Saturday, February 11, 2012

Russia Suspending Adoptions to the U.S.?

Several different media outlets are reporting this, as if it's NEW news, but I'd already heard that this request was in the works since January 18, and blogged about it 10 days ago.  So I don't know if it qualifies as new-news.There's also lots of contradictions in the reporting. Maybe it's worthwhile to try to clear up some of that. . . .

All seem to agree as to the reason is "an 'incessant string of crimes' allegedly committed by American adoptive parents." Some are saying that adoptions are suspended until the U.S. and Russia "sign an accord."  But of course, we know there was a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Russia about adoptions in July 2011, after the Artyom incident.  Maybe it's the nature of the agreement -- some of the reports say adoptions are to be suspended until there's an agreement that "allows Russian monitors to visit the homes of adopted children."

The Russia News Agency.seems to be reporting it differently:
Moscow will suspend the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens until the Russian-U.S. adoption deal comes into force, Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

The move comes after series of incidents involving the mistreatment of adopted Russian children in the United States.

“Regarding the incessant series of crimes in the United States against adopted Russian children, Russian Foreign Ministry rules that the adoption procedures for the U.S. citizens should be suspended until the Russian-U.S. adoption deal, signed on July 13, 2011, comes into force,” the ministry said in a statement.

Russia and the United States signed a bilateral adoption agreement in July which states several important points, including psychological testing of the adoptive parents as well as obliges adoptive parents to work with only accredited adoption agencies.
If it's just a suspension until prospective adoptive parents have satisfied the psychological testing requirement, it doesn't seem like such a big deal.  If it's until the U.S. agrees to let Russian monitors into adoptive parents homes?  That could be a deal breaker, since the U.S. wouldn't agree to it in the July 2011 bilateral agreement, as the State Department background briefing about the agreement made clear.

Probably too early to tell what will ultimately come of it. Maybe it's as this article reports -- just a political tool in the domestic elections in Russia to gin up anti-American sentiment, and after those elections (in March, I believe) the issue will go away. Who knows.

1 comment:

Kris said...

This happened back in 2005 when we were adopting and lead to required psychological evals for PAPs. I honestly think a lot of it is political. When we were there our hosts were watching a talk show where the topic was Americans adopting Russian children. Our host was translating it for us; it was basically anti-American and didn't have much to do with the children themselves.

That being said, I hope Russia does discontinue international adoptions and finds a way to deal with its rampant drug and alcohol problems. I hope more Russians can be encouraged to adopt and more Russian women are able keep their babies.