The Russian adoption ban

The Russian adoption ban. What’s to be said? That it dooms hundreds of children who might have been adopted to a life lived inside the four walls of an institution. The reality is almost too heartbreaking to think about, except that, around the world, millions of children have no other choice.

Here are links to two articles that I found compelling. The first, because it describes conditions inside orphanages in Russia; and the second, because it addresses the ramifications of summarily closing a country’s international program.

Russia’s Adoption Ban Is Cruel and Vindictive to All, by Dr. Jane Aronson in the Daily Beast.

Russia’s Adoption Ban Plays Politics with Most Vulnerable, by KJ Dell-Antonia in the New York Times.

I’m pasting here┬áthe text of a letter to the New York Times, written in response to a Times cover story about the situation, because the same can be said about the waiting children and families of the Guatemala 900.

Many facets of international adoptions are debatable, but one is not. Stopping nearly complete adoptions is cruel. To let human bonds form and then destroy them shows a level of callousness uncommon even for politicians.

When an American adoptive mother sent her child back to Russia with a note saying she was abandoning him, Russians were rightly outraged. Treating children as objects is offensive. Treating them as political pawns is no less so.

Cambridge, Mass., Dec. 28, 2012

Amen, and Is anybody listening?




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