Russian Adoption Ban Devastates American Families
Last Friday, President Putin signed a bill banning the adoption of Russian children by American citizens. This comes as retaliation from the new American law aimed to punish Russian human rights violators. The new law is named after Sergei L. Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who tried to expose government tax fraud, but was arrest and died in prison after allegedly being denied proper medical care. The Magnitsky law prohibits individuals, like the doctor that refused medical treatment to Mr. Magnitsky before he died, to travel or own property in the United States.
But none of that matters to the families this ban is tearing apart.
Moms and dads who already have a face, name, and place for their new son or daughter are now devastated. People like Maria Drewinsky and her husband, who were in the final stages of adopting a 5-year-old-boy, have flown several times to see the boy and already have a bedroom with clothes set up for him. Another 3-year-old girl with H.I.V was in the final stages of her adoption to an American family, but may also be stuck because her chances of being adopted by a Russian family are very slim.
Russia has approximately 120,000 children eligible for adoption and many of them are sick, disabled or have other developmental delays. Heather Whaley, a special-needs therapist, felt compelled to adopt and was in the final stages of adopting a 4-year-old girl with several developmental delays from an orphanage in Russia. She and her husband have already gone through all the screenings, visited the girl, and saved their money for this process. Yet, with the new ban they are left with uncertainty and emptiness of a child they may never see again.
The ban is set to go into effect on Tuesday and will overturn the plans of over 200 American families in the final stages of adopting children their hearts have already claimed.