Ban on Russian Adoptions:

Can We Feel Hopeful?

meganmontgomeryJanuary 2nd families in the process of adopting from Russia have been in a state of limbo. Now, some are feeling more at ease with the news that the ban on US citizens adopting from Russian will not go into effect until 2014.

However, each day they hope for greater clarity as to when and if their Russian born child will join their family. The Russian government has been on holiday so there has been little resolve in regard to what the new ban on adoptions will mean for each unique pending case.

The U.S. Department of State and the White House have been engaged in the search for answers to the many questions that adoption agencies and families have. The biggest question has been whether or not the pending adoptions will be allowed to go through.

Recent public comments by the Kremlin spokesman and the Children’s Rights Ombudsman indicated that cases in which a court ruling exists will be permitted to move forward. However, families and agencies are reporting difficulties which include: postponement of court dates, delays in the issuance important paperwork such as adoption decrees, birth certificates, and Russian passports for adoptees. Additionally there seems to be confusion over the release of children into the physical custody of adoptive parents, Russian authorities in some areas state they are waiting for guidance on how to proceed.

For the families who have already seen their child(ren) twice and are in the final 30 day wait period which is required by Russian law before they can bring their child home to the U.S., the last few weeks have been particularly painful. However, these families can feel encouraged by the recent statement that the ban will not go into effect until next year. These cases are a priority in the Department of States eyes, as well as those cases where special needs children have been identified but the family not yet registered with the Central Authority in Russia.

While, we still hope for more clarity and certainty for those families in the pipeline, things are looking hopeful that adoption cases in which a court ruling exists will be permitted to move forward. The opinion of the US government is that the bilateral agreement between Russian and the US is still in effect and still needs to be abided by. Therefore, families are advised to proceed with caution, continue to consult with their Adoption Service Provider for the most up to date details and confirmations regarding their case.

Many people in the adoption community and beyond will wait in anticipation and much hope for finality as to what the postponement of the ban til 2014 means for adoptions.

This month, Reuters and The Chicago Tribune quoted Megan Montgomery on the Russian ban on U.S. Adoption. If you are interested in learning more about Adoption STAR’s International Adoption programs in Bulgaria and Hungary both of whom welcome U.S. adoption, please email Megan or visit our International Adoption webpage