The news that Russia is now banning all U.S. based adoption is making it’s rounds. I’ll admit, my initial response was one of shock, and enthusiasm. I think that there is a huge need for countries to revisit their adoption practices, and reform where necessary. The fact that Russia is choosing to do this, is in my opinion, for the betterment of the children. Yes, there are adoptive families who would have been impacted by this decision, but I don’t necessarily believe that their needs should be our focus.
It’s such a complex issue because there is no easy answer in these situations. Yes, the orphanages in Russia are unsuitable, overcrowded and likely run by corrupt persons. The children are suffering not necessarily out of lack of love, but from attachment issues, as well as trauma from abuse to them and that they watched. My hope is that Putin follows through on his promise to create in country programs that focus on adopting these children within Russia and making them more comfortable if they are un-adopted.
It’s become particularly evident that our culture is obsessed with saving other countries. We seem to think that in the end, we know what is best for everyone, and that our way is the best way to handle any conflict or come to a solution. Adoption, of course, is no different. These Russian children are surely suffering, but yet, there are thousands of children in North America who find themselves without homes, without families, and are traumatized by the abuse and events they have witnessed. Why are we ignoring them?
Why aren’t we saving our own children? Perhaps it’s cold-hearted for me to say, but why are we focusing on the children of the world, when in our own backyard, there are plenty of children suffering, children who need homes, children who are orphans in their own right. We should be utilizing our own government programs to make sure that these children remain in the homes they should be in, and have resources to have a stable, and promising life.
Don’t mistake this question for a lack of empathy for the children in Russia. I just struggle to believe that we have the answers to the crisis of orphaned children in Russia. Perhaps this is the best move for Russia to make. Now they can discuss what they can do with their own national crisis, and figure out how best to keep those children in their country, and find loving homes for them. The truth is, often Russian homes are bypassed when an American couple with money step into the picture- a true example of what is inherently wrong with the adoption system as a whole. Money should not ever be the moral guide for making sure that children make it into the proper home.
I stand by my earlier statement: we really should be more concerned for the children in our own country. Maybe when we’ve solved our own issues with abandoned children, coercive adoptions, corrupt agencies, and our own flawed system we can cry foul at the fact that Russia has decided to halt adoption to the United States. But until then, I think we have our own adoption crisis of our own to be contending with.