Russian president Vladimir V. Putin made headlines around the world today when he said he will sign a law banning the adoptions of Russian children by American citizens. He made headlines for a number of reasons, mostly political (the ban is said to be Putin's retaliation against an American law punishing Russians accused of violating human rights). But as a mom, I find the personal implications of this ban to be the most devastating. In a statement, Russian child rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov said that 46 children already chosen by American parents -- "46 children who were seen, whose paperwork was processed, who came in the sights of American agencies" -- will "not be able to go to America, to those who wanted to see them as their adopted children."
He added, "There is no need to go out and make a tragedy out of it.”
He couldn't be more wrong.
I didn't adopt my two children, so I can't speak from experience on this topic, but still ... I just can't imagine what the American parents of these 46 children are going through right now. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of how complicated, lengthy, and frustrating the process of adopting a child can be knows what the "paperwork was processed" really means: It means the nursery was already painted. It means the car seat was already installed. It means the clothes were already folded in drawers, waiting to be worn. It means, above all, that the parents were already in love. The parents were already parents!
It's just heartbreaking. And what about the children? What happens to them now? No need to make a tragedy out of it?? It already IS a tragedy. And I'm so sorry for everyone involved.
Do you have any experience with adoption? Do you think this situation is tragic?
Image via Janine/Flickr