Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Prospectivce Adoptive Parents Fearful Their Adoption Plans May be in Jeopardy

"In a Diplomatic Limbo While Waiting to Adopt"
Photo by Brad Chamness
Clifford J. Levy contributed reporting from Moscow
Published: April 12, 2010

"The largely unfathomable decision by one woman, Torry Ann Hansen, to send her adopted son ... back to his home country has not only touched off a diplomatic drama, it has also shaken the tight-knit community of would-be adoptive parents of Russian children, many now fearful that their own plans to adopt may have been irrevocably harmed.

Russia is the third-leading source of international adoptions for parents in the United States — with 1,586 last year, after China, with 3,001, and Ethiopia, with 2,277, according to State Department figures. An estimated 3,500 Russian children are in some stage of the adoption process with 3,000 American families, according to the Joint Council on International Children’s Services.

The reaction among prospective parents has ranged from incomprehension to rage at the woman whose actions sparked this development. Parents, including Mr. Wills, have fired off letters to the State Department and the United States Embassy in Russia, and many have weighed in on highly emotional debates on blogs and in chat rooms, their comments running the gamut from compassion for Ms. Hansen — who sent Justin back to Russia unaccompanied with a note that said the boy “is violent and has severe psychopathic issues” — to comments like “Does anybody else want to choke her?”

While the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, announced on Friday that he would propose suspending all adoptions of Russian children by Americans in response to Justin’s case, the Russian government has not yet formally put such a measure in place. Russian officials on Monday gave no indication when they might do so.

Still, it seemed likely that regional officials across Russia would slow down or even halt pending adoptions until they had more clarity on any new rules...

Larisa Mason, executive director of the International Assistance Group, based in Oakmont, Pa., and accredited in Russia, said that “for now, adoption continues, referrals are still coming. I cannot say what will happen tomorrow.”

Ms. Mason added: “People are extremely worried. Our phone lines are lighting up because this could jeopardize a lot of people’s adoptions.”

She said that much depended on how the United States deals with Ms. Hansen. “Russians are outraged that no charges have been filed against this woman,” she said.

The United States Embassy in Moscow announced on Monday that a delegation of high-level State Department officials would arrive in Russia for consultations with their Russian counterparts."

Read the complete article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/13/us/13adopt.html?hpw

1 comment:

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