A number of prospective families are expressing frustration and heartbreak over Russia’s recent ban on American adoptions.
President Vladmir Putin signed the proposed prohibition into law late last month, which will now close off the country to Americans who seek to adopt orphaned boys and girls in the nation. Approximately 46 adoptions that were in the process of being completed may now be stalled — possibly permanently. Nearly 200 other families that were in the early stages of choosing children will now be forbidden from continuing their pursuit of parenthood.
“At this time the Russian government has provided no details on how Russian Federal Law No. 186614-6 will be implemented,” the US State Department wrote in a recent news release. “The Department of State has no information on whether the Russian government intends to permit the completion of any pending adoptions.”
Many believe that the ban is related to US sanctions against Russia for human rights abuses.
“I’m appalled,” Kim Summers of Freehold, New Jersey told the New York Times. She and her husband Robert were scheduled to fly to Russia to bring a 21-month-old boy home on January 14th.
“I can’t even fathom what is happening, something so political that has absolutely nothing to do with children,” Summers said.
“What do we do?” asked prospective parent Adam Huhn and his wife Jodi of Great Falls, Montana, who are scheduled this week to fly to Russia. “Do we cancel our flight? Do we just go and find out what we can in the country?”
“[The adoption agency] said, ‘Feel free to come and risk it,’ ” Jodi told USA Today. “The Russian adoption organization is at risk even talking to us. Right now it’s against the law for them to even advise us. So we can come, and we can go to our hotel and wait to see if something happens.”
“I’m a little numb,” commented Maria Drewinskyof Sea Cliff, New York, who has been completing the adoption process with her husband. “We have clothes and a bedroom all set up for him, and we talk about him all the time as our son.”
For those that have already adopted from Russia, they state that they are grateful they were able to get the children home before Putin closed the door to the Western world. They also add that they grieve with those parents that are uncertain whether or not they will ever be able to bring their chosen child back to the states.
“I am so heartbroken for all of the kids and for their families,” writes mother Vanessa Delgado on Fort Worth, Texas on her family blog. “I feel like there is nothing we can do because [Putin] has already signed this into a law, but we have to do something!”
She adopted a little boy named Anton last year from the country, who is now doing very well despite struggling with epidermolysis bullosa, a rare skin condition.
“A few days ago, I was holding Anton when he leaned over [and] put his cheek up to mine and gave me a huge hug,” Delgado outlined. “We stayed like that for about a minute, and then Anton said, ‘Mommy, I so happy.’ It was the sweetest moment ever and it made me cry!”
She told the Washington Post that she sees adoption as a mirror of what God did for us in Christ.
“Adoption is a beautiful gift,” Delgado explained. “God adopted us through Jesus when we did nothing to deserve it. It’s a beautiful picture of the Gospel.”
All in all, the families state that they are praying for a miracle, so that they might be able to continue to care for orphans as commanded by Scripture. According to reports, one Russian lawmaker plans on presenting an amendment to the restriction that would allow disabled children to be adopted by American parents.
“We’re not giving up hope because there still is that chance the amendment will pass and we’ll be able to proceed,” the Huhn family said.
“[These children] have opportunities they never would have had in the orphanage,” Delgado added. “So the ban is absolutely devastating. I pray it will be lifted.”