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Pro or Against Adoption? An adoptee perspective

by Laura on January 9th, 2013

When I first heard about the Russian ban on U.S. adoptions, I’ll admit it. At first I was like, “Ohhh, those poor, little, languishing, ignored, suffering orphans!” How can they do that? Putin is such an arrogant bastard (in the figurative sense, of course, since literally, I am one)! … And then I read on, researching non-U.S. media. I educated myself and thought I’d share my views.

Here’s the down-low.

I was a ‘precious adoption commodity’ … was because I was an infant. And … white. Is it possible this underlies the outrage over the ban on U.S. adoptions from Russia? Less availability of white babies?

How to *Really* Help

If a teenager or young woman comes to you and says, “I’m pregnant,” the first response ought to be: “What can I do to help you?”

  • not, the oft-repeated male-perspective, seeming ‘forward-thinking phrase’: “What are you going to do about it?”
  • not, “Have you considered abortion?”
  • not even the so-called Christian solution, “Have you considered adoption?”

Adoption is the last. resort. solution.

Family preservation ought to be the goal, first-and-foremost. Babies are meant to be with their mothers. Adoption may always exist, but infant adoption in which couples pay exorbitant amounts to procure a baby … should to be reduced and regulated as much as possible. This might sound like an outlandish statement coming from an adopted woman who loves her adoptive family. No matter, I believe history will come out on my side.

The U.S. foster care system ought to be the first (relatively cost-free) resource for adopting a child or a baby. Yes, it’s true! You can adopt a healthy baby from the foster care system!

Russia’s ban on international adoption

Let’s put aside the international finger-pointing that has been going on, as well as the fact that this ban actually affects approximately 46 children who were in the process of being adopted into the U.S. Forty-six. Not the 600,000 children in Russian orphanages.

But, ohhh! You said, over half-a-million orphans are suffering! How can we ignore them?

Welllll, we, too, have our very own domestic “orphan problem.” There are 400,000+ children in foster care, waiting to be adopted (2010*).

Consider the following statement:

Russia has a struggling government, with an unhappy (divided) populace that is fed-up with political corruption where the rich only get richer. The country is likely guilty of human rights violations, but we will never know if they are “truly” guilty (you know, innocent until proven guilty, one of America’s most basic tenets), because they don’t recognize The Hague’s International Court.

The same could be said for good ol’ United States of America.

Next … think on this:

The U.S., Canada, and countries of Western Europe do not allow international adoption. I know, crazy, right? A French couple can’t simply show up in an Indiana adoption agency, flash around $50k, take care of some arduous documentation, aaaand eventually go home with a baby born in America.

That would be appalling!

So, someone remind me again, Why is it so bad that Russia had banned U.S. international adoptions?

* Child Welfare Information Gateway 2010

*  *  *  *  *

P.S. I just got information from Amanda at The Declassified Adoptee that out of those 400,000 about 100,000 to 120,000 are legally cleared and waiting to be adopted. The rest are attempting to be reunited with their biological families; just showing how some parts of the U.S. government value blood ties, even if they are the extended family.

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  1. Paul Hedg-peth permalink

    Sadly, I think race is a factor, as Laura intimates. Also, her point about the U.S., Canada, etc. not allowing international adoptions is a valid if dated one. There is definitely a lot of hypocrisy not only in the field of international adoption but more broadly pervading international relations. I strongly disagree that adoption should always be the last option. Biology isn't magic. The capacity to procreate is not the same as the capacity to parent. I am both a biological and adoptive parent, and I've spent about one-third of my career working with various parties to adoption. Most birth parents who plan adoption do so out of sense of providing a future for the child they cannot. This is incredibly painful, and to suggest that a birth parent is motivated only by financial gain is adding horrible insult to injury. Yes, there are profiteers in international adoption-as in every other human endeavor. But it is both unfair and cruel to blame birth parents for making a painful choice in hopes of helping their child. And it is hopelessly naive to assume that a biological connection automatically trumps all other considerations, including that of the biological parent.

    • "But it is both unfair and cruel to blame birth parents for making a painful choice in hopes of helping their child. And it is hopelessly naive to assume that a biological connection automatically trumps all other considerations, including that of the biological parent."

      Are you assuming that adoption helps an adoptee? I am sure that the adoptees who were sexually, physically and emotionally abused by their adopters would probably disagree with you there. Adoptive parents are human beings just like everyone else. They drink, do drugs, lose their jobs and get divorced. Adoption does guarantee an adoptee a future that his or her parents cannot provide. Adoption doesn't guarantee anything. As such, an adoptive connection should not automatically trump other considerations such as helping a mother keep her child, including that of the adoptive parent.

      Should a divorced, single adoptive mother of two adopted children who is on welfare give those children away to people who can provide a future for that child that she cannot? Should all poor people give their children–adopted or bio–away to people who have more money and resources? Should all parents falling on hard times give their children away to those who at that same moment have more money and resources?

      Biology isn't magic. And neither is adoption.

      • Laura permalink

        Thank you iAdoptee, for refocusing the discussion on the adopted child, where it must be.

        I, too, am confused by this adoption edict: We are giving the child a better life by placing him/her with an economically stable married couple. Yes, what happens when they fall on hard times? Or get divorced? Or one adoptive parent, sadly, passes away? What then? Switching up for new parents?

        There is something more going on here, beyond the "economic stability" argument. Is it shaming the first mother for getting pregnant? I don't think so much … I think first mothers are simply forgotten once their "gift" is acquired from them. I follow the money trail — the Catholic Charities, the adoption agencies who are benefitting financially from these transactions. There's got to be a better way.

        Thanks again for jumping in, commenting, and making me remember I'm not crazy for thinking these thoughts!

    • Paul, it's doubtful that she was implying that biology is magic.

      Parents have parental rights to the children they birth. Children have a basic human right to be raised by their biological parents/families if and whenever possible (see the U.N.'s Rights of the Child).

      Considering these established rights, and the fact that a child's entry into this world is unavoidably just by nature the biological family, you cannot truly decide on adoption without first deciding that being raised biologically isn't an option.

      And *that's* why it is said that "adoption is a last resort."

    • Laura permalink


      Thanks for your comments. Just a point of clarification: I have only the utmost sympathy for the mothers who relinquish their children to adoption. I'm not sure where I implied or suggested that relinquishing parents specifically are motivated by financial gain. I'm so sorry for this confusion. Perhaps I should have been more clear: adoption agencies and intermediataries of any kind are the ones benefitting financially.

      I can only imagine the heavy heart a relinquishing mother has, but I can also think of many ways that a young pregnant woman might be counseled through all of her options. Thinking through a temporary problem with long term consequences. Support and services going to the young woman. Changing the attitudes of extended family so that the young woman might think she has her family's support (not shame) to try to raise her child.

      I wonder your view: the U.S. foster system seems to value biological placement if at all possible; extended family, great-aunts, anyone biological who is competitent and not a threat. Do you believe the foster care system is misguided? If no, then why couldn't this same outlook apply to infant adoptions, as well?


  2. Paul Hedg-peth permalink

    I agree that the U.S. foster system is heavily weighted in favor of placing children with extended family or even fictive kin. Neither adoptive nor biological parenting is magic. The same sorts of difficulties (job loss, divorce, even molestation) others have identified as possible negative outcomes of an adoptive placement are at least equally possible outcomes of biological parenting. I think one would be very hard pressed to support the notion that adoptive parents as a group are statistically more likely to lose their jobs, go through divorce, or molest their children than are biological parents. As a social worker who has approved several hundred adoptive applications-and disapproved a handful-I am profoundly in touch with the fact that no matter how diligent I may be in my assessment I am at best taking a snapshot of a couple/family at a single point in time. There is no way I or anyone else can guarantee anything about that family's future. However if there were no value whatsoever in assessing people for particular responsibilities there would also be no reason for schools to test students, for employers to interview and test prospective employees, etc. It is absolutely the case that in some instances despite the dedication of professionals who take great pains to establish that prospective adoptive resources have what it takes to provide the love and care any child needs, sometimes we're wrong. We are human, and not one of us is perfect. However, biology does not confer any particular expertise with parenting. I speak from experience, as the biological parent of two and adoptive parent of one (now all legally adults). My concern with the foster care system is that it assumes that just because an adult has a biological relationship to a child they will be a better parent to the child. Is adoption the right answer for everyone? Of course not, and any competent social worker will discuss with a client ALL of her options. A competent social worker will not bias the client towards any of her available choices. Rather, the social worker will provide extensive information as to the losses involved for the client regardless of which choice she makes. Parenting involves very substantial losses for the parent. Losses many parents joyfully accept, but nonetheless very significant losses.


    • Laura permalink


      Thanks so much for your response. I'm sorry for my delay in getting back to you, I've had a bad respiratory infection, but am now on the mend! I appreciate your clarifications, and you sharing your experiences as a social worker for the foster care system. Your points are well-taken. How can we really know what kind of parent a person will be? No matter whether they are biological or adopted or foster or an extended family member taking on parenting duties … it's all a gamble. I guess I would make a distinction at this point and acknowledge that I know nothing about growing up within the foster care system, but I do know about growing up adopted–specifically as an infant who was placed through an adoption agency.

      This distinction is significant for a couple of reasons. First, as you pointed out, "the social worker will provide extensive information as to the losses involved for the client regarless of which choice she makes. Parenting involves very substantial losses for the parent." The area I take the most issue with is within the confines of adoption agencies (public, private, religious or non) who counsel young women some mix of: you made a mistake, you can make it right by giving away your child. Adoption is what is best for your child. You are helping an infertile couple become parents. Adoption is a selfless gift. … Does this make sense? From what I've seen, these platitudes are exactly the opposite of what a young woman who finds herself pregnant needs. She needs support — emotional and financial. She needs to know that adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. That loss, grief, separation, sadness, are also feelings that she may experience — in additio to relief that she won't have to parent a baby.

      I know for me, I am trying to educate myself, to figure out where I stand in this whole adoption, family preservation, reproductive justice milieu. Thanks for adding your thoughts, they are much appreciated.


  3. Wow…..There are WAY more than 46 families involved in this mess. WAY MORE…. I know personally some who were in process that are not included. The result: 2 little boys 3 and 4 will not have a family. Several young ones with Down Syndrome and other special needs are going to be kept in mental institutions the rest of their lives IF THEY SURVIVE and will mostly likely die before they are 6. They will not receive the care they need and are treated worse than any animal.

    A young man named Daniel cries every night for his thought to be mother. He is 13. At 16 he will be turned onto the streets of Siberia to fend for himself in a culture that treats orphans like trash.

    I don't know if you read about the 100,000 plus crowd that marched on the streets of Moscow over the weekend to protest the "Herod Law".

    The PEOPLE do NOT want this. Sure, some of them might, because of "National Pride".

    You may not know it, but there are many Black,and Asian children who also live in Russia. They are adopted too!

    It is a slap in the face of those who go to Russia to adopt to suggest they are going there because there are WHITE children.

    They go there because there is a NEED.

    Is there a need here too? YES THERE IS!

    But the U.S. also limits the size of your family to 6.

    I know many families with more than 6 children. The LOVE children and they care for Special needs children.

    ALL children coming out of foster care or orphanages are special needs children. Some have more needs than others, but ALL are neglected. Yes, even in our fancy foster care system, a child can be terribly damaged, going from home to home rejected again and again by foster parents who deem them misfit.

    Our daughter was in 5 foster homes before her 5th birthday! She was said to have RAD, and all the other alphabet soup diagnosis we love to give children who are so neglected.

    We think we are doing them a favor waiting for a meth addict mother to get her act straight, while precious years of possible nurture are being wasted on those who don't care enough.

    I know this from personal experience.

    Our daughter that we adopted next, was from Ukraine. She was already here in America. She had been here 10 1/2 months when we got her. I do not understand the reasons for her Disruption, other than the family was totally unprepared for an IA child. They abused her. They rejected her and they RIGHTFULLY gave her to a family to love her.

    I am thankful for that. Her background in Ukraine, which is a stone's throw from Russia, was horrible. She had nightmares, she had been in a TB Sanitarium we later visited that was more lie a dungeon. She made it to a special needs orphanage at 4, met her best friend and continued to be abused in that orphanage…. on to the U.S. for more abuse. UGH

    After she came home, she told us all about her friend. Her friend is now her sister. We went to Ukraine to adopt her friend, not because she was White, but because that is where she was! If she had been black, she would be in our home today.

    SHE was WHITE and I do not apologize for that.

    She is also one of the most beautiful people inside and out.

    But when we went to get her…. she was smelly. TERRIBLY smelly. She was neglected. She had been in a "left to lay room" her first 4 years of life. When we got to Ukraine FINALLY, after many delays due to "shut downs", the doctor at the orphanage asked us, "Are you SURE you want to see her. She is IMBICILE! She was left to lay". We said yes. She said, "Do not expect much!"

    Yes, this was their opinion of our daughter. We saw a spark, and great potential. We saw a child who had never had a visitor. Her parents abandoned her at birth because she had a handicap. A severe handicap. She has arthrogryposis. Her feet were terribly deformed. She was in draconian braces that she had outgrown and shoes she had outgrown and stockings that were stuck to deep sores on her legs and feet. She was in pain. Her leg was on sideways and the other one nearly backwards. She couldn't bend her elbows or feed herself very well. She had no toilet habits (other than knowing where to go) to speak of, she was frail and tiny, and had bruises on her wrists from rough handling. She was tripped by a worker the next day and had a terrible black eye. The worker then mocked us saying how concerned we were, telling her we didn't love her but would only bring her here to sell her for her good body parts and she would be dead like her friend Sarah after she got home. This struck terror in her and we knew somebody had told her something awful. We got it worked out. Our brave girl chose to come home with us. Oh yes, she bends about15 percent at the hip and has one hip joint that is almost non existent.

    She couldn't dress herself and she was almost 8 years old.

    Tell me? Who in Easter Europe was going to adopt her?? There is NO WAY for a child or adult with special needs to get around in Ukraine or Russia. The handicapped are UNSEEN! They are locked away in draconian era dungeons, mistreated, starved until they die.

    One of my friends brought home a little girl that was so damaged she weighed 9 pounds at NINE YEARS OLD. The reason? She had Down Syndrome. Today, 18 months later, though very tiny, she is thriving.

    She was in critical condition upon arrival in the U.S.

    Other children have DIED while waiting for paperwork and shut downs.

    Our daughter was scheduled to go to a place called Torez. It is a dungeon. She was supposed to leave on the day that our paperwork arrived. I am so thankful she is ours and she is THRIVING at 14 years old.

    Another friend brought home a little boy who had been transferred to Torez. His days were spent sitting in a wood shed with boys up to 18 who all had special needs. They locked them in a shed ALL DAY LONG and then brought them in like animals to feed and put to bed. Many are drugged. Our daughter's were drugged.

    I could go on, but I'll spare you.

    Our 4th daughter is from Russia. She too is from an adoption dissolution. IT was a sad state of events. Another family unprepared to deal with IA issues. She was actually disrupted TWICE.

    She is almost 13 and has been home 22 months.

    Her birth home was full of strife and abuse.

    You may want to put families back together, but sometimes you can't.

    We cannot sacrifice children for the cause of putting families together if the family is so destroyed it will take a whole lifetime! She watched her father hang their dogs from a tree in anger and kill them. She watched her father break her sister's arm. She had a brick thrown into her head at 2 and has a rather remarkable scar that begins at her forehead where there is a huge gash all the way back through her scalp. She has shaken baby syndrome. She watched from the barn as her father burned the house down thinking they were inside. She cried as her father threatened to throw her baby brother into the snow and let him freeze to death because they couldn't find her mother. Her mother was a prostitute and drunk also. She had no adequate clothing, food, medical care, or love. She was severely neglected and the final act of her father was to try to stab her mother to death. Her last memory of them was to see him taken off to jail and her mother to a hospital. 3 days later, after being all alone with her siblings, she was put in an orphanage. Not quite 2 years later, she came to the U.S.

    How is she doing today? She is thriving.

    I am all for people not making desperate decisions. A dear friend regrets giving up a baby at 16. I can totally understand that. But we are talking apples and oranges here.

    Russian/ Ukrainian adoption is NOT about getting little, white, healthy babies.

    It is about LOVING orphans and caring for those in desperate need.

    If there is a fire, you go to the hottest fire to douse it, and then douse the other one. That is how I see adopting children with special needs….

    They are in IMMINENT DANGER in EE countries. Here, there is better care. THEY NEED HOMES TOO… don't get me wrong…but I would never judge another persons intentions of why they adopt from any country.

    I haven't even begun to talk about FAS, FASD …. which is rampant on BOTH sides of the pond!

    • Laura permalink


      Thanks so much for taking the time to read, comment and educate. Just for the purposes of clarification (and so that you don't think that I'm pulling stuff out of nowhere) … that 46 children number came from the New York Times —… — 46 adoptions that were nearly completed, although the article does say another 200-250 U.S. families had identified children they wanted to adopt. Of course with recent events, those adoptions may well go through, what with the recent poltical action to postpone the ban.

      In any case, your stories come from very personal, difficult experiences, and I thank you for sharing them. It's clear that you had no "illusions" about adopting from Russia and have been mentally, psychologically and physically prepared to help your children get the help they so desperately need. I'm saddened and disheartened by the state-of-affairs in Russia. I agree, adopted children — whether as infants or from a foster care system or from orphanages — have been through trauma. I'm not familiar with the assertion:

      "ALL children coming out of foster care or orphanages are special needs children. Some have more needs than others, but ALL are neglected. Yes, even in our fancy foster care system, a child can be terribly damaged, going from home to home rejected again and again by foster parents who deem them misfit."

      I agree, they have been neglected, not given access to proper love and care. But, I'm really trying to educate myself here, and not be snarky. Can we really say that ALL of them are special needs children? I mean, what about relinquished infants and toddlers who were not physically disabled and therefore subject to horrid conditions? I'm asking because I want to know … what percentage of these children have what would be considered "special needs" and by what standard? U.S. foster care system? Russia? Someone else's? … Because surely, not all children who are adopted from Russia are special needs children.

      I'm also thinking of the horrid conditions that Roma (gypsies) live … here in Serbia, where I live. I will not lie to you, it would not be difficult to take one of these infants or toddlers, who lives in conditions not unlike those you describe, raise him or her as my own. I see children who have lice, eye-sores, skin afflictions, have not been cleaned for weeks. Families live without electrcity, without clean, running water. Girls are pregnant by age 12 or 13, they beg on the street and are used as a prostitutes. However, I don't think it would be right to adopt a Roma child, or to dictate how their living conditions could be improved. I am not Serbian, I am not Roma. I do not have the answers for this nation, for Roma culture. And yet the children suffer. I simply believe that as Americans, we have the tendency to apply our "first world" notions and sensibilities to other countries without understanding the specific cultural context. Of course, you've visited these orphanages in Russia, you've seen first-hand the suffering of children. But now, with this upcoming ban, the world will be watching. I think that this is the moment to hold Russia accountable for their children.

      Anyway, I don't have answers to all of this, but again, I thank you for sharing your experiences, and hope you'll stop by again.


  4. I think this article is a bit biased and over-simplified. Adoption is so much more nuanced than being "pro" or "against". While I whole-heartedly agree that family preservation should be first priority, I also think that assuming Russia is doing their orphans a favor is an ignorant sentiment. There is NO foster-care system in Russia for most of these kids. In-country adoption in Russia is rare due to a variety of factors both cultural and economic. So most kids in Russia who are orphaned are orphaned permanently and will grow up in an institution. Have you done much research on what these orphanages in Russia are like? On how prevelant neglect is? On the psychological effects of growing up under-stimulated and without attachment to adult figures? On the cognitive delays that occur from children not being held or nurtured? I'm sorry but in my opinion, as mental health professionals, we should be "pro-family". Ideally that family would be biological, but when that is not the case, we should champion willing families, even if they are from another country. Children need advocates for family.

    There is much change that needs to occur in Russia to address the orphan issue: to keep mothers from abandoning their children and to encourage locals to adopt. In the meantime, though, being "anti-adoption" for Russian children is cruel. Imagine coming upon a burning building and demanding that everyone stop administering aid to the burn victims because the fire needs to be stopped. Obviously BOTH need to happen. So it goes in Russia.

    Also, just want to point out that international adoption DOES occur in the US. Every year African American children who don't get placed with families in the US are adopted out to Canada and Europe. As to your intimation that this would be appalling . . . no. I don't think so. I think the racial bias in adoption matching is appalling. But I certainly don't think it's appalling that these children find families. You can read more about that here:

    If you want to learn more about the psychological ramifications of institutionalization in Russian orphanages, check out this article:

    The documentary "Children Underground" provides some sobering context on the abandonment of Russian children and what happens when they age out.

    • Laura permalink


      Thanks for your comments and the links you provided. Yes! My blog post oversimplified a very complex issue — I try to keep my posts to less than 800 words, and if I try to include some humor and a personal anecodote, there's not much left for nuanced geo-political analysis. I get that. I also like to leave some things out — to provide room for readers to comment, add their own voices and form their own opinions. That said, I'm in no way assuming that Russia is "doing orphans a favor," however I do agree with sovereign nations having the independence to care for their citizens. Yes, Russia must do more for the suffering people of its nation. It's awful, conditions are horrid, children are suffering.

      The article you pointed out from Christian Science Monitor about racial breakdown in adoption … was actually troubling to me. I can see that while international adoptions of U.S. children takes place (thank you for providing this information), many prefer it because … they want a younger child! Less trauma! The child will bond better! The article misses the point that these children are not orphans, that their first family does exist, and they the adopted person may want to know their heritage. I agree the racial bias is an issue, but there is something to be said for the issues transracial adoptees face being raised in an environment where no one looks like them, no one knows their native language, etc.

      I agree with you:

      "There is much change that needs to occur in Russia to address the orphan issue: to keep mothers from abandoning their children and to encourage locals to adopt. In the meantime, though, being “anti-adoption” for Russian children is cruel."

      I also believe that nations should have the right to limit or ban their citizens from being taken out of their country … And, the Russian people are right to protest and petition their government for more rights and resources for it's less fortunate, suffering children. I see it as a domestic issue for Russians; not one that the U.S. should have a say over. Like you said, the issue goes far deeper than U.S. adoptions of Russian children: it's domestic abuse, economic dispair, lack of opportunity and education, lack of access to birth control, cultural views of orphans and adoption.

      Thanks again for visiting and sharing. All the best,

  5. Elaine permalink

    Laura- Thanks to you and so many others to enlighten someone as myself that is not an adoptee, adoptive parent, first mother, someone that works for an adoption agency. I do however know what it is to love a son that is not my biological son. You see I'm a second mother. A stepmother to an incredible loving 34 year old son, who is at the moment heartbroken, along with wife, who have been trying to adopt two biological sisters that are purported to be in a Serbian orphanage. After years of trying to conceive a baby, they applied last January with a US adoption agency for an infant, under an open adoption program here in Houston, TX. They did not set out to apply to adopt a child or children outside of the US. Two months into the adoption indoctrination, preparation phase, the local adoption agency director informed them of the option for them to consider adopting these two biological sisters, ages 1 and 2, in Serbia that were "available" to adopt. The adoption agency said they had a 20 year history of working with an International adoption agency, who had contacted them to place these children. They were scheduled to fly and pick the girls up in November of last year, and more recently they were to have left last Saturday, January 12th. Then word abruptly came from the adoption director three days before their departure on 1/12/13 that their trip was delayed since " Serbia had put a 45 day hold on all US adoptions based on what had happened in Russia recently halting all US adoptions. Any thoughts or insights from you or others on how they can get to the truth of what really is going on?

    • Laura permalink

      Hi Elaine,

      Thanks for writing. You know, I tried looking into this, and there's not a lot available. But, I did check out the following link:
      And it's probably true. Serbia truly encourages domestic adoption, and in 2011 only 7 children were adopted — I assume this means internationally adopted. And, if the statistic is true, that 50% are over age 5, then my guess is that the US adoption agency had incorrect information.

      From the US government:
      Serbia requires children be available for domestic adoption for one year, before being adopted internationally. Serbia only allows international adoptions of children aged 2 – 18, so again, it sounds like your stepson was given incorrect information.

      I've read that in practice, Serbia only allows children with special needs to be adopted internationally.

      I also found this: — they are saying there is no 45-hold, and you ought to report the agency.

      I hope this helps!

      • Elaine permalink

        Thanks Laura. I appreciate the information.

  6. Melissa permalink

    I appreciate this article. I am currently in the process of adopting through the U. S. Foster Care System. I feel charity begins at home and have always felt very strongly that we should help the children in our own country before looking to other countries. Foster care is a great option.

    • Laura permalink

      Thanks, Melissa. Yes, I agree. Please keep me posted on your foster care adoption process. Where are you in it? What is the time frame? — Laura

  7. Stacey permalink

    Thank you Christie so very well said. I have never adopted or attempted to adopted from Russia but know others who have. These orphanages have severe lasting affects on these children.

    I have adopted in the US and so agree with horrible affects of trying several times to reunite kids to abusive birth parents and staying and moving around in the foster care system has terrible outcomes for many of these children. I adopted two girls older and they had multiple placements as well as the affects from their birth parents have long lasting trauma in their lives.

    I have also talked with many adults who were left in the foster care system to graduate out and have feelings of not belonging to any loving family. I think adoption is a wonderful thing for a child not a bad. Just because it is the birth or biological family that doesn't mean it is the best for the child.

    • Laura permalink

      Thanks so much for writing and sharing your views. I just wanted to add my "two cents." I think my adoption was okay. I had a good childhood. I love my adoptive parents. That said, I believe from a policy standpoint, adoption should be a last resort. And, as I was trying to point out (but maybe didn't do such a good job!) … there are good things about adoption, and there are bad things.

  8. Holly Filius permalink

    Wow…I appreciate your sarcastic writing style and of course, your personal perspective as an adoptee. However, I think that you may be focusing on the few, rather than the many. I am an adoption attorney and the vast majority, if not all, of the families that I have worked with are simply longing to be parents or wish to add to their already exisitng family and want to care for a child under the best of intentions. While it is true that some have spend large sums of money in search of their dream of parenthood, I find it unfair to suggest that these families are shopping for white babies. Many, many parents who adopt privately and through the child welfare system want to be parents – period. They are not ordering from a child menu where they choose white, check; healthy, check; cute, check etc. Instead, many families adopt children of other races or multi-racial children. Others adopt children with special needs and all adoptive families assume the risk of adopting a child for whom they have no real certainty of good physical health, mental health, intelligence, beauty and the like and often have nothing to estimate these perceived desireables upon since family hisotry is often missing. So, while I appreciate your points, I'd rather applaud the millions of families who adopt under whatever circumstances and for the children, wherever they originate from, I hope for them that someone has it in their heart to give them a family like someone did for you.

    • Laura permalink

      Thanks so much for commenting and contributing to the discussion. Yes, I do tend to be snarky and sarcastic–and I appreciate that you can see the "attempt" at humor, as opposed to taking offense.
      I'm glad to hear that you've seen a wide variety of adoptive parents–that is heartening. I guess, I would still tend towards family preservation and adoption as the option of last resort. I understand that in poor countries, children with extra physical and mental needs are often abandoned, or the country doesn't have the resources to help the child. I get that, I really do. And at the same time, I can understand Russia's desire to "try" to care for their own. I'm sad about all of the suffering children around the world, but from a policy standpoint, Russia is a sovereign nation and should be able to regulate adoption policy as they see fit.
      I know you also see so many well intentioned prospective parents come through your doors, who want to create a family, and Russia sealing the fate of disabled children is very sad. I do agree that some of these things could happen in tandem, so that special needs children can get adequate care. That's actually something that is done in Serbia. They discourage international adoption, encourage domestic adoption of infants — and allow special needs kids to be adopted internationally.
      Thanks again for contributing to a difficult-to-discuss topic!

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