Russia Suspends U.S. Adoptions

The XX Factor
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.

Advertisement

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.

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

How Movies Like Contagion and Outbreak Distort Our Response to Real Epidemics

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 23 2014 10:30 AM Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 8:51 AM The Male-Dominated Culture of Business in Tech Is Not Great for Women
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 9:00 AM Exclusive Premiere: Key & Peele Imagines the Dark Side of the Make-A-Wish Program
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.