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Last Russia Adoption Finalized As Ban Sets In, Heartbreak Ensues

last russia adoption 2013

The last Russian adoption is set to be finalized in the coming weeks as American adoptive parents and Russian orphans cope with a ban set into place by Vladimir Putin in retaliation for US sanctions — and dozens of children and parents’ futures are heartbreakingly unclear as the new law takes effect.

The last Russia adoption casts more than 50 pending adoptions in limbo — with parents and children still in Russia coping with the potential their reunion may never happen, a casualty of a diplomatic scuffle leaving many soon-to-be families out in the cold.

Even as the last Russia adoption looms, some parents are breathing a sigh of relief following clarification just days ago from the Russian government about adoptions in later stages.

As the New York Times reports, Russian child rights commissioner Pavel A. Astakho confirmed last week that late and pending adoptions would essentially be grandfathered in despite the ban, allowing orphaned kids in Russia to join waiting families in America.

Astakho said during a press conference lasting an hour and a half that the last Russia adoptions will indeed go through, stating:

“All children on whom there is a court decision will leave the Russian Federation for the States.”

However, the commissioner also defended the controversial decision to halt American adoption of Russian kids during the heated conference. And for Robert and Kim Summers, awaiting the arrival home of their son Preston, the wait was agonizing.

The pair are part of one of the last Russia adoptions to be finalized after the ban, but that wasn’t immediately clear. ABC reports:

“[The Summers] were supposed to bring Preston home on Jan. 11, but the date came and went. A judge gave final approval, but officials in the passport office were reluctant to issue travel documents because they did not know if the adoption ban applied in this case.”

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Ultimately, the Summers were among the lucky last parents to complete their adoption, and Preston was allowed to travel home with them. For many American couples and Russian kids, the future is unclear, and all remain pawns in the diplomatic bickering.

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11 Responses to “Last Russia Adoption Finalized As Ban Sets In, Heartbreak Ensues”

  1. Michele Elliott Halley

    Because of one stupid woman, two entire nations suffer…

  2. Jeanette Jancee

    The US violated the adoption treaty first by failing to allow Russian officials access to an abused Russian-born boy (Maxim Babayev) in Florida. If the US cannot be bothered to hold up its end of an adoption treaty that came into force all of two months ago, why should Russia? Actions have consequences.

    Although the ban on American adoptions is political, it is also about a LOT more than politics — and has been a long time coming. Russia's legitimately upset about the "only" 19 Russian-born kids killed by their US adoptive parents, the 400 "missing" Russian-born kids (parents have not turned in mandatory post-placement reports), the ghastly unlicensed Ranch for Kids in Montana (to which far too many adoptive parents exile their RUssian kiddos), etc. There's also the matter of corruption on the part of adoption agencies and "ministries", like Reece's Raibow, through which the Preeces are adopting their little boy. (RR illegally photolists Russian kids – it's illegal as only the Russian govt is allowed to photolist Russia kids, as per Russian law. details at

    FInally, Americans aren't entitled to adopt Russian kids – it's a privilege that can be revoked at any time (Russia's a sovreign state) for any (or no or a petty political) reason. Russia hasn't suspended ALL interntional adoptions… just American ones. Countries that don't illegally photolist Russian kids, do not violate their adoption treaty with Russia are still allowed to adopt Russian children — Canada, Norway, England, Italy, Spain, France, Scotland, etc.

    Russia's also made great strides in improving child welfare and shutting down these adoptions may well be part of it. Is reform happening fast enough? No, but neither is reform of foster care here in the US and nobody's suggesting we let foreigners adopt US foster kids until the mess that is "the system" gets fixed. (Very sadly, aged-out Russian orphans do about as well as aged-out US foster kids… as in really, really, really poorly. Perhaps our govt isn't so well positioned to tell RUssia what to do about a vexing social problem we have no idea how to fix?).

  3. Mary Velte Hinds Ford

    you people are wicked. these children deserve a mother and father.

  4. Keri Wilhelm

    This makes me hurt inside to think of all the potential good homes that these kids will be going to. I hope they let the current adoptions continue. Praying for everyone involved.

  5. Peter Dodds

    I was adopted from a German orphanage by an American couple and applaud the ban prohibiting Americans from adopting Russian children. In this television interview, I describe international adoption from a unique perspective–that of a foreign orphan adopted to the United States–and harm caused by uprooting children from their native countries and cultures, the abandonment of US foster care children and money's corrupting influence on international adoption.

    Peter Dodds

  6. Jeanette Jancee

    Americans aren't entitled to adopt Russian kids — and the referrals who have US potential adoptive parents are just that. Referrals.

    Russia prefers to have its kids adopted by citizens of countries that don't abuse/kill them, illegally photolist them and whose govts do not violate their adoption treaty with Russia. Lots of European countries meet these (frankly really really really) basic standards. The USA can't be bothered to.

  7. Jeanette Jancee

    Nope, not at all. The US violated the adoption treaty with Russia first (maxim Babayev).

    This is a FACT.

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