Russia Suspends U.S. Adoptions

What Women Really Think
April 15 2010 10:17 AM

Russia Suspends U.S. Adoptions

Russia formally suspended U.S. adoptions today. With the outrage and publicity that's surrounded the case of Torry Hansen, the woman who put her adopted 7-year-old son on a plane back to Russia, the suspension was almost a foregone conclusion. (iI's worth noting that when a woman abandoned an adopted Guatemalan boy in a Florida airport upon arrival in the United States to little or no publicity, no formal actions were taken by either country.) Russia is embarrassed; it was bound to act, and now it has, seeking an agreement that will allow it to "monitor" the living conditions of Russian children adopted to the United States . They might also want to look closer to home.

Doctors and other professionals who, anecdotally, say they see a higher percentage of adoption disruptions (that's the word used when an adoptive family gives up a child) and the need for serious psychological help among children adopted from Russian and other Eastern European countries have long placed some of the blame on the institutional systems . Children who are physically cared for, but not given a chance to bond with a particular caregiver, can later have a more difficult time "attaching" to anyone at all. It seems counterintuitive, but the harder it is for a child to part with his previous home-whether it's an orphanage or a foster home-the easier it is for him to grieve and then adapt to a new place. That's all very cold, clinical language to cover a messy reality.


Russia can suspend adoptions-and it's not clear yet what that will mean: The two families traveling in Russia that I mentioned in my article about my own adoption process report that they've been allowed to continue, while families who've traveled once to meet their children and are waiting to return and finalize their adoptions are uncertain what will happen next. It can increase its "monitoring" of Russian children adopted to the United States, but without improvements in its own institutions, it will still be monitoring the same children, in the same situations. A disrupted adoption that tears apart the family and the child involved is still a tragedy, even if it isn't news.


Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Republicans Like Scott Walker Are Building Campaigns Around Problems That Don’t Exist

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

The World

Iran and the U.S. Are Allies

They just aren’t ready to admit it yet.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

How Steven Moffat Made the Best Doctor Who Episode in Years

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 1:58 PM Democrats Baffled by New Benghazi Whistleblower's Accusations
Business Insider
Sept. 16 2014 1:23 PM Germany Has Asked Google to Reveal Its Search Algorithm, but That's Not Going to Happen
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 1:27 PM The Veronica Mars Spinoff Is Just Amusing Enough to Keep Me Watching
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 1:48 PM Why We Need a Federal Robotics Commission
  Health & Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.