It is only on occasion that international events directly impact people’s ability to move forward with immediate personal concerns. One current example of just such a rare event is the ban on Russian adoption just signed into law by President Putin as of Dec. 2012. This law directly affects at least one family in Texas that was already in the process of adopting a child from Russia.

There were more than 50 Ruso-American adoptions pending when the law went into effect. All children whose adoptions were still pending and who were in Russia will remain there. The Texas-based Gladney Center for Adoption had more than 20 adoptions of Russian children in process as of December. Many of the families who were in the process of adopting children from Russia had already met the children they were planning to bring home.

The law is thought to be partly in response to a few tragic circumstances where adoptive children were injured or died while in an adoptive parents’ care, such as the case of one boy who died after being left in an extremely hot car. The parents involved were found not guilty of manslaughter. Many in Russia had a strong objection to the court’s finding in that case and to allegedly mild sentences in similar cases. Even so, such circumstances are very rare and there are nearly 750,000 children in Russia who are not in family homes and who could be adopted.

For the parents who had been working on a Russian adoption, there are options to consider. Some are considering waiting to see if a change in the law takes effect while others plan to seek alternate opportunities to adopt, including children from other countries. The decision about what to do next in such a difficult circumstance requires a good understanding of the facts and possible relevant international concerns that may arise. All people considering becoming a parent through this process would do well to learn as much about the process as possible to increase their likelihood of success.

Source: nbcdfw.com, “Russian Ban on US Adoptions Hits North Texas Couple,” Dec. 28, 2012