August: Dog Days of Summer

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Russia, Russia, Russia!! (To be screeched in your best Jan Brady whining tone)
Today, I read on the PAIL Bloggers guest post that President Putin has officially banned all adoptions from Russia to the USA. Including any that are in process. Apparently, the new law "is part of larger legislation by Putin-allied lawmakers retaliating against a recently signed U.S. law that calls for sanctions against Russians deemed to be human rights violators," according to the story in the Huffington Post. I'm so saddened by this- and truly disgusted. I'm sickened that a twisted politician would "retaliate" in any way to another country in the first place (yes, I know this happens all the time) but to use innocent children as pawns in a spoiled brat reaction is really gross. Because, who is Putin really punishing? The USA? Adoptive families in the USA? Or the needy and family-less children in his own backyard? Is he going to personally insure that all of these children will be well taken care of? Well fed, clothed, kept warm, educated, loved? I seriously doubt it. I suspect he will simply turn his back on them-because, really, wasn't the whole point of this law just to "get back" at the U.S.? Who gives a shit about the children- "fuck those Americans and their adoptions, we're going to keep all our little Russian children here in their own country. THAT'LL show THEM." <raspberry>   Where they can spend the rest of their lives stuck in an institutional, bureaucratic system instead of in loving homes with families and parents.
Here's the response to the post that I wrote this afternoon...
Oh this saddens me so much!! My great friend and former roommate has adopted twice from Russia. Her girls are so beautiful and happy- they are a marvelous little family. When we were in the midst of our own IF drama, we briefly explored Russian adoption. We found that both the wait and the expense were going to be too much for us- particularly as we were already, by that time, considered “older” parents. I was so dismayed at the condition of some of the orphanages – babies with flattened backs of their heads, who were being put down in their cribs all day long on their backs with no changes or stimulation, delayed learning from lack of stimulation, potty training by being sat down on buckets or potties for hours on end. Really horrifying. I don’t know how much of these tales were factual and how much were exaggeration or even fabrication. What I did know, is that there were far too many children in need of good homes and not enough families in their own countries adopting. I also knew that the majority of these children were the products of drug addicted parents, and struggled with withdrawal symptoms, emotional issues or severe learning/ social drawbacks. All very challenging stuff for any family, made even more so by the added stresses of adoption, and international adoption at that. It broke my heart and I did not think we had the fortitude for such stresses. Selfish sounding, I know. But I knew our limitations. Obviously the woman who sent her child back on an airplane had underestimated her own limitations, which is tragic. I wonder how common that underestimation actually is? I know there are so many deserving families out there who desperately want children through adoption- and how many of them end up facing problems they never could have imagined? I also wonder if the sharp drop in international adoption rates coincides with a rise in infertility treatments and successes here? Could it be that all of those families who were historically adopting are now having greater success conceiving their own children? Has science made such great strides with infertility treatments that adoption itself is becoming a “thing of the past” for those who cannot find success with IF treatments? I really hope not. There must be many many families out there who choose adoption for the sake of wanting to adopt- period. I think of adoption as something truly beautiful and noble. I have often thought about our own decision against it, and for moving forward with a gestational carrier so we were able to have “our own” children. I have guilt about this. I sometimes still consider adopting- though by now we really are much older parents! (And really couldn’t afford it) If I were to pursue adoption now, it would definitely have been through Russia. It breaks my heart to know that petty, political backstabbing will hinder this process when so very many will suffer. And who will suffer most from this decision? Innocent children in need of loving homes. I hope Russia is prepared to find more (desperately needed) funding to support the ever growing (now even more so) population of these children, and to keep the orphanages already so underfunded, running, staffed, and stocked? If they won’t accept American parents, will they accept American dollars to at least try to provide better environments for the growing number of institutionalized minors? One can only hope.
Has anyone else noticed President Putin's name being the last part of RASPUTIN!? Hmmmm... makes me wonder....  Maybe he really DIDN'T ever die!? Evil fucker.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your comment on my guest post over at PAIL! Unfortunately I think the stories of flattened heads and sitting on the potties for hours are pretty common. We had to watch a video that showed Russian and Ukranian orphanages that were like that in the adoption education class our agency put on. The odd thing is that when the video ended, we looked around and everyone was crying and the instructor said, "Oh weren't those orphanages terrible!?" but the ones in the video looked luxurious compared to the ones we'd seen in pictures of Congo, so we were looking at each other thinking the video wasn't that bad! I sincerely hope Putin has a change of heart - nothing good comes of spending extra months and years in an orphanage :(