U.S. families continuing to fight Russian adoption ban

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent shockwaves around the globe last December when he signed a bill into law officially banning the adoption of Russian children by American families.

According to some political experts, the adoption ban was more than likely signed as a form of retribution for the enactment of the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law that imposes rather stringent visa and financial sanctions on those Russian officials facing allegations of human rights abuses.

For their part, however, President Putin and Russian lawmakers have indicated that the ban was necessary to protect native children from abuse and other objectionable conditions found in American families. Specifically, they pointed to several U.S. cases involving crimes against adopted Russian children, including one incident where a Tennessee woman put her adopted child alone on a plane back to Russia with nothing more than a note pinned inside his pocket.

The adoption ban was understandably painful to those American families nearing the end of the complicated, expensive and emotionally challenging adoption process.

Interestingly, many of these American families descended upon Washington, D.C. this past week to urge the federal government to take action so that they could complete their much anticipated and nearly completed adoptions of Russian orphans.

The group — comprised of hundreds of so-called “pipeline” families — presented a proposal to both federal lawmakers and the Russian ambassador, indicating that they were willing to do everything possible to complete their adoptions, including submitting to regular visits from Russian officials, and other forms of increased transparency/oversight.

“This group of families is dedicated to these children,” said the mother of one adopted Russian boy who saw her second adoption of a Russian girl fall through after the ban. “Don’t let out children be abandoned again due to politics.”

Despite the difficult political landscape and the possibility that their children have already been adopted, the families have vowed to continue their fight. Here’s hoping that lawmakers in both countries can make progress in bringing these loving families together.

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

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

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

Source: The Washington Post, “Families in the midst of adopting Russian orphans urge officials to release children,” Tara Bahrampour, May 14. 2013