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Russia’s Adoption Ban: Will More People Move Toward Online Adoption?

What will Prime Minister Putin’s ban on adoption of Russian children to the US mean more online adoption options for hopeful parents?


Just before the onset of the New Year, the world was stunned to hear that Russia would place a crippling ban on adoptions. For the first time in many decades, a ban was placed on adoptions from Russia to the United States—a move with clear political implications on the part of Prime Minister Putin.
But in more tragic news for parents who had already begun their online adoption or other adoption proceedings, thousands of practically complete adoptions were stopped in their tracks—Putin’s adoption ban also meant that many thousands of adoptions in process—even those in which children were mere weeks away from boarding planes to come be with their new American moms and dads—would be treated as if they had never begun.
Naturally, thousands of US-based families are now grieving the loss of a child they never had, though they may have met him or her once or twice in the Russian orphanage where so many children are packed to the limits in over capacity facilities.
But those families that were still in process who had not made their final decisions about when or how to adopt online, while outraged and saddened by the news of Putin’s new adoption ban, are ready to hit the ground running in 2013. “We had just really started our online adoption research when we heard about Russia’s [adoption] ban, but still, it made us so angry. There are so many great kids over there going to bed without mommies and daddies—makes you wonder how in the heck he [Putin] sleeps at night making a sick decision like that,” says Sheila Undermeyer, a prospective adoptive parent in El Segundo. “My husband recently did a stepparent adoption with my son, which made us feel like a family in so many new ways,” stated Undermeyer, adding “but with my son starting high school next year, we’re ready to add a new member to the family. Bans like this one make it so hard. My heart breaks for the people who already had things lined up.”
The Augusta Chronicle editorial staff sums up the ban most succinctly: “This unforgivable politicization of child welfare will break the hearts of loving adoptive parents-to-be here, and stunt the futures of babies there. How cold.”

International bans on adoption will hopefully not be a trend in 2013, but hopeful parents across the country are continuing to look into their online adoption options every day with vigor.


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