ONTD Political

Putin signs bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children

4:29 pm - 12/28/2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill Friday that bars Americans from adopting Russian children, provoking anguish among U.S. families that have been waiting months, and in some cases years, to complete the process.

The legislation caps a year of increasing Russian hostility toward the United States, stoked by Putin but taken up with unexpected gusto by members of parliament. A series of measures has taken aim at what is perceived to be — or characterized as — American interference in Russian concerns, from political organizing to the defense of human rights. The adoption bill is seen as retaliation against a U.S. law that targets corrupt Russian officials.

Passage of the legislation is a benchmark in the deterioration of Russian-American relations, and unlike some of the earlier, symbolic moves, it has real consequences. Over the past 20 years, 60,000 Russians have been adopted by Americans, and officials said the measure would block the pending adoptions of 46 children.

Kim Summers of Freehold, N.J., was just weeks away from bringing home her adopted son, Preston, when the legislation hit. She and her husband adopted him on Dec. 12 and returned to the United States three days later to complete a required 30-day waiting period.

“As far as we knew until this morning, he was coming home with us,” Summers said. “What’s going on has absolutely nothing to do with parenting a child. My son was looked at by 22 Russian families before I had the chance to even fathom adopting him, and none of them wanted him.”

Senior members of the Russian cabinet had warned against the bill, saying that it punishes orphans more than it does American politicians and that it looks like a defense of corruption while unavoidably drawing attention to the sorry state of Russian orphanages.

But Putin disregarded the warnings, seemingly pulled along by the enthusiasm for the legislation in both houses of parliament.

Washington reacted sharply to the new law Friday. The State Department issued a statement saying it deeply regrets “the Russian government’s politically motivated decision.” It also expressed hope that adoptive parents and children “who have already met and bonded” would be allowed to complete adoption procedures that were initiated before the law took effect.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called Putin’s action “shameful and appalling” and said the law’s effects on thousands of Russian children would be “cruel and malicious.” He said in a statement: “I often wonder how much lower the Russian government under President Putin can stoop. But to punish innocent babies and children over a political disagreement between our governments is a new low, even for Putin’s Russia.

The issues at the heart of the U.S.-Russian relationship in the coming year are critical to the United States, primarily the continuing transit of goods into and out of Afghanistan, and Russian cooperation on Iran. So far, both topics have been kept mostly out of the fray.

For several weeks, Putin appeared to be putting the brakes on the adoption ban. He raised questions about it at his annual news conference this month, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Science and Education Minister Dmitry Livanov, among others, called it ill-advised. But on Thursday, Putin said, “I have not seen any reason why I should not sign it.”


i feel for these families, especially the ones who were just a couple weeks away from being able to take take their children home
executivehpfan 28th-Dec-2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
How incredibly fucked up. I hope those families are able to complete the process and bring home their babies before the legislation takes effect.

I've been in a cloud of school and work for the past few months, so I may be missing something here, but...did anything predicate this particular move by Putin?
lakomka87 28th-Dec-2012 10:50 pm (UTC)
well he's always been an asshole?
anyway, what this article doesn't mention, is that this law is supposed to be the 'punishment' for the Magnitsky bill

Edited at 2012-12-28 10:50 pm (UTC)
door 28th-Dec-2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
I can't help but be reminded of that American woman who put her adopted son on a plane back to Russia because he was "difficult" and wonder if this isn't in part some retaliation for that.

moonbladem 28th-Dec-2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
MTE. I thought this legislation was also partly in response to that.
lamardeuse 28th-Dec-2012 11:43 pm (UTC)
Over the past 20 years, 60,000 Russians have been adopted by Americans

This isn't anything but traficking of children across international boundaries. There's money involved - the American families have it, and the Russian adoption agencies/government agencies need it. Enough already.
mangosorbet007 28th-Dec-2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
Very true but it's not like Russians are lining up to adopt these children. From what I understand, only children Russians have turned down are even made available for international adoption. So while international adoption has a high probability to turn into a racket, for kids with physical and mental challenges I'd actually say that being adopted by foreigners is pretty much their only chance at decent care and a productive, happy life.
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papasha_mueller Geeeee28th-Dec-2012 11:59 pm (UTC)
@Washington reacted sharply to the new law Friday. The State Department issued a statement saying it deeply regrets “the Russian government’s politically motivated decision.” It also expressed hope that adoptive parents and children “who have already met and bonded” would be allowed to complete adoption procedures that were initiated before the law took effect.@

Das ist Bullshit.
'Deep regret' and 'expressing hope', 'sharp reaction', my ass.

anwyn18 Re: Geeeee29th-Dec-2012 01:57 am (UTC)
...and what are they supposed to do? Go in and kidnap the children?
sio 29th-Dec-2012 12:08 am (UTC)
i'd suggest adding the "fuck this guy" tag, OP.

because, really, Putin--fuck you. you don't give two shits about the abandoned children in your country and don't pretend that you do....or you'd realize it's better for them to be adopted out of country than sit in orphanages, where they are almost always ignored and, in many cases, abused. yup, that's SO much better than a loving American family.

fuck you.
doverz 29th-Dec-2012 12:35 am (UTC)
This makes me sad. One of the girls where I work was born in Russia and adopted from an orphanage. She has behavioral/emotional issues but her parents really love her and seem that they'll do anything to help her. It really sucks to think about what her life would be like in Russia right now if this bill had been passed 10 years earlier.
layweed 29th-Dec-2012 01:00 am (UTC)
What about mail order brides?
devetu 29th-Dec-2012 02:38 am (UTC)
not necessarily a bad thing. transnational adoption is rife with all kinds of horrible things.
angry_chick 29th-Dec-2012 05:29 am (UTC)
maenads_dance 29th-Dec-2012 04:18 am (UTC)
I have Thoughts (capital T) about this.

There are a lot of really well-documented reasons why international adoption is not as simple as wealthy white Americans rescuing poor brown babies from lives of terrible poverty or deprivation. International adoption can sometimes come very close to the sale of a child, particularly when children are being adopted from VERY poor nations. There have been a number of high-profile cases of adoption where the "adopted" child was not unwanted by the family - where the family had surrendered the child to an orphanage hoping that it would be temporary, until the family could get their legs back under them. Such surrenders are symptoms of a system with no welfare, no safety net.

On the other hand, I really dislike the false equivalences being drawn here between the prospects of a Russian orphan (or unwanted child) in Russia versus the U.S. Russia is not a "first world" nation. There is a lot of poverty in the parts of Russia that are not large cities close to the West. More than that, children in Russian state care tend to be disabled or ill, and get little to no care. Many of these kids would in fact be better off, individually, in adoptive homes.

I think it's fair to talk about whether international adoption acts as a safety valve or whether it enables a system that provides no safety net for vulnerable mothers and families, but I think it's bullshit to act like the institutional problems in the US with healthcare/welfare are comparable to those in Russia (or a number of other ex-Soviet states).
sfrlz 29th-Dec-2012 04:25 am (UTC)
Thank you for this comment.
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redstar826 29th-Dec-2012 04:23 am (UTC)
So, this just applies to the US? Like, a couple from Canada could still adopt a Russian child? Yeah, that doesn't sound politically motivated at all...
maenads_dance 29th-Dec-2012 04:30 am (UTC)
Exactly. Putin is an incredibly creepy leader who uses post-Soviet resentment of Russia's new second-class status on the world stage to whip up nationalist support, and banning US adoption is part of a whole slew of shitty things he's done lately, whether it's threatening Russians with huge jailtime for associating with international NGOs to supporting speech restrictions for LGBT folks. Putin is about as scummy personally as Berlusconi, and about as corrupt; moreover, he also engages in a weird brand of personal propaganda (riding shirtless, diving for 3000 year old pots, shepherding endangered cranes to safety in an experimental aircraft) that have more in common with totalitarian leaders than with democratically elected officials. United Russia regularly engages in voter fraud - my favorite instance is the returns from Chechnya I believe in the most recent example where a whopping 99% of voters apparently turned out for Putin (and in some districts, you got like 106% voting, lol) which given Putin's history of brutal repression sounds more than a little fishy.
evil_laugher 29th-Dec-2012 07:38 am (UTC)
As mentioned above: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnitsky_bill
knigolubka 29th-Dec-2012 10:40 am (UTC)
I actually agree with this law, the circumstances are off, of course,
The American law system did show that it doesn't give shit about the kids and they are no way safer in the USA than in Russia. The Dima Yakovlev / Chase Harrison case was just outrageous.
And why do the Americans want Russian babies in the first place? America has its own orphans, lots and lots of them, but it seems the potential parents want to play a Great Western Savior or just don't want a baby of color (as far as I remember there are more non-white children in the American system).
Then, the Americans do have more money on average than the Russians and they can spent more money on the legal issues, bribes (that's a big problem in the Russian side) and so on.
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