Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Melissa in Australia

Russia bans adoptions to US

Recommended Posts

I am the mom to five kids from the former USSR (Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan). All our children are amazing. AMAZING. Yes, we dealt with RAD in our youngest who was adopted at 11 months old, but today as a newly minted 10 year old this week he is the single most compassionate, loving, tender child ever who HAS healed and bonded tightly to his family. We have adopted older kids (8, 10 and 11 at the time of adoption), infants (11 months old), trans-racial, traumatized, neglected, brain damaged...you name it, we've got it.

 

I'd do it all again in a heartbeat to have these precious kids I am watching grow into wonderful young people. Has it been hard? Yes, it surely has. Has it been worth it? Ten times over.

 

The conditions in some orphanages are not as bad as others. But even in so called "good" orphanages, which our daughters came from, there is an appalling lack of necessities. No clean water, no soap, no decent clothing, no decent education (my 11 year old did not know she lived on planet Earth and thought mermaids were real. Seriously.). Mostly though, there was no one to care about the individual hearts and souls, no one to encourage, no one to whom they really mattered. I have heard horrific tales of not one, but multiple suicides of children in their orphanage who were terrified of life once they aged out. I have heard from my son of sexual abuse and predatory behavior of older kids on younger ones...and by older I mean 7 and 8 on 2 and 3 year olds. I have visited special needs orphanages and seen with my own eyes children tied to beds who have rarely ever been out of them, bed sores covering their bodies, minds numbed by staring at a ceiling for years. Children who are warehoused, who are nothing more than a problem to be tolerated.

 

But really, the worst thing is the neglect and lack of stimulation that causes permanent damage to brains. I have a son who will simply never be able to remember things, whose ability to use logic is often hampered.

 

HOWEVER...they are the most compassionate kids, the most hard working young people, the best companions for each other, and have overcome so much! They are my heroes in every sense of the word. We have two classified recently as gifted, with one of them "twice exceptional" with dysgraphia as well. We have the best family life anyone could ever ask for with lots of laughter, support, encouragement and deep love.

 

These kids are worth something, not just mine, but all those left behind. They will be hidden from the world and the neglect and abuse will indeed worsen because NO ONE WILL KNOW. There will be no more outside eyes reporting, and believe me, the worse orphanages are God awful places that are far worse than any terrible nursing home you have been in. Starvation is normal, self-stimulating behaviors abound because what has happened is these kids are in prison. We call it "orphanage" but it is prison in every possible way.

 

What Russia has done is essentially doomed children to death or at the very least, a life of unspeakable sadness. Upon learning of this ruling today, all five of my children sat and looked around the table at one another, and one spoke up saying, "But Mom...those kids...all those hundreds of thousands of kids...what will happen to them?". There was no answer, for we all already know what will happen to them.

 

There are no adequate words...and you have no idea until you have seen it with your own eyes, or parented it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bill did a lot more than just ban adoptions by Americans, although that's what got the press, both here and in Russia. There is plenty of opposition to the ban in Russia too.

 

Personally, I'd love to see a world where international adoption didn't exist because there is so much potential for corruption and abuse in it and I think there are better solutions. But right now it's one of the better options we have in place, so I'll continue supporting international adoption in Hague Adoption Convention countries.

 

I, too, would love to see a far better regulated international adoption system. Corruption? You couldn't be more right!! Everyone knows their fees are lining the pockets of officials and coordinators. Everyone knows that each person along the line is getting their piece of the action. When you place a price tag on the head of a "commodity" which, in this case, happens to be a child, and when it is unregulated, then there is going to be corruption, pure and simple.

 

Why do people do it then, knowing full well that they are participating in it?

 

Because there are no well regulated alternatives, and the children suffer if you don't. They are the true victims in all of it, and they shouldn't be. There is no reason at all why internatonal adoption can't be pretty corruption free, and there is no reason it has to cost what it costs to "ransom" a child. Most adoptive parents would try and say it is not corrupt, that they are paying fees that are reasonable for services rendered.

 

No way. Not true. It only makes you feel better to believe it, but it doesn't make it so. Corruption in countries like the former USSR is part and parcel of doing business. Heck, corruption when it comes to a hot commodity is always going to be rampant, regardless of the country.

 

Knowing all of this to be true, we'd still do it again, because our kids' lives were at stake.

 

I know for a fact one would be dead right now, and another probably as well. I can't even let my mind go there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nogreaterjoymom? As in the Pearls? No thanks. If anyone shouldn't be adopting, it's anyone who follows those nutjobs.

 

Do you know this woman to have any association with the Pearls? I just looked all over blog and didn't see anything like it.

 

The Pearls don't own the phrase, "No Greater Joy." It's from a Bible verse that says, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." A wonderful sentiment. Too bad the Pearls co-opted it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend/acquaintance of mine has adopted a lot (and I mean a lot) of children from the Ukraine and from all appearances they have all been successful. Some they even adopted from disruptions Once the children have been here in the States for a while. I have no idea why this family works, although it is large and I just wonder if kids who have been in these orphanages do better in larger families because they're used to that environment.

 

If anyone is interested in checking out her blog, go to my blog (link is below) and her blog is linked in my sidebar. It's called Smiles and Trials.

 

That's an interesting point. I've read quite a bit and watched documentaries about foreign adoption and RAD. I remember one case, a girl (adopted from russia) was given up by her adoptive family and adopted by a large family that had taken in children from failed adoption before. The girl did well in the new environment whereas she'd been uncontrollable in the other, smaller family.

 

I very much wanted to adopt internationally after we had our first child but DH didn't agree. We couldn't have afforded it anyway. I think I'm relieved, now, that we didn't. Some estimates put the failure rate of foreign adoption at 25%. If that's the rate for the adoptions that are so bad they fall apart, how many others are "just" painful and miserable? I don't think anyone (or at least, very few people) expect "Annie" when they adopt, but they aren't expecting daily anguish either.

 

I do wonder why people who adopt older children internationally aren't adoption older children in the US. There are more than 100,000 children in the US awaiting adoption. Yes, many are troubled, but so are the older children in foreign countries. I wanted to also adopt domestically (which we could have afforded) but DH was still opposed so we never did. I'm overwhelmed by my bio kiddos now so I guess it was for the best.

 

As far as the ban, I can only hope Russia will take better care of its orphans, but my understanding is that Russians "know" that the kids tend to be troubled so they don't adopt them (similar to why americans don't like to adopt from foster care) and given that these kids are at the bottom of the social totem pole, they will probably continue to be neglected and be homeless as adults (again, similar to kids who age out of foster care here).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know this woman to have any association with the Pearls? I just looked all over blog and didn't see anything like it.

 

The Pearls don't own the phrase, "No Greater Joy." It's from a Bible verse that says, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." A wonderful sentiment. Too bad the Pearls co-opted it.

Admittedly, no. I saw the blog title and several post tags on the side "surrender" and "training our children" and assumed. I could certainly be wrong and I apologize if I am wrong about this family - but I do stand by my general Pearl sentiment.

On that note, I do agree with you about the sentiment of the phrase "no greater joy" and I do wish the Pearls hadn't co-opted it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the first thing I looked at, too, the "Training Our Children" tag. I wouldn't have been surprised to see Pearls' teachings, since they use that phrase. But she was asking for book recommendations, thank God, instead of touting one of the abusive methods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the first thing I looked at, too, the "Training Our Children" tag. I wouldn't have been surprised to see Pearls' teachings, since they use that phrase. But she was asking for book recommendations, thank God, instead of touting one of the abusive methods.

 

 

I looked at her blog too, and found this a bit disturbing:

 

The Bible commands us to “go into ALL the world and make disciples of ALL.†Adoption IS setting the captives free. It’s rescuing children out of captivity (neglect, starvation, abuse) and bringing them into His glorious light. Adoption is totally about bringing precious souls into the kingdom of God! It’s salvation, people! For those of us who follow Christ, our God is not defined nor restricted by boundaries and borders. So why should we?

 

Adoption shouldn't be about grabbing as many kids as possible to convert them to Christianity. I think adoption is wonderful, but if this is someone's primary reason for wanting to adopt, they really ought to reexamine their motives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:iagree:

 

MY point about other view was alluding to the amount of corruption and abuse of international adoptions that take place. In fact there is so much corruption and I hate to say it but even child stealing that some countries, like Australia have put sever limitations on international adoption to try and stop the abuse.

I could not think how to word it without offending many people on this board, and As I live in another hemisphere and started the thread late at night before I went to bed, I could not post any more .

 

 

 

I have never heard of child-stealing in Russia. There is a surplus of children. Russia has this whole national pride thing going where they don't like to adopt out their healthiest infants so often doctors have to lie on the forms just to give these otherwise healthy kids a chance because Russians don't want to adopt them -- healthy or otherwise. Our son supposedly had a heart condition that didn't exist. By "didn't exist" I mean that the type of heart condition they said he had was a made-up term --not a real diagnosis.

 

There is a lot of money changing hands in Russia with adoptions, but there is a lot of money changing hands in Russia for everything. The entire system is corrupt and always has been. DH's friend is a business owner there. It is virtually impossible to live to the letter of the law in that country. You have to break the law to survive. It's hard to understand by American standards, and I imagine it's equally difficult to understand it by Australian standards, but that's truly the way it is over there. Banning international adoptions is in no way going to fix their system. It's going to prevent children from finding homes, and more likely than not, these children are going to grow up to be criminals or victims of crime. There is a greater chance of the children left in Russian orphanages growing up and being trafficked in prostitution rings than there are of the children being adopted out in some shady way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

That's an interesting point. I've read quite a bit and watched documentaries about foreign adoption and RAD. I remember one case, a girl (adopted from russia) was given up by her adoptive family and adopted by a large family that had taken in children from failed adoption before. The girl did well in the new environment whereas she'd been uncontrollable in the other, smaller family.

 

I very much wanted to adopt internationally after we had our first child but DH didn't agree. We couldn't have afforded it anyway. I think I'm relieved, now, that we didn't. Some estimates put the failure rate of foreign adoption at 25%. If that's the rate for the adoptions that are so bad they fall apart, how many others are "just" painful and miserable? I don't think anyone (or at least, very few people) expect "Annie" when they adopt, but they aren't expecting daily anguish either.

 

I do wonder why people who adopt older children internationally aren't adoption older children in the US. There are more than 100,000 children in the US awaiting adoption. Yes, many are troubled, but so are the older children in foreign countries. I wanted to also adopt domestically (which we could have afforded) but DH was still opposed so we never did. I'm overwhelmed by my bio kiddos now so I guess it was for the best.

 

As far as the ban, I can only hope Russia will take better care of its orphans, but my understanding is that Russians "know" that the kids tend to be troubled so they don't adopt them (similar to why americans don't like to adopt from foster care) and given that these kids are at the bottom of the social totem pole, they will probably continue to be neglected and be homeless as adults (again, similar to kids who age out of foster care here).

 

 

I can answer the bolded very simply: "Their children were not in the US." Since you have never adopted, you wouldn't understand that most of us enter into the world of adoption with no idea how or where we're going to adopt. We just know it's something we have to do. You research and compile information and suddenly your heart opens up and leads you where you're supposed to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched a documentary on PBS or 60 mins.. One of those on the ruassia orphan. It said the kids has to leave the orphanage at the age of 15 if not adopted. And around 15% of those ended up commit suicide. There is no excuse for those family for abuse an adopted children, but the truth is the Russian is not doing those kids a favor by stoppning the adoption. It is pure stupid and politic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do wonder why people who adopt older children internationally aren't adoption older children in the US. There are more than 100,000 children in the US awaiting adoption.

 

 

Isn't it super-difficult for white families to legally adopt non-white children here in the U.S.? I seem to remember there was a case earlier this year where a half-Native American toddler got taken away from her white adoptive parents even though both parents had signed the paperwork giving her up when she was born.

 

I can understand why parents would prefer to avoid dealing with a situation where the adoption could potentially get undone years later simply because they are the "wrong" race.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Isn't it super-difficult for white families to legally adopt non-white children here in the U.S.? I seem to remember there was a case earlier this year where a half-Native American toddler got taken away from her white adoptive parents even though both parents had signed the paperwork giving her up when she was born.

 

I can understand why parents would prefer to avoid dealing with a situation where the adoption could potentially get undone years later simply because they are the "wrong" race.

 

 

Native American children have their own set of rules and regulations that limit who can adopt them and the circumstances under which they can do so. It was legislated in the past due to "child stealing" from reservations. (Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978) and in the case I think you are discussing, mom gave her up but dad (who is Cherokee) never signed the papers. As for children of other races, I don't think the social services system limits who can adopt them as long as the "fit" is good. This is just anecdotal from a friend who is a foster care caseworker.

 

I do know that to adopt out of the foster system is difficult and can be emotionally draining. I have a family member who is fostering a sibling group of 4 with the goal of adoption, and there have been major ups and downs (including losing the children for a week due to an incompetent caseworker.) Another family we know who has adopted 3 out of the foster system will tell you that adopting children whose parents had rights terminated is not a "clean" adoption. They can find you (and will if it suits them!) My caseworker friend recently had a biological mom contact and child on Facebook that she lost 10 years ago - the adoptive mother called our county DSS to see what she could do to keep the drug addicted mother from her child.

 

At least in an international adoption, the children are either given up or orphaned, with any possible family members continents away. Not so with a US adoption from the foster system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Isn't it super-difficult for white families to legally adopt non-white children here in the U.S.? I seem to remember there was a case earlier this year where a half-Native American toddler got taken away from her white adoptive parents even though both parents had signed the paperwork giving her up when she was born.

 

I can understand why parents would prefer to avoid dealing with a situation where the adoption could potentially get undone years later simply because they are the "wrong" race.

 

As far as I know this is only with Native American children. Our children are all non-white and it was never a problem. I know people have had issues with the foster care system, but we've never had any problems. I guess we've been lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in Canada, there are absolutely situations where they will refuse to place children outside of their racial heritage, not just First Nations children. There are adoption websites w/children from foster care, and some will specifically state that they are looking for families that 'match' racially.

 

As far as First Nations goes...yeah. Children were taken from parents w/out cause, adopted out, placed in 'residential schools'...complete nightmare, and has decimated the culture in so many ways.

 

That being said, I do believe it's gone way too far in the other direction. Children are stuck in foster care, the Tribe isn't adopting or raising them, but refuses to allow them to be adopted, regardless of the promises made by the potential adoptive parents. I've known some that were trying, time and again, to adopt the children they were fostering...they'd proven that they keep the kids in touch w/their heritage, etc, but nope, no go.

 

And the problem is, if they push *too* much, and the Tribe can and will demand the children be removed from that foster home and placed elsewhere.

 

Totally unfair to the children. 'We don't want you, but nobody else is allowed to have you either'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Isn't it super-difficult for white families to legally adopt non-white children here in the U.S.? I seem to remember there was a case earlier this year where a half-Native American toddler got taken away from her white adoptive parents even though both parents had signed the paperwork giving her up when she was born.

 

No, in fact it is official policy not to discriminate against adoptive parents based on their race. The issue with NA child is different as has been explained.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Knowing all of this to be true, we'd still do it again, because our kids' lives were at stake.

 

 

 

I just visited your blog. You have a beautiful family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I do wonder why people who adopt older children internationally aren't adoption older children in the US. There are more than 100,000 children in the US awaiting adoption. Yes, many are troubled, but so are the older children in foreign countries.

 

 

A huge percentage of these children are not legally free. Most people are surprised to find out that it is entirely possible for a child to be taken into care eight times across three states in the US for pretty vile circumstances and still NOT have both parents rights severed. There are many children who have a parent in prison for a reason other than child abuse and are not serving life sentences, therefore, their rights cannot be easily legally severed even if the non-incarcerated parent has been.

 

A HUGE number of foster-adopt situations never end in the foster family being allowed to adopt the child. Also, we have guidelines about not splitting up sibling groups and for many families they cannot take three or four children all at once. You'd be surprised how hard it is to adopt domestically through the foster care system.

 

We have friends who "foster-adopt" parented over 40 children over the years and only ended up actually having five become legally free and then having the system choose to place the child/children with them. Often, when faced with being legally severed from the child, biological family members who were once adamantly opposed to taking in their related child, suddenly soften and choose to do so. Or in the case of four year old, the powers that be said, "Well, just because she's recently paroled after that mailbox bomb she planted, that doesn't mean she would be a bad mother." (This same four year old was beaten to death by the "not necessarily a bad mother" within 90 days of leaving his foster home.)

 

Yeah...that's the system. I cannot even begin to relate here the many reasons why families end up going internationally instead of domestic for adoption. It would fill a book.

 

It's a travesty in this nation with the resources we have at hand, that it is sooooooooo stinking difficult to help children out of desperate situations. But, it is what it is.

 

It is just gut wrenching that there are so many children in the world that are desperate. That's the truly hideous truth.

 

Sigh....

 

Two little girls we were in the process of adopting from Nicaragua died in their orphanage from very treatable conditions due to Nicaragua's Department of Familia disrupting American adoptions after national elections that year. I have their pictures packed away because it's too painful to look at their precious faces.

 

Adoption is just stinking hard no matter what avenue you pursue.

 

I wish I had my girls.

 

Faith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

:iagree:

 

MY point about other view was alluding to the amount of corruption and abuse of international adoptions that take place. In fact there is so much corruption and I hate to say it but even child stealing that some countries, like Australia have put sever limitations on international adoption to try and stop the abuse.

I could not think how to word it without offending many people on this board, and As I live in another hemisphere and started the thread late at night before I went to bed, I could not post any more .

 

 

Thank you for elaborating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sn't it super-difficult for white families to legally adopt non-white children here in the U.S.? I seem to remember there was a case earlier this year where a half-Native American toddler got taken away from her white adoptive parents even though both parents had signed the paperwork giving her up when she was born.

 

It is difficult to adopt regardless of the avenue and the people involved. However, past that, one of the "easiest" options would be a white couple adopting out of race. Generally, adoptive families tend to be white. Many adoptable (or will be adoptable) children, however, are not born white. Native Americans are the TOUGHEST children to find to adopt though if you aren't a verified Native American descendant yourself. A couple in our agency had this little boy for almost two years. He was beautiful and he IS theirs (they still have his picture up and consider him their son). They went to court to fight for him. Fact is that the law is the law and though he had no family and was bonded to them, he wasn't able to be adopted by a caucasion family. Period. COMPLETELY ridiculous. Hopefully, the wonderful life they gave him weighs heavily into his circumstances allowing him the ability to bond and thrive in this world. Another one of their children, a one year old, recently was placed with his 75yo grandmother (which I disagree with. I'm hoping he gets to come home soon). BTW, this family has since gone on to adopt two children in the past six years (one just last month!). So not everyone can adopt quickly and as easily and as many as they wish as it looks like we are able to.

 

BTW, the reason we adopted so quickly (our second sibling group, adopted in less than 18mo) is because we take disrupted placements. We can adopt the current sibling group after having them six months if we choose. The worker would start the paperwork next week if I left her a message tonight. In both cases, the abuse was significant. The first group it was due to the length of time there had been issues (over 5 years) so the gov't could finally sever relationships. With the second group, the abuse was severe and TPR was pretty quickly done. Both came from homes that could have been adoptive placements once the goal was changed. Both were disrupted because of behaviors. Both groups were "getting older" (for white kids, 6years old is considered special needs in our state). The first group have attachment concerns (we're their 9th home; they got here at almost 3, almost 4, and 5years old). THankfully, it seems the second does not (instead, we have other interesting issues). Unfortunately, Monkey obviously does have some attachment concerns (we're her fourth home).

 

Anyway, I thought I was going to have a rainbow of a family. Turns out all our kids are caucasion...and actually look quite similar. I sometimes talk about that I should have said I wouldn't take white kids. But I really couldn't have said that. It worked out just perfectly even if we're all a similar shade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are absolutely right. My son's orphanage was actually pretty nice. The staff was overworked, but it was obvious they loved those babies -- there just weren't enough staff members to go around. They all gathered in the room to say good-bye to our son when we came from court to pick him up, and many were crying.

 

I will say that even though the people were wonderful and the facilities had been updated, more money needs to be allotted for food. I fed DS the same diet he was used to in Russia (that's what they told me to do and I was a brand-new mom with no other babies) and I learned when I brought him to his check-up the day after we brought him home to the US that what we were feeding him was a "starvation diet." Talk about the mom guilt! I could have been feeding him so much better in those 10 days, but I didn't know :( At 6 months old he only weighed 12 lbs. He was up to 15 lbs 2 weeks after that initial appointment.

 

:iagree: My son was adopted from Ukraine, and the orphanage, although very poor, was loving. The staff really liked my son (he was 6 years old at the time), and they kissed on him and cried when we took him. They were happy for him, of course, but they hugged him and showed him affection, and were going to miss him. Perhaps that treatment is why he was able to bond with us so easily - I don't know.

 

And the food....this orphanage had only $1 a day to feed each child, and even in Ukraine, that doesn't go far. They couldn't drink water without boiling it, so for breakfast they had hot tea, then cold tea for lunch and dinner. Very little meat; mostly starch and sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. Cheap calories! In fact, my son went through sugar withdrawal the first week or so that we had him. That was a bit ugly. :p

 

Also, it was December while we were there, and very cold. One day the power company representatives came out and told the orphanage director they'd have to shut off the heat due to non-payment. We happened to be there and our translator overheard, so we paid for several months worth of electricity. I couldn't see those poor kids having no heat!

 

The bribes....it sounds bad, but I welcomed them. I was fine with paying these people who had such lives...even the judge, who was a "big wig" in the tiny town, lived in a ramshackle apartment with no phone. We had to pay a bribe to her to get our son's adoption to go through more quickly, and it was well worth it. I truly didn't even begrudge her the money. I could leave there and return home to my comfortable life! When the judge saw pictures of our family and house and pets, she asked if we could adopt her, too. :crying:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'd be surprised how hard it is to adopt domestically through the foster care system.

...

Yeah...that's the system. I cannot even begin to relate here the many reasons why families end up going internationally instead of domestic for adoption.

 

Yes. We've got various (pretty much all negative) experience with the state systems. It's a terrible mess, with the social workers in my state so backlogged that they have a six month wait to even get to new potential families. They told us not to bother, because we're not willing to do a lot of fostering and because we wanted a singleton younger than 2. It's a bummer, but there are other ways to adopt a child in need domestically so we're running with that. In fact if you know anybody with a spare kid to send our way... (I kid. Get it, kid?)

 

One misperception many people have is that domestic adoption (the Native American thing aside) is somehow less final than other types. Thankfully, that's just not true.

 

I have to say, this has been perhaps the most level-headed and vitriol-free adoption discussion in the history of the internet. (Unless my spare kid joke falls flat, and then I guess I probably deserve what I get.) These boards are pretty nifty IMHO, thanks for chatting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked at her blog too, and found this a bit disturbing:

 

 

 

Adoption shouldn't be about grabbing as many kids as possible to convert them to Christianity. I think adoption is wonderful, but if this is someone's primary reason for wanting to adopt, they really ought to reexamine their motives.

 

 

 

She is not related to the Pearls at all.

 

I 100% agree with your statement about adoption not being about creating new converts. It sickens me to hear such talk, and over the years it does come up once in awhile.

 

Truth is, I also hate the whole "saving a kid" perspective, though of course it is true that a life is most likely saved. But a child needs to be adopted because someone wants them to be part of a family, not to fulfill some sort of ministry project. When the "project" grows difficult, it is easier to walk away from or give up than when you really and truly wanted a son or daughter.

 

My kids saved my husband and I from a lifetime of a too quiet house, a too spotless kitchen, and a too empty heart~!~!~!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The children.

 

My DH is from Russia and our son is adopted from Russia. DH grew up there and lived there until he was 18. He said that they point is, the Russian government doesn't understand Americans. They think that our people will be so outraged that they will put pressure on our government to repeal the Magnitsky Act. What they don't understand is that human rights are so important to Americans, that they're not going to put pressure on our government to repeal it, even if it means adoptions are banned.

 

Russia is shooting themselves in the foot. They have no real desire to take care of those orphans, or they would have done so already. We're talking about a country where ambulances wait at stop lights and if you call the ambulance and you're old, you have to lie about your age and health conditions or they may decide it's not worth the bother to pick you up if you're too old. Seriously. They don't care about people. There is a huge stigma against adopting orphans in Russia. When we adopted DS in 2004, his St. Petersburg orphanage was pretty nice. It had recently undergone renovations and there were more in the works. Why? Because so many foreigners were adopting that money was finally being funneled into the adoption system. Lots of money also greases palms in different document offices. When were at one office to get a birth certificate or something, DH laughed because in Russian the sign said something like, "Certificates will take a minimum of 2 weeks to issue." Our facilitators greased some palms and we were out of there in 20 minutes flat. I know it sounds awful, but the system largely works on bribery there. It's very common. Our money paid to those workers in the document offices ends up back in the Russian economy because people use it to buy goods.

 

Russian orphans who age out of the system only have about a 20% chance of living any sort of "normal" (meaning functional) life. Most are sold into prostitution rings, lead a life of crime, become drug addicts, or commit suicide (I think I read 10% commit suicide). If the Russians aren't adopting them (and I agree it's best if they can, but they aren't and there are SO many orphaned and abandoned children) then it's morally wrong to deny them a chance at a good life.

 

It is tragic that 19 adopted Russian children have died in the US in the last 20 years. Any death is horrible and I'm not trying to minimize that, but we're talking 19 out of 60,000. How many children adopted within Russia or left in orphanages have died in the last 20 years? They won't release those statistics, but I would bet every material possession I own that the statistics are much, much higher.

 

The Russian government has the right to send representative to check up on the welfare of my child at any time. We had to sign papers stating so. You know how many times they've contacted us in the nearly 9 years we've been History Kid's mom and dad? Zero. Do you know how many times they've contacted other families we know with kids adopted from Russia? Zero. The Russian government doesn't care -- it's all political posturing.

 

Our end of the system isn't perfect. In fact, I think it's very flawed. Much more education and post-adoption support need to be made available. They need to weed out the people who are adopting to, "save a child" or feel it's their "mission" to do so (not knocking God here -- there is a big difference between feeling like God is leading you to do something and you have the love in your heart to do so, and feeling like it's just something you're supposed to do). Those are the people who are ill-equipped and end up abusing the child or end up so totally overwhelmed that they don't know what to do. Anyone who follows the Pearls shouldn't be allowed to adopt. Those are the families that abuse their kids to death. That may be an unpopular view, but I'm sticking to it. Flame me if you want. I really don't care.

 

Many people have this whacked-out, idealized vision that they're "rescuing" these children and the children will love, appreciate, and respect them for what they've done. That is SO far from reality and it's a burden to put on the child. It sets up an unfair power-struggle where we impose gratitude on a child who is dealing with their own real and complex issues of loss. Adoption only happens through loss of a parent. Even in cases where the parent is still out there somewhere living, it's the loss of that natural parent-child bond. It's real, it needs to recognized, and no Little Orphan Annie happy-crappy song and dance is going to gloss over that reality. We chose to adopt History Kid because we wanted a child and were having trouble conceiving. If he is thankful we did so, that's a bonus, but we never expected thanks -- we never expected anything in return. We hoped for love and were lucky enough to get that (not all parents do). We were very well-educated about adoption, but we were mostly SELF educated, and that's the problem with the system. We read and watched everything we could get our hands on. We talked to other adoptive couples. We had to attend some state-mandated training, but it sucked. Really, it glossed over a lot of true issues and the small bits of pertinent information they gave us were things anyone who had actually looked into adoption for more than 5 minutes already knew. Training and education available sucks. Post adoption support sucks. It's nearly non-existent. Also, I think more post-adoption visits need to be made. We had only 2, I think? I'm trying to remember when they were. One happened sometime within the first 6 months, and I think another was a year later, and then we were done with it. Issues cropped up for History Kid AFTER that time. It would have been nice to have some support and to be guided to different services then instead of needing to do all the research on our own (and finding pathetically little in terms of supports).

 

I'm sorry for rambling. This is obviously an issue very close to my heart. My son would have been lost in an orphanage. If you see the pictures of him we received before we adopted him and compare them to the pictures even days after, you'd see a different kid. My mom says she hates to look at the 2 pictures we initially received because his, "eyes look dead -- there's no light in them." Kids need and deserve families.

 

 

We have adopted domestically and internationally. I fully agree with what you said regarding adoption education. The post adoption support was very limited. I couldn't even get sound information regarding severe malnutrition. On the positive side, our agency has since offered sessions on that topic and others (with a fee, of course).

 

Your whole post sheds light on the realities of international adoption of children.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Sigh....

 

Two little girls we were in the process of adopting from Nicaragua died in their orphanage from very treatable conditions due to Nicaragua's Department of Familia disrupting American adoptions after national elections that year. I have their pictures packed away because it's too painful to look at their precious faces.

 

Adoption is just stinking hard no matter what avenue you pursue.

 

I wish I had my girls.

 

Faith

 

:grouphug: :grouphug:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

re: Native American adoptions

Our son is Native American. We adopted him through a "tribal customary adoption." His parents rights were not terminated but he is ours. totally and completely. We got a new birth certificate with our names on it. Not terminating their rights actually protects his rights(not theirs) to know his heritage and keep in contact with extended family. It is newish law in California. I am not sure if other states will follow suit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are tons of failed adoptions with US children. TONS. While culture obviously plays a role in attachment, trauma affects all children. It doesn't mean that Russian children are somehow unable to bond by virtue of being Russian.

 

 

No, but conditions in Russian and some old Soviet block orphanages are such that there is a higher chance of permanent bonding issues than in some other countries where care is better. Adoptions from China for instance, seem to have a much smaller percentage of these kids. You're right, the bonding issues can happen anywhere, but certain practices make it much more likely and other practices tend to mitigate against it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never heard of child-stealing in Russia. There is a surplus of children.

 

I was meaning in the larger world adoption scene, there is quite a bit of child stealing that goes on so families in wealthy nations can buy a child.

Countries where this happen include China, and many African countries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Sigh....

 

Two little girls we were in the process of adopting from Nicaragua died in their orphanage from very treatable conditions due to Nicaragua's Department of Familia disrupting American adoptions after national elections that year. I have their pictures packed away because it's too painful to look at their precious faces.

 

Adoption is just stinking hard no matter what avenue you pursue.

 

I wish I had my girls.

 

Faith

 

I'm so very sorry. :grouphug:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I was meaning in the larger world adoption scene, there is quite a bit of child stealing that goes on so families in wealthy nations can buy a child.

Countries where this happen include China, and many African countries.

 

Okay....then why is it a good thing that Russia will no longer allow international adoptions if they're not participating in child trafficking? That makes no sense, unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay....then why is it a good thing that Russia will no longer allow international adoptions if they're not participating in child trafficking? That makes no sense, unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying.

 

Sorry you are misunderstanding me. I said child stealing in some countries, I was replying to a post by Amira who said

"Personally, I'd love to see a world where international adoption didn't exist because there is so much potential for corruption and abuse in it and I think there are better solutions. But right now it's one of the better options we have in place, so I'll continue supporting international adoption in Hague Adoption Convention countries" ( I don't know how to do double quotes)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend/acquaintance of mine has adopted a lot (and I mean a lot) of children from the Ukraine and from all appearances they have all been successful. Some they even adopted from disruptions Once the children have been here in the States for a while. I have no idea why this family works, although it is large and I just wonder if kids who have been in these orphanages do better in larger families because they're used to that environment.

 

If anyone is interested in checking out her blog, go to my blog (link is below) and her blog is linked in my sidebar. It's called Smiles and Trials.

 

Kids with bonding issues often do better in environments where there is more " emotional space" which there inevitably is in a larger social group than a smaller one.

 

But some people also have a temperament and a particular gift for reaching these kids and we are learning more about how to do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Nogreaterjoymom? As in the Pearls? No thanks. If anyone shouldn't be adopting, it's anyone who follows those nutjobs.

 

I'm confused? Are you saying this is the Pearls blog? It belongs to a lovely family who have adopted several children including two girls from Russia who have Down syndrome. They are now in the process of adopting two more children from Russia. I have never seen the Pearls mentioned on their blog and I doubt they use their methods.

 

I hate the Pearls with a passion - I certainly wouldn't be advocating for them as great role models.

 

I think you have the blogs mixed up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm confused? Are you saying this is the Pearls blog? It belongs to a lovely family who have adopted several children including two girls from Russia who have Down syndrome. They are now in the process of adopting two more children from Russia. I have never seen the Pearls mentioned on their blog and I doubt they use their methods.

 

I hate the Pearls with a passion - I certainly wouldn't be advocating for them as great role models.

 

I think you have the blogs mixed up.

I think I do have them mixed up (as I stated in an earlier reply). I saw "no greater joy" and the blog (you provided) had some tags like "training our children" and I thought they were followers of the Pearl's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

She is not related to the Pearls at all.

 

I 100% agree with your statement about adoption not being about creating new converts. It sickens me to hear such talk, and over the years it does come up once in awhile.

 

Truth is, I also hate the whole "saving a kid" perspective, though of course it is true that a life is most likely saved. But a child needs to be adopted because someone wants them to be part of a family, not to fulfill some sort of ministry project. When the "project" grows difficult, it is easier to walk away from or give up than when you really and truly wanted a son or daughter.

 

My kids saved my husband and I from a lifetime of a too quiet house, a too spotless kitchen, and a too empty heart~!~!~!

Same here. We are infertile. We adopted because we wanted a family, we wanted to be parents. It drives me nuts when people act like we're saints or something because we're "providing these children with a loving home". Our kids "saved" us as much as we "saved" them and the only "thanks" I want is for them to grow up to be good people and give me some grand kids before I'm too old to pick them up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone married to an adoptee, I honestly cringe when I hear ppl talk about it being a mission from God, etc.

 

MIL has flat out stated that she didn't want to adopt, but God told her to. Delightful. And it's turned out soooooo well.

 

*headdesk*

 

Of course, we all know she's a special kinda snowflake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I was meaning in the larger world adoption scene, there is quite a bit of child stealing that goes on so families in wealthy nations can buy a child.

 

You know, this discussion was really going quite nicely until the bolded. I know several adoptive families (including my aunt) and they never considered it "buying" a child as if the child were akin to a trendy purse :thumbdown:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been an interesting discussion. There is a LOT of pressure in fundamentalist circles to adopt. "Above Rubies" is a ministry that encourages large families, and they REALLY REALLY pushed for adoption of Liberian children a few years ago. Many, many families ended up adopting from Liberia and I dare say most turned out so horrendously- burned down houses, the children stealing from the parents, molesting the other children. I know several of these families.

 

I hear all the time among Christians "if each family would adopt 1 child from X country, there would be no more orphans left...." that really plays on your heart strings but it does make it a ministry, and they make no apologies of that. Right now I'm still involved in a group (well, people from the group) where one of our members is adopting *severely* disabled children from a European country. Because of that, many other women have stepped forward and encouraged, cajoled, begged, pleaded their husbands to get on board to do the same thing. I asked our husband about it at one point (okay, on more than one occasion) and his answer was absolutely not. I thought surely he couldn't be doing the right thing in having that attitude. But the truth is, I'm not sure adoption is right for everyone. I just don't know. It can be great, or it can be horrible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adoption *isn't* right for everyone. Full stop. My MIL is a perfect example of someone that shouldn't have adopted a cat, let alone a child.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jujusky :grouphug:

 

Pretty much everything you said sums it up perfectly. It's a crazy situation over there right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

You know, this discussion was really going quite nicely until the bolded. I know several adoptive families (including my aunt) and they never considered it "buying" a child as if the child were akin to a trendy purse :thumbdown:

 

I don't think she meant international adoption in general was buying a child, but that there are cases of stealing children who are then bought. There a chapter about this in this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Red-Market-Brokers-Thieves-Traffickers/dp/0061936464

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, this could be saving some American families from years of trouble, adopting children that can't bond.

 

 

Attachment issues are certainly a concern with any adoption. There are definitely American families adopting US kids who struggle with attachment issues. I'm also not aware of any statistics that attachment issues are significantly more likely in children adopted from Russia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A huge percentage of these children are not legally free. Most people are surprised to find out that it is entirely possible for a child to be taken into care eight times across three states in the US for pretty vile circumstances and still NOT have both parents rights severed. There are many children who have a parent in prison for a reason other than child abuse and are not serving life sentences, therefore, their rights cannot be easily legally severed even if the non-incarcerated parent has been.

 

A HUGE number of foster-adopt situations never end in the foster family being allowed to adopt the child. Also, we have guidelines about not splitting up sibling groups and for many families they cannot take three or four children all at once. You'd be surprised how hard it is to adopt domestically through the foster care system.

 

We have friends who "foster-adopt" parented over 40 children over the years and only ended up actually having five become legally free and then having the system choose to place the child/children with them. Often, when faced with being legally severed from the child, biological family members who were once adamantly opposed to taking in their related child, suddenly soften and choose to do so. Or in the case of four year old, the powers that be said, "Well, just because she's recently paroled after that mailbox bomb she planted, that doesn't mean she would be a bad mother." (This same four year old was beaten to death by the "not necessarily a bad mother" within 90 days of leaving his foster home.)

 

Yeah...that's the system. I cannot even begin to relate here the many reasons why families end up going internationally instead of domestic for adoption. It would fill a book.

 

It's a travesty in this nation with the resources we have at hand, that it is sooooooooo stinking difficult to help children out of desperate situations. But, it is what it is.

 

It is just gut wrenching that there are so many children in the world that are desperate. That's the truly hideous truth.

 

 

I will admit that we have no personal experience with international adoptions. Honestly, we felt pulled to foster [initially because it was the legal way for my husband's godson (the son of his late best friend) to live with our family during his adolescent struggles] and from our experiences fostering there have been children who have become part of our family. So far we have not adopted any of these children. In some cases this makes sense. In other cases it is just an example of what you have written above.

 

In my husband's godson's case he didn't want to be adopted but he stayed until he aged out of the foster care system and then lived in our guest house for his first two years of school. He is now a proud detective for our state police force, married, and the even prouder dad of an adorable little guy. He's still close to our family and although my husband had too much respect for his father to take over that role his little boy calls him Papa and it works.

 

In our just turned thirteen year old daughter's case she originally came to us as a medically fragile treatment placement. When the caseworker called our then youngest was only a month old and it seemed to be the wrong time for us to be helpful. Yet, when we heard all the details and did some praying, we came to the conclusion that we had to try. Next month she will have been with us for three years and we're still waiting for the TPR to go through. We actually go back to court in January and the best belated Christmas gift we could all get would be for that TPR to go through so we could start working on the adoption. That would be wonderful! Realistically we know that we need to start preparing her for the reality that this may not be reality.

 

Our other current foster daughter came to us initially as a medical respite placement over a year ago. She and her sister were placed with a foster adopt couple four years ago when she was four and her baby sister was several months old. Shortly before she started coming to us for respite her foster parents tried and failed to separate the adoption so they could adopt only her younger sister. The judge denied the separation and the caseworker worked over time to try to make a failing placement succeed. Ultimately the foster parents opted to abandon her at our house during a respite placement and flee with her younger sister. That was almost two months ago and, while law enforcement is looking, this family may never be found. We would be open to adopting this little girl. She seems to be fitting into our family as much as any child could at this stage given what she has been through. We would also try very hard to help her little sister assimilate into our family if that were an option. We understand that the girls need to be together but we're realistic enough to understand that although what the foster parents did was wrong and illegal they are really the only parents her four year old sister has known and disrupting that will be traumatic.

 

Over the years there have been other respite and emergency placement children that have also touched our hearts. Many of these kids we still see periodically and have a more distant extended familial connection to them and their families. This is one strength of the foster care program that we are working with in that they do offer a lot of extra support to families after return and have a mentoring program. I still agree that the system has a lot of issues but I do think this is one aspect that is a positive improvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Sigh....

 

Two little girls we were in the process of adopting from Nicaragua died in their orphanage from very treatable conditions due to Nicaragua's Department of Familia disrupting American adoptions after national elections that year. I have their pictures packed away because it's too painful to look at their precious faces.

 

Adoption is just stinking hard no matter what avenue you pursue.

 

I wish I had my girls.

 

Faith

 

 

:grouphug: Hugs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think she meant international adoption in general was buying a child, but that there are cases of stealing children who are then bought. There a chapter about this in this book:

http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/0061936464

 

 

Of coures I don't mean that every international child is bought. But it is well documented that many children are stolen, then sold to agencies who 'charge administrations fees" so wealthy people can adopt a child.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just want to say that the adoptive mothers in this thread break my heart open with the beauty and love you demonstrate. Elinor, Pamela H, jujsky, Faith, CindiL, KrissiK and probably a couple others I can't remember right this minute. Wow. You ladies are incredibly beautiful people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...