Iron Curtain Falls Around Russian Adoptions

Dec 31, 2012

Friday morning Russia banned the adoption of its children by Americans. One family in Washington State has reportedly made it through before the ban. They’re scheduled to fly home Saturday with their adoption complete, according to their adoption agency. As Carolyn Adolph reports from KUOW Seattle, that’s one bright spot in an otherwise bad situation.

News that Russia would shut down US adoptions over a spat about Russian human rights abuses has stunned the parents involved and the agencies that help them. It means 46 Russian children who were already matched with US parents have lost their chance at a home.

Kris Faasse is director of Adoption at Bethany Christian Services, which has helped several Washington families with Russian adoptions. She says this is sad for the families but worse for the children.

Faasse: "We know kids grow up best with the love and support of a stable and permanent family. And regardless of what’s happening through international politics, they’re the ones who are really being hurt by this."

Faasse says Russia’s law banning adoptions is new. She’s seen the State Department stop adoptions from Guatemala because of concerns over corruption and coercion. She’s never seen a country refuse to send its children to the United States.

For Russian children, there are other potential destinations. French, Italian and Australian parents also adopt from Russia. But the biggest adopting nation for Russian children is the United States.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio