Russia's Heartbreaking Decision to Ban US AdoptionsCiaran Blumenfeld
Russia is shutting down adoptions of orphans to parents in the USA and I am heartbroken.
“Mommy, I’m an endangered species…” my daughter sadly told me.
She wonders if she has any biological siblings out there, who might remain in the system, unable to be adopted by families that would love and cherish them, as we do her. I cannot imagine our family without her, pictured left with her youngest brother.
I am heartbroken for all the children who I visited in orphanages there but could not take home. I am heartbroken for the families that are in process right now. They are being told that they cannot bring the children that they already consider their own, home with them. Ever. It’s a cold knife.
The reasoning for the shut down is allegedly the 19 or so cases in the last two decades of child abuse, accident or injury (and yes there have been deaths), resulting from American adoptions of Russian orphans. I am deeply saddened and angered that this has happened. This should never happen! But this is a smokescreen.
Abuse and mistreatment by American adoptive parents is simply not the norm. I venture to guess that the number of children suffering the same or worse fates in Russian orphanages is far worse. I know the statistics that these children face when they age out of the system — the rates of suicide and drug addiction are staggering.
But better they remain there, facing lives of certain poverty and discrimination, says the Russian government.
I don’t have the strength to pick apart the politics, mostly retaliatory, behind this decision. It’s not simply about child welfare. When is it ever that simple? But shouldn’t it be? Shouldn’t it truly be about the CHILDREN?
I’ve been asked to write letters, but I’m not even sure who to send them to. This isn’t about proving my daughter is loved, that so many Russian orphans have found wonderful lives in the US with wonderful parents. This is politics, in its worst form. The form where the children get screwed. I’d rather share my images. My words are failing me.
Look at our family photos. Look at the photos of dozens and dozens of adoptive families across the US. Look at the photos of the children waiting for families. Now picture showing the photos of the families to the waiting children, and lighting those pictures on fire.
“See this kids? This is what you’ll never get to have. Thank your government for protecting you.”
I’m hugging my daughter extra tight. My love goes out to the parents and children who will never be able to do the same if this law actually passes.
You can read about our Russian adoption story here.