Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial law prohibiting American families from adopting Russian children. The new law directly affects hundreds of families across the U.S., including 46 families in the final stages of the adoption process. Kojo explores the challenges for governments and families in navigating international adoption.
Dozens of Washingtonians shared their personal successes and frustrations with the international adoption process with us through the Public Insight Network. Listen to excerpts from two of those conversations, and share your own experiences in the comments section below.
Gretchen describes visiting two very different orphanages in Russia when she and her husband decided to expand their family in 2005. Weeks after submitting a petition to adopt, a judge determined that Americans would no longer be allowed to adopt from that particular region -- and he started with her case. "I can relate to all these families that are stuck in limbo, waiting to see if they will be able to proceed or not," Gretchen said about the families affected by Russia's recent ban on U.S. adoption. "The anxiety and stress and the feelings around that are so intense."
Sydney adopted a daughter in 1991 and a son in 1995, both from Bolivia but through very different processes. When adopting her daughter, Sydney and her husband went through the court process directly and practically unaided, using conversational Spanish, an attorney and the help of an American family living in Bolivia. For the second adoption, Sydney describes going through a U.S. adoption agency in Connecticut, per the requirements of the newly-passed Hague Convention. She talks about how an in-country guide mitigated several cultural barriers. For individuals also interested in adopting from a Latin American country, Sydney recommends the local chapter of the support group, Latin America Parents Association.