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Old 04-05-2014, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,474 posts, read 43,566,158 times
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What a nervous experience this must have been for all involved.

How an American Couple Snuck the Last Adopted Orphan out of Crimea - ABC News
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:54 PM
 
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When Russia shut down to adoption by Americans, those few families whose adoption courts had already successfully concluded but who were finishing up the required red tape and/or short mandatory waiting period were allowed to complete the adoptions. Other families, many just a week or so behind in the in-country adoption process, were told they could not adopt the children they had already met and promised to parent. it was a very, very cruel time.

I cannot help but wonder if there were other would-be adoptive parents in Crimea who had completed adoption court and who were in the mandatory ten-day waiting period. Given the large number of Crimean orphanages and institutions where kids with special needs are routinely sent, it seems likely, but I have no figures.

I do know that several charities (some Ukrainian, some American, some Canadian) which regularly visit orphanages and institutions in other parts of Ukraine are resuming their regular visits now with little difficulty. International adoptions of children in other parts of Ukraine are resuming, though some adoptive parents have asked for additional time before traveling, understandably, in hopes of things settling down more. Other parents are pushing hard to get to and adopt known children as early as possible - this is especially true in the cases of kids with special needs which have not been treated adequately in Ukraine (for lack of medical and financial resources, usually).

There are more orphaned and institutionalized children in the eastern part of Ukraine than in the western part, and those children would be at particular risk if Russia should invade and claim yet more of Ukraine. It's a very worrisome situation, for many reasons, as Putin already has the blood of dead and dying orphaned Russian children with special needs on his hands, because of his forbidding Americans (and citizens of several other countries) from adopting. These little ones died needlessly, of neglect, abuse, starvation, malnutrition, disease, but most of all, lack of love and caring.

All because of Putin and his lackeys...
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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most people think russia stopped adoptions by americans because of the few deaths here of adopted russian children. nothing could be further from the truth.
it was done purely for political reasons. I've read some in depth articles on this subject in the past but can't find them to link now. perhaps others will have better luck.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:38 PM
 
161 posts, read 136,439 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
What a nervous experience this must have been for all involved.

How an American Couple Snuck the Last Adopted Orphan out of Crimea - ABC News
I read this and I thought it was nice. I hope she likes it here!
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:40 AM
 
Location: interior Alaska
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The thing I don't understand is why a lot of people so dead-set on the adoption of Russian children specifically. I understand the upset and fight if one initiated the process back before Russia became touchy about US adopters and has already become attached to a certain child, but those who have initiated it since then are confusing to me...there are so many other countries with equally needy kids in institutions. Including the US, although some families may have legitimate reasons to prefer international adoption.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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the only ones dead set are indeed those who have bonded with a specific child. Believe me there is nothing more horrible than planning on a specific child (even if you haven't met them in person) becoming a part of your family and then being told it will never happen. We feel so much guilt at not being able to keep our promises.

There are some other international countries where adoptions can happen but Russia is one of the few with children who actually look like the americans trying to adopt...ie...white. That was not important to us at all but I understand why it would be for others.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:57 AM
 
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Also, in Russia and other countries which were once part of the former Soviet Union, care of orphaned children with special needs is quite abysmal all too frequently.

I previously referred to Putin having blood on his hands - it's the blood of these innocents, most of whose parents were told to give them up to the state at birth because they would receive better care. The special needs in question include but are not limited to Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, limb differences, arthrogryposis, cleft palate and cleft lip, blindness, deafness, and other conditions which routinely receive specialized treatment elsewhere. Even children with mild versions of these special needs are often treated very, very poorly in the orphanages.

It's a carry over from a long tradition of viewing people with special needs as "defective". Physical "defects" are equated with mental "defects", and there's frequently an assumption that if an individual has a physical special need, they must automatically be "mentally deficient" as well (these are terms used in much of Eastern Europe, including Russia - not my own terminology). These views and beliefs were strengthened during the Soviet Russian regime, when such people were viewed as being of no use to the State - therefore of no use - or worth - whatsoever.

It's also a common belief that children with special needs, especially those who are unable to communicate, are "numb" and cannot feel pain, respond, etc. This leads to much cruelty and neglect.

If these children are not adopted, they are often sent to adult level mental institutions at the ages at which typical kids are transferred from baby house orphanages to children's home orphanages - usually age four. Many do not survive such places - hence my comment about Putin's bloody hands.

I can document deaths of small children with Down syndrome who were sent to isolated Russian mental institutions at age four - who suffered horribly and died as a result of abuse and neglect in these hellholes. I can show you before and after photos of one little boy with Down syndrome who was a "poster child" for Reece's Rainbow - dark shiny hair, huge big wondering brown eyes, beautiful little boy - but sadly, he wasn't adopted in time. Instead, a picture of him taken within a year of his transfer at age four from a baby house orphanage (where he appeared to have received decent care for his physical needs) showed him with a look of absolute terror on his little face. He was emaciated, head shaved, face covered with sores, and no doubt death was merciful to him.

No child should have to suffer such treatment.

I'd like to show those photographs to Vladimir Putin, the supposedly great savior of Russian orphans, and see what he had to say for himself and his lethal policies.

Another dangerous age is seven, when kids from the children's homes are moved on to boarding school orphanages for older kids. Children with mild special needs are particularly at risk at this age, and may be sent to institutions ranging from special schools (which are not all that special, sadly) to the grim, usually rural and remote mental institutions. If they are sent to the latter, they are very likely to remain there all their lives. Kids with only physical issues are sent to such places all the time, routinely, regardless of their mental capacity. They rarely get an education in such places, and care and supervision are very lacking.

Top this off with poor financial support for the orphanages, a large degree of turnover among the caregivers, inadequate supervision of children and a lack of training of caregivers, often old, decrepit buildings not originally intended to house children - and you can see why many people have a heart for the children forced to live - often barely exist - under such circumstances.

Children who are "typical" - that is, who do not have special needs - fare somewhat better, but still, it's estimated that around 70% of the boys who "graduate" from the orphanages become involved in criminal activities, drug and alcohol abuse and addiction, while it's thought that around 60% of the girls are trafficked. I am told that traffickers literally line up around the orphanage doors right after the pitiful graduation ceremonies each spring, just waiting to accost the scared, unprepared young girls - sixteen or seventeen at the most - who are about to leave. The death rate of such "graduates" is also appalling.

Having teenagers who joined my extended via adoption from Eastern Europe really brings it home to me. What would have become of these bright, happy, thriving kids, were they still in their birth country, still in "the system"? They had been separated at ages eight and six, and likely would never have seen one another again. One would be "graduating" this spring...I am so thankful they are part of our family now, and only wish their peers had also been found by adoptive families, either of their own birth nationality or any other origin.

Nationality doesn't matter - loving families do.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
4,277 posts, read 5,154,250 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
The thing I don't understand is why a lot of people so dead-set on the adoption of Russian children specifically. I understand the upset and fight if one initiated the process back before Russia became touchy about US adopters and has already become attached to a certain child, but those who have initiated it since then are confusing to me...there are so many other countries with equally needy kids in institutions. Including the US, although some families may have legitimate reasons to prefer international adoption.
Many of the children in Russian institutions are in horrible conditions, and it is often time worse than in other countries. One of the boys we would have adopted had the ban not been put into place has since died. From his latest picture before death, it appears as though he died of starvation. Had it not been for ridiculous politics, that boy could very well be alive and well right now instead of dead.
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