Russia To U.S.: We Will Suspend Your Adoptions

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has proposed suspending adoptions to American citizens until it can better monitor the welfare of adopted Russian children in the United States. Russia wants the United States to sign an accord that would allow authorities to monitor their children and, until then, the threat of suspension is looming.

In 2010, the Russian government suspended adoption to the United States after an American adoptive mother sent her child back to Russia with a note in his pocket, explaining that the child was mentally unstable.

He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues/behaviors. I was lied to and misled by the Russian orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability and other issues.

In November 2011, two parents were convicted of involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal conspiracy after the death of their adopted Russian son.  This case ignited the uproar behind this new agenda.

American citizens have adopted nearly 50,000 Russian children in the past 20 years.

Do you think Russia should take precaution to protect its children? Is the government going to far? What implications will this have on international diplomacy? Do you think other countries will enact the same measures?

For more information see: ABC News


  1. Taylor, this really is an interesting subject, and this clearly is not the first time that Russia has threatened to stop adoptions to foreign countries such as the United States. In fact, in 2007, Russia suspended foreign adoptions. In 2007, the Russian government wanted to encourage Russian citizens to adopt the Russian orphans, but even Russians provided numerous reasons for not wanting to adopt Russian orphans, claiming that Russian orphans were often sick due to poor conditions in orphanages, or are just damaged in some way. During this time, foreign sources claimed that Russia’s policy was more-so developed out of national pride than concern for child welfare.

    So, while i’m not quite sure what the definitive reasoning is this time around for Russia’s reluctance to let Americans adopt Russian orphans, i’m not quite convinced that Russian officials actually believe the orphans will receive better care remaining in Russia. Its pretty well known that Russia’s orphanage system is overloaded, and overflowing with baby orphans. These babies are basically ignored all day, as they receive little to no attention, and nothing to stimulate their learning or development. Funds are scarce, as well as food, and in combination with a lack of attention, these children’s development is seriously put in jeopardy.

    It is obviously important that these orphans are not adopted into abusive or otherwise unfit households, but this is why Russia needs to (and does) a thorough investigation of hopeful American parents. As long as Russia continues to ensure that Russian orphans are only adopted into fit American households, Russia should have no reason to threaten to cut off adoptions to American parents.

  2. I think that both Russia and the United States should take action to protect the children who are adopted in the United States. I think that Russia is doing the right thing by protecting the children of their country by making sure that it is safe here in America for them. I also believe that the United States has a responsibility to those countries that participate with our adoption system and we should keep an eye on any developing patterns.

    The problem is that there is no way for the United States to be able to guarantee one hundred percent safety to those who participate in adoptions. There will always be uncontrollable factors that cannot be foreseen and it would be wise for the United States to heed the warning of Russia. The United States should comply with Russia’s request to monitor their children because it may truly be beneficial for all parties involved.

  3. There are two issues that come to mind here. First is the apparent deficiencies in the Russian adoption services in selecting suitable adoptive parents. While it is true that an adoption agency can only do so much screening, perhaps the troubling situations presented here would have been prevented if better screening methods were utilized. Secondly, the issue of the role of the United States in making sure that adoptive children are safe in their new home comes to mind. Russia should not have to threaten suspending adoptions. The United States should work on doing a better job to make sure that adoptive children are safe in this country. While there will always be cases that slip through the cracks, perhaps this stern warning from Russia will make the United States more vigilant with regards to these matters.

  4. I agree with the sentiments of those above and also question whether Russian Government is truly acting in the best interests of the children. As Elizabeth stated, the hardships facing orphans in Russia are significant and the best available options for the children may be in other nations. I find it difficult, however, to criticize Russia’s response to the particular instance involving the parents accused of manslaughter. It is likely that the majority of children adopted from Russia do not face these tragic circumstances, but the extreme surroundings of this case almost require the Russian government to respond. The Government cannot sit idly by while an adopted child has been lost. It would be ideal for both governments to work together to insure the safety of these children. I would hope they view it as their obligation to do so. Maybe the Russian government’s actions are driven by a hidden agenda, and perhaps a ban on American adoptions would only exacerbate the Russian orphanage problem, but for the Russian government to ignore the happenings and fail to act entirely, would be equally questionable.

  5. It seems strange that Russia should have to make sure that kids adopted from their country stay safe with their new parents. The United States should be able to protect the children that are here. This seems a little ridiculous. In terms of the woman who returned her son, while he did have serious behavioral issues, it is hard to imagine why she saw no other option than sending him back. If Russia wants to get involved, Russia and the US should partner to provide support to adoptive parents both before they adopt and after. Make sure that parents understand the circumstances their adoptive child is coming from and what that could mean for them and the child once they are a family. Also there should be support for adoptive parents who need help in doing the best job caring for the child.

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