russia that went «missing» in recent years, had been found in private hospitals for organ transplants

SoCalMommy
SoCalMommy

@MirahRiben Sorry, but your 40 years of homework and research is meaningless in comparison to living day in and day out with an adopted child that was tortured before you ever even met them. You have no idea what you're talking about until you live this on a daily basis. I'm an author as well. I know what goes into writing a book. And it's NOTHING in comparison to actually DOING what you're writing about.

I'm confused by your message here. You're saying it's not about us, it's about the children. Although in your earlier posts you talked an awful lot about how these international adoptees were putting you out and draining America. So it seems that you don't really think it's about the children at all. It seems that you think it's all about YOU. Someone who has never even adopted. I don't get that. I can't even begin to wrap my arms around that audacity you have to say the things you've said based on 40 years of faulty and meaningless research.

For the record, abuse by a parent is NEVER excusable--adopted or biological. You have sex, you get preggers. Bottom line. You don't want a kid? Don't have sex. End of story. Your irresponsibility is never an excuse to abuse a child.

Another claim that troubles me is you saying "The adoption industry makes it all about you--the only paid client in the transaction." WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I wasn't paid a thing. I didn't go through an adoption agency. I used an adoption coordinator who charged minimal fees and then I paid for a homestudy and a load of government paperwork. The bulk of our money went to Ukraine. We have gotten absolutely NO financial gain from this. But we have gotten something far more valuable - a precious son who has completed our family. If I had to do it all over again, I would. I'd pay a million dollars for him if I had to. He's worth it.

I do not agree with you that many adopting these kids are ill-prepared. There are some that are. But of the more than 100 families I know that have done this, 99% of them are totally equipped.

Since you're so pro-adopted kids in US foster care, I think you better do something about it. Stop spitting out theory and do something. GO ADOPT A KID. See for yourself what it's really like and stop fabricating stories based on what you THINK it's like.

SoCalMommy
SoCalMommy

@ВикторДудник Да, есть некоторые преступники, которые сделали ужасные вещи для детей. Однако, что происходит в Соединенных Штатах и ​​в России, и в любой другой стране. Есть несколько плохих людей в мире, но это не значит, что все плохо. Я принял из Украины. И мой сын теперь теперь есть жизнь, которую он всегда мечтал. Мы любящий и добрый, и мы хотим самого лучшего для него. Он так счастлив здесь. Это трагедия думаю, что другие дети не будут иметь возможность найти любящую семью, как наш сын имеет.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

According to the report of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the number of children who suffered ill-treatment in this country in 2010 reached 695 thousand, and almost 1,600 of them died (more than 79 per cent of them were killed by their parents). About 80 per cent of children who died were under 4 years. In general, over the reporting period, the U.S. guardianship authorities received about 3.3 million allegations of violence against approximately 5.9 million minors. The most troubled states and territories in this regard are the District of Columbia (23.4 cases per 1,000 children), New York (17.4),
Massachusetts (17), Kentucky (16.8), Iowa (16.8), Arkansas (16.5) and Alaska (15.4). 26.8 per cent of child abuse cases involve violence, including sexual violence (almost a third of all such cases). About 16 per cent of all victims are children with disabilities. Under the laws of 19 states, predominantly the southern ones, corporal punishment in schools is still legal. According to the U.S. Department of Education, measures of physical coercion were applied to more than 223 thousand
schoolchildren in 2005-2006. Such practice is most widely spread in Mississippi (7.5 per cent of all students in this state have been beaten for "educational" purposes), Arkansas (4.7 per cent) and Alabama (4.5 per cent). In these circumstances, 36 per cent of all students who have undergone corporal punishment are Afro-Americans making up 17 per cent of the student population of the public schools in the United States. According to Family First Aid organization, about 30 per cent of
teenagers in the United States (over 5.7 per cent) experience peer harassment or become involved in such actions themselves. In the summer of 2012, Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapрorteur on Torture, approached the U.S. Government over information about the use of electric shock for treating autism in a "special-needs" school in Massachusetts. The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton is the only institution for children in the world, where they use the so-called "aversive therapy"
(in addition to electric shock, it includes food deprivation, slapping, forced inhalation of ammonia fumes, etc.). Students in the center must 24 hours a day carry special electric shock generators triggered by "care assistants" via remote controls. In 2011, Matthew Israel, founder of the school, ordered to destroy video records of a student receiving "electric shock treatment" 77 times. Juan Mendez, who himself was tortured with electric shock in a Buenos Aires prison in 1975, expressed
extreme concern over such inhuman "treatment" of minors. The school established 40 years ago has not still been closed, although from 2000 to 2010 it had to spend US$16 million on lawyers (annual income of the school amounts to US$56 million as it receives US$220 thousand annually for each student). Administration of the school was forced to pay compensation to the mother of an 18-year-old Andre McCollins, who was given 31 electric shocks over 7 hours in 2002.

PaulNicholson
PaulNicholson

You need to do some history studies. Extremist Islam starting after 9/11 and not existing before that?

JasperG
JasperG

@MirahRiben I agree 100% with SoCalMommy!  We also have adopted a child (from Russia though).  We are still working through a lot of issues most of them stemming from being institutionalized for 5 years.  We have days of despair but many more of the good days.  We are putting our all in this.  We will not give up.  However, there are children who are so damaged from their past that no matter how much love a family pours into them they can not heal.  The vast majority do not take disruption of an adoption lightly.  It tears the family to shreds just making that decision.  But there is not one person in the world who can predict how a child will react once in a family.  Sure there has been cover-up by the Russian social workers and by the American adoption agency's that may have helped to give some clues, but no amount of info in the world can 100% guarantee a certain outcome. Even siblings can react very differently to being adopted.  Obviously, you have never gone through this experience, so how can you be the proper judge of these people's decision?  Are those parent's that did not give their all?  Are there those who did not seek proper professional help to avoid this type of decision? Of course, as in any sector of the world, there are those types of people.  Just as you can find those who lie, steal, murder etc.  Does that mean the majority of people who adopt are this way?  That of course is ridiculous to even claim such a thing.  There are thousands of adoptive families who make it work and these children thrive in a loving family!!  But there are those who don't thrive and who need a different type of help than a family can give (especially if that family has other children).  Should in this situation the family further damage the child and their other children(in their family) in the process?

And as for follow up---Did you not do your homework?  We had to sign several legal documents swearing to post placement reports for 3 years.  We had to sign documents stating that we would register our child with the Russian consulate and if we move to re-register our child with-in 30 days.  We had to agree that any Russian rep could come at any time they wished. Not only did we sign these documents that were read in court by the Russian Judge but we had to verbally state in court that we would do the above.  Our home study agency had to provide documents to the Judge stating they would oversee these reports and registration.  They can have their right to work with Russian adoptions terminated by the Russian government.  How is this not follow-up with no interference ?

SoCalMommy
SoCalMommy

@MirahRiben Have YOU adopted a child? Do you have any clue what it's like to bring a deeply troubled child into your home? I would never, ever condone an adoptive family abusing their adopted child. However, in some cases a very well-intentioned forever family cannot handle the desperate needs of some of these kids. You can read books on adoption all day long and still have  no clue whatsoever about what it's really like until you live daily life with a child that has been torn apart before they ever even met you. To knock these families for giving their all and then realizing they just can't do anymore is cruel. I adopted a 13 year old from Ukraine. Fortunately, our adoption has been a wonderful experience. However, I know other families that have poured blood, sweat and tears into their adopted children and torn apart their own lives trying to heal the life of someone so deeply wounded that they cannot give or receive love in any way, shape or form. These families have done everything they can, and more than anyone else has. No one, NO ONE should cynically refer to them as "forever families that abandoned their kids' if they need to send them into the care of someone else.  They've given everything they have. And in some cases, that needs to be enough. 


MeghanVMalloy
MeghanVMalloy

And how about you go back to junior high and actually learn something from world studies, because you sound like a sixth grader.  First of all, we need to care what other countries do. We are not isolated as a nation. Second, you have no idea what happens to these children in orphanages, and what happens to them once they reach adulthood -- IF they reach adulthood. The children with special needs are treated like animals.  If you did know, you wouldn't have posted something so ridiculously close-minded and asinine. So, keep living in your bubble. But those of us who actually care about people on a global level, and not just about ourselves, find a lot of alarm in this news. 

Gonki
Gonki

@AnotherName @Gonki


I do not know how one state is different from another and could name or three more. My opinion is it does not matter. Article 136 in Russian penal code stipulates criminal responsibility for discrimination and violation of freedoms. If I may, one example that took place at a post office. I was receiving correspondence in torn envelopes and needed to speak to their manager then was told to sleep it off and take it easy. The aforementioned penal code article provides for up to five years for this. Call it language barrier? Random violence?

JaneAnn
JaneAnn

@SoCalMommy @MirahRiben  

Politely, and I understand your position -  You know over 100 families that have adopted Russian Children??? That's alot of kids,,,,,all adopted,,,,,all from Russia????  "An Adoption Co-Ordinator".     I have witnessed Orphanages in Eastern Europe,,,,to imply that all children adopted from Orphanages are "Tortured" is at best arrogant and ignorant.   I have witnessed the Angry American,,, (read your less than Stellar worded post) who simply thinks they can do everything right,,,,,,and their Adopted Child is from a Godless, Pagan, neglected, abusive background.   -  You could go nowhere but the Ukraine,,,,,Belarus I would guess, to "complete" your Family???       

I have witnessed adoptions from Eastern Europe,,,,there is a little bit of "Industry" in the word,,,,,,and have to agree that many families are ill-prepared for the day today problems of adoption,,,, many adjust,,,,many do not.

MirahRiben
MirahRiben

@SoCalMommy @MirahRiben 

"The adoption industry makes it all about you--the only paid client in the transaction."

My error. It was intended to say you are the onlhy PAYING client! 

You can say what you want about my research but i am not saying anythiong the United Nations and many other NGOs who work on the ground with children in need: International should be a LAST RESORT!

You continue to focus on YOUand other aopters and how tough it is and seem to seek PITY or sympathy.  But you do not reply to my asking if you don't agree that Russia should stop sending these needy kids on the US.

ВикторДудник
ВикторДудник

@SoCalMommy @ВикторДудник Разница в том, что у нас за такие вещи сажают, а у в Вашей стране убийцу оправдали. Зато Российскому бизнесмену дали 25 лет за то, что он намеревался кому то там продать оружие. Где же справедливость, может в том что Ваша страна ввела санкции на поставки медикаментов в Иран и там сейчас в эту же минуту умирают люди?

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

The United States has not still ratified the UN Convention on the
Rights of the Child (apart from the United States, only Somalia is not a
Party to the Convention) under the pretext that its provisions,
allegedly, infringe the rights of parents. In contravention of its
international obligations (since 2002 the United States is a Party to
the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on
the involvement of children in armed conflict), the United States keeps
teenagers suspected of having links with terrorists and militants in
custody without trial for many years (and previously practiced harsh
interrogation techniques against them). Furthermore, according to the
report submitted by the United States to the UN Committee on the Rights
of the Child, more than 2500 teenagers have passed through U.S. military
prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo since 2002. For many of
them it is very hard to resume normal life after having been released.

The
Americans adopt children from abroad more often than people in other
countries (according to the U.S. Department of State, 9,300 minors were
adopted in the United States in 2011). At the same time, the experience
of addressing unsuccessful adoptions has shown that radical changes are
needed in this area. In the United States a lot of people adopt children
using
intermediaries or brokers, who do not ensure even a minimal protection
of the adopted children. The laws of the United States do not at all
govern the activities of institutions helping the adopters from the
United States to get rid of the adopted children without abdicating
their parental rights, such as the Ranch for Kids in Montana.
Reportedly, among those kept in that institution there are Russian
children, whose rights are being violated. However, despite all efforts
made by the Children's Rights Ombudsman for the President of the Russian
Federation and by the MFA of Russia and in contravention to the
bilateral
Consular Convention of 1964, the United States, under various pretexts,
refuses to provide the Russian representatives with consular access to
these children. Violence against adopted children from Russia is still a
grave concern. One-and-a-half-year-old Ilya Kargyntsev adopted in
Russia died on 14 August 2005. His foster father Brian Dykstra charged
with his murder was later released on bail. In November 2011, Brian
Dykstra convinced the jurors that the injuries, including the head
injury, were received by the child as a result of accidental falling
down the staircase and was acquitted  without having spent even a day in
prison. On 18 November 2011, the Court of York (state of Pennsylvania)
passed an unreasonably lenient sentence upon the
Cravers couple
charged with killing Ivan Skorobogatov, an adopted Russian boy, in
August 2009 (the body of the seven-year-old child had about 80
injuries). Although the prosecution called for the capital punishment,
believing that Ivan  Skorobogatov died through the fault of his foster
parents, the Cravers were released in the courtroom after one and a half
year in prison.  Legal proceedings against Michael Grismore charged
with the rape of Ksenia Antonova, an adopted Russian
minor, continue
in the United States. The defense uses various tricks, including forged
papers, to excuse the defendant. The lawyers of Michael Grismore, who
faces from 25-year to life imprisonment if found guilty, resume their
attempts to discredit the girl and to present the case as if what
happened to her was caused by "mental illnesses" acquired, allegedly, in
the Kemerovo orphan asylum (although in common judicial practice
victim’s illnesses is treated as aggravating circumstances for a
rapist).

On 16 May 2012, the District Attorney's Office of Walworth (state of Wisconsin) brought criminal charges against Martin and
Kathleen
O'Brien over (in total, 16 cases) premeditated infliction of bodily
injuries on six foster children adopted in Russia in 2004 and
ill-treatment of them. The American parents had for several years
punished those children using such methods as occasional beatings,
strangulation and exposure to tear gas. The American couple engaged
their own children in such abuses. On being formally charged with
violence against minors, the O'Briens were released on bail. Another
incident with an adopted child from Russia happened on 18 July 2012 in
Bristow (state of Virginia). The crime was committed against
eight-year-old Daniel Sweeney (before the adoption his name was Daniil
Krichun). During the preliminary investigation into the case, the police
found
that the boy had been prompted to run away from home as a result of
being beaten repeatedly. Therefore, the law enforcement agencies decided
to arrest his foster parents, Amy Kathleen Sweeney and Matthew John
Sweeney (both facing criminal charges over child abuse and contributing
to  the delinquency of a minor as in the United States children are not
allowed to leave home without adults at night). However, later they were
released on bail.

JeffreyGeezGlavick
JeffreyGeezGlavick

So PaulNicholson your saying our useless war's in Iraq and Afghanistan has not enforced Extremist Islam tendencies, we have won thier hearts and minds? I think not, we have made things worse, we put more oil on the fire for financial gain, very patriotic. I vividly remember saying this when being interviewed about the American presence in Iraq: "if you( America) could make Iraq heaven on earth we do not want it from you", until the USA admits to that  these war's will go on forever, we are not the world's moral conscience, in fact the exact opposite.

TatyanaVydroa-Melnikov
TatyanaVydroa-Melnikov

Meghan , agree with you completely. I was born and raised in Russia and have been living in US for the last 20+ years.  Orphanages  are beyond terrible in Russia (I have met some people that were given up for adoption). and parenting styles are a lot more stricter, there is far more child abuse in Russia, it was just hidden and not out there. While, US has some child abuse, I agree with Lizee below that not everyone in US ccan even afford to go through the adoption process.  Lastly, the birth rate decreased in Russia and they are trying to protect their youngsters... and keep them there, however, most people in Russia that cannot have kids won't adopt because it's not part of the culture (more of a taboo, because you then have to move away so nobody knows you adopted).. and if they simply choose not to have kids --- they won't adopt either. So what good is Putin doing to these kids? At least, here they have an opportunity, I know many many Americans that adopted and gave them beautiful life, education, future and lots of love.


SoCalMommy
SoCalMommy

@JaneAnn @SoCalMommy @MirahRiben We are in a support group of families that have adopted from the former USSR. My mistake for suggesting all of the families adopted from Russia. Some of the families in our group have adopted from Russia, but not all of them. However, all of us have adopted children (most at least 12 years old) from countries that were formerly part of the USSR.

I am curious about your experience witnessing orphanages in Eastern Europe. How long were you there? Did you speak the language? Were you there long enough to build a deep level of trust with the children so that they would tell you about what it's really like in the orphanage and what happened to them before they were in the orphanage? That takes time.

I am not suggesting that every orphanage tortures their kids by any means. However, I am suggesting that every child in the system has been tortured at some point -- be it mentally, physically or sexually. It is torture in itself to be abandoned by your birth parents and raised in an institution. I do not care if it's the best institution in the world...it's still mental torture to know that you were given to an institution and that no family/friends cared enough about you to prevent that.

I am not an "Angry American who thinks I can do everything right." Not at all. I'm just one of many people that felt a call to adopt a child and acted on it. I make plenty of mistakes. But I am trying to do the best that I can. Perhaps you just witnessed my outrage by the commentary on this thread. It does indeed infuriate me when people who have never adopted claim to know more than those who have. It grates on me when people value politics over people. Angry American? No. Angered by people who say destructive things about children they have never met? Yep. It's called righteous anger.

I didn't adopt from Belarus. No clue where you got that from. I wasn't buying a puppy. This is a human life we're talking about! This child chose me just as much as I chose him. Why do you care where the child is from? What difference does it make to you? He's an incredible young man that has already contributed so much to our community right here in the United States.

Is there 'industry' in Eastern European adoptions? Absolutely. As there is in China, India and yes, even right here in the good 'ol USA. There HUGE industry in adoption here in America. It's all sick and twisted and it's happening around the world.

Shame on you JaneAnn and MirahRiben. Shame on you. Surely you must know that adopted children in the US have just as many (if not more) horrific "issues" they bring to the table when adopted. If you really want to make a difference, I suggest you stop judging who should adopt whom and instead, go adopt a child yourself.

SoCalMommy
SoCalMommy

@MirahRiben @SoCalMommy You and I just see this very differently. No I do not agree that Russia should stop sending these needy kids to the US. There are needy kids all over the world and I believe we have just as much of a responsibility to care for kids in the US as we do around the world. It's not about where you live or political affiliations. It's about loving children and making a difference in the lives of those who cannot care for themselves. I do not think international adoption should be a last resort by any means. I think it's equally important to care for kids beyond the US as it is to care for the kids in the US. Kids are kids and they all deserve to be loved and cared for. 

Not sure what made you think I was focused on how tough adoption is or what made you think I was seeking pity or sympathy but nothing could be further from the truth. As I stated, our adoption story has been wonderful. I would do it over and over and over again. I have absolutely no regrets about giving hope, love and a family to a child who had none of those things before he was adopted. My son is a wonderful young man that will contribute much to the United States and the world as an adult--I have no doubt!  It has been a joy and an honor to adopt him and raise him as my own. 

Gonki
Gonki

@Sibir

I agree. USA is a violent, brutal country that rewards bullying. I spent seven years there myself and have perhaps hundreds of first hand account tales. It is time for Russia to stop supplying brutality fodder to violent US kids and parents.

PaulNicholson
PaulNicholson

You like the sound of your own voice, don't you?! Do you ever shut up?

MeghanVMalloy
MeghanVMalloy

@DukeConntingham

What makes it trivial? Just because you think it is? It is terrible children in the middle east have died. But this topic is not a little thing, and you're a fool to believe it is.  I pity you for thinking so.  Wake up, sweetheart. Read a few newspapers yourself.

JasperG
JasperG

@DukeConntingham @TatyanaVydroa-Melnikov Adoption is trivial?  I agree that children dying in Afghanistan and Iraq etc. is horrible and should be stopped.  But why does one issue make the other trivial?  What makes children's lives trivial?  We adopted from Russia.  Not because of infertility but to save a child from the streets, drugs, prostitution, starvation, prison and death.  That is what is the most common story for a girl who ages out of the orphanage at 16.    10% commit suicide.  About half turn to drugs.  Most girls turn to prostitution.  That is trivial?  Why do they turn to these things?  Because they are forever identified as an orphan on their Russian ID.  It is much harder for them to get into an university and therefore a job. And as already been pointed out by the other comments, if the child has any type of "defect" (which is a highly subjective word since the majority of "defects" aren't defects at all.) they are imprisoned in an institution the rest of their lives.  But these children deserve a better life and a family as any child ever born deserves. I am not positive that the US government should have made this law, but the response of the Russian government to it, is beyond childish.  Playing a political game with children(whatever country they are from!!!) is inexcusable and unconscionable.

Aeropage135
Aeropage135

@DukeConntingham @TatyanaVydroa-Melnikov You, sir, are an idiot.  There are negative things occurring due to the U.S., and negative things occurring due to Russia.  Addressing both are worthy issues for discussion and action, and finger-pointing doesn't accomplish anything other than informing everyone you a) want credit for doing nothing, and b) don't understand what a simple False Dichotomy logical fallacy is.

TatyanaVydroa-Melnikov
TatyanaVydroa-Melnikov

point taken.. running to read the newspaper as we speak, because you are the only smart @ss here and everyone is soo ignorant and don't know what's happening in the world... time for bed!

DukeConntingham
DukeConntingham

@TatyanaVydroa-Melnikov because the whole topic of adoption is trivial at most,  and if thats the farthest limit of your concern then i suggest you go read a newspaper or a political, inform your self about the REAL important issues in the world today, no need to cry over the little things right?

TatyanaVydroa-Melnikov
TatyanaVydroa-Melnikov

look what does this have to do right now with adoption that is being discussed here??? children die all over the world. we are talking about a matter of giving someone an opportunity that they don't have where they are today, taking them out of the awful environment and giving them a normal live. Why are you changing  topics?

DukeConntingham
DukeConntingham

@MeghanVMalloy @TatyanaVydroa-Melnikov 

Why dont you worry about shit that actually matters, like the fact that hundreds of children have died this year by the US in afganistan, thousands of children have died in the Iraq war, thousands of pakistani children continue to die in drone strikes, stop being so asinine 

MeghanVMalloy
MeghanVMalloy

@TatyanaVydroa-Melnikov I appreciate you sharing your perspective.  My main concern is for children -- not only in Russia, but in other European countries -- who have special needs living in orphanages.  Some of them get care, depending on the region, but a lot of them are going to live very horrific lives until they die very young.