Sunday, January 22, 2012

Russia With No Orphans?

At Voice of Russia, Russia’s Ombudsman for Children’s Rights Pavel Astakhov says that within 5 years, there will be an end to orphanhood in Russia:
Despite the signing of agreements on cooperation in the field of adoption between Russia on the one hand and the USA and France on the other, and earlier between Russia and Italy in the outgoing year, Russia’s Ombudsman for Children’s Rights Pavel Astakhov believes that child adoption by foreigners is a temporary phenomenon in this country. “Russia needs 5 years to do away with orphanhood”, Astakhov says, adding that “only specialized orphanages for children who need a complex medical care will remain in this country”.

Hot debates around child adoption by foreigners are currently underway in the Russian society. The supporters of this idea say that first of all, this is good for children themselves since only handicapped children are taken abroad. But in reality the situation is somewhat different, Astakhov says.

"Last year foreign citizens adopted 3,355 children. Out of these 3,355 only 4 per cent – to be more exact, 148 children were handicapped. Which means that Americans adopted 44 disabled children out of more than 1,000. Russian citizens adopt disabled children far more willingly."

There’s one more thing that should be mentioned here - they say that foreigners adopt the children which were rejected by potential adoptive parents in Russia. In reality, they adopt children under 3 years old, that is, the children for the adoption of which Russian citizens are queuing. People also say that foreigners pay children’s surgical operations, thus, saving their lives. Meanwhile, in Russia high-tech medical help was offered to more than 50, 000 children, including orphans in the first place, last year.

* * *

Some time ago Russia’s Ombudsman for Children’s Rights Pavel Astakhov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov signed a joint address to the Supreme Court, with a request for the necessity of introducing a moratorium on adoption by foreigners. Astakhov is sure that Russia needs 5 years to do away with orphanages and that children who need adoption will be taken into adoptive families in Russia.


Anonymous said...

What a crock of dung. So, are they going to MAKE Russians adopt NSN children who would otherwise be in orphanages?
I have a hard time believing anything from a representative of Russia about their orphanages. IMO, they are far more interested in saving face with the rest of the world, than they're interested in actually being honest about it's unwanted children.

Anonymous said...

Russia has institutionalized children for decades and only a small percentage of them are available for adoption. 750,000 Russian kids are in institutions right now because warehousing kids with issues is part of their infrastructure and culture. Single parents, especially parents of children with any kind of handicap, are routinely urged to surrender and institionalize. Adoption is not even an issue in most of these family separations and adopters do not drive this system in a major way because other social pressures trump adoption. Russia has also been acutely aware of problems in int'l adoption.

Sharon said...

Many institutionalized kids are of Roma ethnicity. Is he going to do away with discrimination against the Roma people within five years. If only!

Kris said...

I have to agree with the above commenters. Most of the Russian children are not even available for adoption. Many have families that come to see them infrequently. They are "warehoused". Many of the kids in orphanages are Roma or Chuvash or other ehtnicities. Good luck getting "true Russians" (as they call themselves) to adopt these children.

Anonymous said...

Agree with all of the above. We adopted from Russia 7 years ago, and I follow all developments closely. Adoption by foreigners has decreased due to impossible restrictions placed on IA, as well as skyrocketing cost and corruption; it's free for Russians to adopt, but over 50,000.00 for non Russians for example. Where does the money go?
Many Russian children are put into baby homes or internats in place of the parents caring for them at home. They receive visits from family members and go home in the summertime to grandparents in some cases. So very few are actually available for adoption.
As for Russians "queuing up" to adopt, children can't be put up for IA until they're almost a year old, while Russians may adopt newborns, so any children still available for IA have been rejected by Russian citizens. We had paperwork that proved our son was rejected by Russian citizens prior to us adopting him at a year old. They even included the comments made by these folks about why they didn't adopt him, and these were read in court, and now are a part of our court papers that my son will someday read....
Honestly, the entire mindset of the Russian people would have to change for orphanhood to disappear. Children now are fostered for money, then returned to the orphanages for many reasons, and this happens to each child multiple times: how can this be good?
One thing that sticks in my mind and will never leave: we were talking to a Russian hotel worker about our son (we'd been there 2 weeks just myself and husband, suddenly had a baby and she was curious) and adoption, hoping that she'd see something positive in this...and she seemed astounded.
"But why would you want to do this?" she kept asking. I turned the tables and said "But why not? And why do so few Russians adopt?" She looked me straight in the eye and said "Russians have a saying: why would you take in the trash that another person has put out?" I was disgusted, but she thought this was a perfectly apt way to describe thoughts on adopting "defective" kids of "bad" birthparents...I kept hearing "But what kind of people give up or lose their own children?"
This was a huge factor in us making contact with our son's birthmother before the trail grew cold. She stands by her original choice, and I am relieved it was a choice she made freely and for her own reasons.