No More Russian Children to the US

This is not new information, that tomorrow a Russian law goes into effect that makes illegal the American adoption of Russian children. UCA News covers it here, with this statement about the state of those children’s souls:

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the Synodal Department for the Cooperation of Church and Society of the Moscow Patriarchate, said the law was “a search for a social answer to an elementary question: why should we give, and even sell, our children abroad?” Speaking to state news agency Interfax, Chaplin said the path to heaven would be closed to children adopted by foreigners. “They won’t get a truly Christian upbringing”.

In some cases, “sell” is not an exaggeration. In order to adopt overseas, one must have money. One must have money to travel, money for legal counsel, and money to lubricate the bureaucracy (some of it in fees, and some of it in bribes, and some in the gray area in between). And that doesn’t count the setting up of a home with what a child–usually an infant–needs.

The path to heaven closed? In going from one of the most irreligious countries to one of the most Christian, that seems a stretch. Or maybe Archpriest Chaplin has been drinking the American conservative Catholic Cool-Aid on this one.

The young miss has a friend her age who was adopted from Russia many years ago. She has noted the news development. I wonder what she thinks about that.

For me and my wife, a foreign adoption was never seirously discussed. First, we were not dead-set on getting an infant and seeking the “complete” child-rearing experience. We wanted a chance to “imprint” on a child younger than six or seven, and engage the “attachment” of one or more children. We talked with people who had outlays of tens of thousands of dollars to go to Asia. Good for them, but not our path.

The bottom line was that we learned that about a half-million American children are in foster care, and over a hundred-thousand of them are completely cut off from birth parents, either by law or by death. We decided we had to do some small part for them. More from the UCA, which notes that unlike in the US, adoption in Russia has cultural factors burying it:

Adoption is seen as something to hide. In addition, only very young and healthy children are prized because of biases against alleged “genetic defects” passed on by poor families.

The United States is, by far, the most adoption-friendly nation on the planet. Too bad the US bishops can’t parlay that into a significant pro-life witness. Catholic families by the tens of thousands would, with information and encouragement, line up to adopt many of the needy kids available. Given the American indulgence for creationism, I’m not sure how to comment politely on the notion that poverty is a genetic defect. Wealthy people have genetic defects all the time. Aristocratic inbreeding, especially in royalty, is a fact of history.

I also read that a few hundred American couples will be SOL when the law takes effect, and that spent time and resources will not be getting grandfather consideration.

These people do good work. We were on their mailing list during the two years before we adopted our daughter. Worth checking out.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Adoption, Other Places, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

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