Is Russia suspending U.S. adoptions?

In a previous post, we discussed how Russia — the preferred destination of many prospective parents — temporarily closed adoptions to U.S. families. Here, the temporary ban came after a Tennessee woman put her child alone on a plane back to Russia with nothing more than a note pinned inside his pocket.

“This child is mentally unstable,” read the note to officials at the Russian Ministry of Education. “He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues/behaviors. I was lied to and misled by the Russian orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability and other issues.”

The child is safe and now living in a Russian orphanage. However, the incident sparked international outrage and legal action here in the U.S. as the World Association for Children and Parents — the international adoption agency that placed the child with the Tennessee mother — initiated legal action to recover child support.

In recent developments, it appears that Russia’s Foreign Ministry has once again proposed enacting a ban on adoptions to American families, citing the incident involving the Tennessee woman and several other U.S. cases involving crimes against adopted Russian children.

Specifically, they are calling for a ban on U.S. adoptions until the two countries sign an agreement that would enable Russian officials to more closely monitor the health, safety and welfare of adopted children.

The U.S. State Department has yet to confirm any ban on adoptions.

The news of a potential ban has many prospective parents concerned, as they may be forced to start the arduous international adoption process — extensive background checks, paperwork and costs — all over again.

“When you’re over there, you see how many kids really need a good home — and then they make it more difficult for families to do what they do, which is make a family,” said one man who has adopted two Russian children.

It is estimated that U.S. citizens have adopted more than 50,000 Russian children over the last twenty years.

Stay tuned for updates from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about child custody, visitation, grandparents’ rights or adoption rights, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


ABC News, “Russia considers suspending adoptions to U.S.” Feb. 12, 2011

Fox News, “Russian media reports possible halt of U.S. adoptions” Feb. 14, 2011