Monday, April 12, 2010

How could you treat a child like that?

I’m sure that by now, you have all heard of the latest news from Russia. If not, check out this story. I’ve overheard a lot of people talking about this story and I wanted to weigh in and let you know our thoughts.

I’m happy that Cohen is safe at home with us. I’m happy that we are finished with court and that Cohen is officially ours, but there are thousands of families that are not as fortunate as we are. They are still in the process of getting their babies. Just two weeks ago, I had a lengthy conversation with a lady who was leaving for her first trip to meet her 10 month old son. She’s back now, but she met her baby, and now she may not be able to return to get him.

I can’t even begin to explain how angry this makes me. To think that you could adopt a child, and when it gets difficult, send the child back. I’m just getting madder typing this now. OOOHHH.

Whether you adopt a child or you have one biologically, you are fully responsible for that child’s well being. The parents are supposed to look out for the best interest of that child. You can’t just give up when it gets difficult.

When we were in Russia at our court hearing, the prosecutor grilled me. She asked me all sorts of questions, but the one that I remember the most is the one about abuse to Russian adopted children by their mothers. She stated that there have been several reports of mothers abusing their adopted children because they were not prepared for the struggles of parenthood. I had to do my best to plead my case and to explain that I would seek help if things got difficult. They gave me the impression that they would rather keep their babies in orphanages forever than to turn them over to American parents.

According to this story over 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by American families and there are almost 740,000 children without parental custody in Russia. These numbers are unbelievable. Because of this lady’s choice to send her son back to Russia, the 740,000 children waiting for someone to take care of them could be waiting for the rest of their lives. Russia could choose to suspend adoptions to the United States. If they don’t suspend, they could create unreasonable requirements for perspective adoptive parents, requirements that could force many families to give up on their dreams of adopting a child from Russia.

I’m in tears just thinking about Cohen spending his life in an orphanage. I can’t even begin to imagine what would have happened to him. This lady could be solely responsible for thousands of children not being adopted.

I received an e-mail from my adoption agency encouraging us to speak up about this issue and to tell our elected officials that they need to deal with this issue. This is an example of child abuse in its worst state.

Below is an excerpt of the e-mail I received. I like the way they put it….

“As reported, this tragic turn of events is simply incomprehensible and indefensible. Joint Council and EAC forcefully advocate for the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of all individuals involved in any type of child abuse. Failing to take aggressive action against the individuals involved in abuse only further compromise children's rights. When the reaction to abuse is the elimination of a particular service to children (i.e.-international adoption) instead of prosecuting the perpetrators, children are further victimized and their rights stripped away.”

Adopted children should be protected in the same way that we protect biological children. If a lady were to put her biological child on a plane to Russia, she would be arrested for abuse. I feel that this lady should be punished to the full extent of the law. To simply state that you were lied to about the physical or mental state of a child is irresponsible. No parent can be assured that their child will behave in a certain way. Whether your child is biological or adopted, you are not guaranteed that when they are 7 they won’t threaten to burn down your house. There are other ways to deal with this behavior and sending a child to Russia is NEVER the answer.

This is absolutely unacceptable and we should all be appalled by her behavior.

I am now encouraging you to speak out on this issue. Contact your elected officials and state that you feel this lady should be severely punished for her actions and voice your support of the international adoption programs.

I’m also encouraging you to pray for the thousands of children in Russia waiting for a mom and a dad to come love them. All children deserve the love that only a mom and dad can give them. Pray for the children who have met their mom and dad, but are still waiting on court dates and official documents. Pray for the thousands of families who are now struggling to get their babies from Russia. Pray for the Russian officials, pray that they will see that of the 60,000 adoptions, only a handful of American parents have abused their children and that is no reason to stop the international adoption program. Pray that they see that there are thousands of babies who are thriving because they have a mom and dad that love them.




  1. Emily- I'm so glad to hear your position on this and read a lot of facts that I didn't know. It makes me so sad that so many kids could be denied the right to wonderful families because of a few sick twisted people. Children need us to be advocates for them and speak out for sure!

  2. You know I never watch the news but when I started reading this Damon filled me in a little on what had happened. I am just so thankful that Cohen's adoption went through before this tragedy! I cannot imagine your lives or ours without him now and we will definitely be lifting up those families who are waiting for their own sweet baby! Maybe someone should send a link to your blog to the Russian officials. When you see a little boy that happy and enamored with his parents you know it was ordained by God!