Green Room

Video: Putin responds to claims of human rights violations … by banning U.S. adoptions of Russian children

posted at 11:38 am on December 28, 2012 by

The status of the “reset”:

Just to make the villainy extra cartoonish, the new law doesn’t grandfather in adoptions that are already in progress. Forty-six Russian kids, some of them special needs, were on their way to a better life in the U.S. Not anymore. This is what nationalism looks like in Putin’s Russia, apparently.



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The bipartisan arrogance and buffoonery when it comes to Russia is astounding. You don’t have a right to Russian children… get over it.

Catholics aren’t allowed to run adoption agencies in America anymore… but by God let’s worry and demonize that evil Putin.

ninjapirate on December 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM

You don’t have a right to Russian children… get over it.

What on earth are you talking about? It has nothing to do with rights. There are kids stuck in Russian orphanages and parents here willing to take them. He’s using them as a political pawn to retaliate for, of all things, criticism of Russian human rights abuses. It’s monstrous.

Allahpundit on December 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Ninja, Did you even READ the freaking article?

The point is that we already had an agreement with Russia on this, and the American law the Russians are reacting to is in no way related to Russian Children. Putin, the evil bastard, is using orphaned children as a weapon to get the US to back down on it’s stance on Human Rights.

In the mean time, 40 some-odd kids that were slated for adoption are now being held prisoner and the American families that were trying to adopt are broken-hearted AND out tens of thousands of dollars.

We don’t have to TRY and demonize Putin, he’s doing a pretty damn good job of that on his own.

wearyman on December 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Awful.

terryannonline on December 28, 2012 at 12:06 PM

What on earth are you talking about? It has nothing to do with rights. There are kids stuck in Russian orphanages and parents here willing to take them.

If it doesn’t have to do with “rights” then what does it have to do about? You’re using the language of rights yourself.

He’s using them as a political pawn to retaliate for, of all things, criticism of Russian human rights abuses. It’s monstrous.

No, what the US did was’t simply “criticism” and the law we passed was stupid.

In the mean time, 40 some-odd kids that were slated for adoption are now being held prisoner

They are Russians… they haven’t gone through the adoption process. To call them prisoners is high stupidity.

ninjapirate on December 28, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Wow, we push back against Putin’s bullies, and he takes it out on orphans. Taliban shoots 14 y.o. unarmed girls, and Putin bullies orphans.

rbj on December 28, 2012 at 12:14 PM

No, what the US did was’t simply “criticism” and the law we passed was stupid.

It is STUPID to prevent known Human Rights abusers from doing business or coming to the US? How is that stupid? What, did you lose a business contract or something?

They are Russians… they haven’t gone through the adoption process. To call them prisoners is high stupidity.

The kids I am talking about WERE ALREADY GOING THROUGH the adoption process you MORON! In at least one case they were all the way down to the final waiting period before the parents could take the kid home! You obviously did not read the article, or you are simply being a troll. Just STFU and go read the article before shooting your keyboard off.

wearyman on December 28, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Those children, and thousands more like them, ARE prisoners of their own government. Special needs children in Russian orphanages, when they get too old for the “baby houses” (at age five, I believe), are transferred to mental institutions for adults, where they will live out the (usually brief) remainder of their days. Imagine being a five year old with Down Syndrome or cerebral palsy. You’ve already been abandoned by your birth family, and at five you lose the only home and family you’ve known in the orphanage and are sent to live in an adult mental hospital. In Russia. I can’t really think of a worse torture to inflict on someone. I’d like to inflict it on Putin, frankly.

The statistics for Russian orphans who don’t have special needs are equally grim – they’re merely dumped out on the street when they reach a certain age, with no real preparation to succeed in life. The vast majority end up as prostitutes or criminals. Most of them are incarcerated or simply die within a few years, often by suicide. Some of them produce children which they then abandon to orphanages, continuing the cycle.

Some American families are willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars and jump through innumerable hoops to give a few of these kids a chance at a ridiculously better life than they would have had. They don’t think they have a “right” to Russian children. They think that children, period, have a natural right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and to a family who will help them achieve that. How arrogant of them.

littlemary on December 28, 2012 at 12:41 PM

What’s funny is this is the same way I felt about people’s objections to gay adoptions (kids used as pawns in political discussion).

Now I don’t believe an adoption agency should be forced to adopt to a gay couple, but do people honestly think a child is better off in foster care than a loving home? Sure seemed that way with the language coming out of some peoples’ mouths.

Give all kids a shot at a stable, loving environment to succeed in life!

nextgen_repub on December 28, 2012 at 12:41 PM

ninjapirate on December 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM

I don’t think there’s a point in demonizing Putin on this as it was first passed by the Russian version of the House then unanimously passed by the Russian version of the senate. Putin had no reason to not sign it.

That said, they are playing politics with the lives of their children. They have children living in orphanages (and for those with special needs over the age of 5, living in ADULT mental institutions). Any country that would prefer to keep kids in institutes over allowing them to be adopted into families (carefully screened, of course) is making a bad call.

Beyond that, some of these families are already far enough along in the process that they have passed court. That means that as far as Russia is concerned, the adoptive parents are the legal guardians of the children; however, because of this law, the Russian embassy will not issue passports for the children to leave the country. So parents are now in the awkward position of having children that are their legal children in Russia, unable to leave the country. It is a mess and one that has nothing whatsoever to do with the law passed by U.S. politicians (which, whether you agree with it or not certainly had nothing to do with children, Russian or otherwise).

JadeNYU on December 28, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Putin just needs people to stay in the country in general; the population crisis that Russia faces is pretty severe, so I can understand the political motives for this as well as the demographic reality that should impose a ban on any emigration from Russia.

John_Locke on December 28, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Putin just needs people to stay in the country in general; the population crisis that Russia faces is pretty severe, so I can understand the political motives for this as well as the demographic reality that should impose a ban on any emigration from Russia.

John_Locke on December 28, 2012 at 1:52 PM

That said, it is horrific that the goal isn’t to get the children into loving homes, it’s to score political points.

John_Locke on December 28, 2012 at 1:53 PM

That American law was a stupid bit of preening on Congress’s part. The Neocon Save The World complex is still alive and well, just buried. There’s nothing Russia’s ever done that China hasn’t done a thousand times worse, but Russia doesn’t have the American economy by the balls, so there you go.

This anti-Russian nonsense is a Cold War relic. All the Russians want are their satellite states and to indulge their delusions of granduer in Eastern Europe. They aren’t an existential threat, and haven’t been for decades. I’d rather see Ukraine turned into a Russian client than see Iran get nukes, but I guess those super smart dudes in the think tanks see things differently.

pauljc on December 28, 2012 at 3:48 PM

There have been lots of stories on Russian News about americans adopting russian kids, abusing them, then sending them back to russia.

Instead of tightening rules to weed about the bad future parents, ban all Americans from adopting.

Makes sense. I guess.

lorien1973 on December 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Instead of tightening rules to weed about the bad future parents, ban all Americans from adopting.

Makes sense. I guess.

lorien1973 on December 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM

The reality is that it’s not always the parents. RAD is a genuine issue with children adopted from Russia.

MetaThought on December 28, 2012 at 6:22 PM

That American law was a stupid bit of preening on Congress’s part. The Neocon Save The World complex is still alive and well, just buried. There’s nothing Russia’s ever done that China hasn’t done a thousand times worse, but Russia doesn’t have the American economy by the balls, so there you go.

This anti-Russian nonsense is a Cold War relic. All the Russians want are their satellite states and to indulge their delusions of granduer in Eastern Europe. They aren’t an existential threat, and haven’t been for decades. I’d rather see Ukraine turned into a Russian client than see Iran get nukes, but I guess those super smart dudes in the think tanks see things differently.

pauljc on December 28, 2012 at 3:48 PM

idiocy like that leads to world wars.

rob verdi on December 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM

idiocy like that leads to world wars.

rob verdi on December 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Here’s “idiocy”, you SIMPLETON: trying to save a third of the world from itself (Europe specifically) and trying to keep a lid on another third with an economy a hairsbreadth from implosion and c!v!l war.

MelonCollie on December 28, 2012 at 9:51 PM

This anti-Russian nonsense is a Cold War relic. All the Russians want are their satellite states and to indulge their delusions of granduer in Eastern Europe. They aren’t an existential threat, and haven’t been for decades. I’d rather see Ukraine turned into a Russian client than see Iran get nukes, but I guess those super smart dudes in the think tanks see things differently.

pauljc on December 28, 2012 at 3:48 PM

As Hot Gas’s resident Ukrainophile, let me kindly invite you to piss off with that crap. >:(

I’m glad that you’re okay with Ukraine becoming a Russian client. I mean, what do 45 million Ukrainians matter to you? So what if they’ve only come out from under the slavery of Communism, winning their independence from a Soviet state whose government routinely saw their wealth destroyed and even engaged upon genocide by famine. Who cares if they current labor under a corrupt government stretched from all angles by outside influences? And nevermind that there are more well-meaning individuals looking to rescue the nation from stagnant corruption than there are fighting the good fight against Obama. If they’re all Putin wants, then screw them eh?

And of course throw in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia…all of the other former SSRs since apparently according to you they’re rightfully Russia’s satellites aren’t they? Oh, and why not Stalin’s buffers too? Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia (sorry JPeterman but we’re trying to be nice to Pooty here), Austria… all of the Balkans, except Greece because they’re already screwed. Oh, Angela, sorry but we’ll be needing half of your country too. It’s rightfully Putin’s. I know Schroeder spent much of his Chancellorship trying to give it all to him, but half will do.

Great, that’s a wonderful idea. Restore Cold War boundaries. Throw aside the freedom won by millions. What’s lost? Just some of the likeliest future havens for free market principles now that the USA and Western Europe have fallen to decadence. At least we never antagonized Putin and his ego can be stroked at the expense of the freedom of a couple hundred million. Neville Chamberlain smiles upon your accomplishment.

Now all that said, there’s a difference between a stupid law and appeasement to Putin. The Magnitsky Act wasn’t pointless because it bothered Putin; that’s the last thing that anybody should be worried about. The last President to give the slightest crap of offending Moscow was Jimmy Carter, and his trust of Brezhnev when it came to human rights was among the many great embarrassments of his administration. It was pointless because it was punishment legislation that affects all of 60 people, passed by a President who has done nothing to command Putin’s respect, fear, or serious thought at any point during his administration.

Staying out of the internal affairs of a hostile sovereign state and protecting our friends threatened by it are two different issues entirely. If this were happening in response to action on the part of Obama to strengthen ties to our Eastern European friends, I’d say the sad cost here is worth it. Instead it was just show legislation trying to govern human rights in another country – always well meaning and always ineffective. It’s small ball like that on the part of Barry that makes Putin unafraid to hamper Ukraine’s economic freedom and meddle in their elections.

And as for your other concern of Iran getting nukes… If we show that we’re unwilling to stand by our friends in Eastern Europe, then why would Tehran be even slightly unsettled about the possibility of our backing Israel?

Gingotts on December 29, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Imagine these kids so close to getting a family and it just gets ripped away from them. Orphans in Russia have nothing but a few trinkets to pass their time. Truly heartless and disgusting.

WisCon on December 29, 2012 at 12:49 AM

I have a friend who adopted two Russian children. For the foreign adoption agencies, Americans are a cash cow. Why simply give an unwanted child that is a financial liability for the host nation to a willing couple from America when that couple will gladly pay $20k+ for the priveledge? Americans have been raped for far too long in this regard. The amount of hand greasing and unnecessary expenses for international adoption is simply staggering. That money is what Putin has taken away from Russians.

The US should ban ALL private adoptions from other nations. Instead, we should ask that orphans be handed over to a US agency, up to a number sufficient to meet adoption demand, in order to save the foreign nations the cost of raising them. No more taking advantage of desparate parents-to-be. Then bring them to the US for placement in good homes. A couple willing to adopt a child should have as few barriers thrown up as practicable, such as limiting the cost of adoption to $5000 or so.

Take all the profit out of international adoptions, and you would be shocked as to how many “orphans” no longer exist due to the incentive to bear them being yanked.

shuzilla on December 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

shuzilla on December 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

In some instances the adoptive parents are bilked for money, but, I wouldn’t say that’s the case with most of the adoptions and not from Russia.

Yes, it costs upwards of $40k to adopt from Russia, however, that includes fees to homestudy agencies in the US, adoption agencies in the U.S., gathering required documents and getting them apostilled (which usually costs $15-20 per document for 30+ documents and is a US based fee), orphan petitions for USCIS (about $700 for a single child) – that, in and of itself already accounts for $12,000-$17,000 of the adoption fees.

On the Russian side there is document translation (as everything needs to be in Russian), court and lawyer fees, passport application fees and – depending on the region – $2,000-$4,000 to the orphanage.

The bulk of the money is actually in travel. Depending on the region you generally have to make 3-4 trips to Russia to complete the adoption. Those round trip tickets for 2 people (plus housing while you’re in country) add up quickly.

I know quite a few people that have adopted children with special needs from Russia and while they all wished the process were cheaper, not a single one of them ever reported having been forced to bribe their way through the process or pay unnecessary fees.

JadeNYU on December 29, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I don’t think there’s a point in demonizing Putin on this as it was first passed by the Russian version of the House then unanimously passed by the Russian version of the senate. Putin had no reason to not sign it.
JadeNYU on December 28, 2012 at 1:51 PM

You are aware that Russian elections are known for being neither free nor fair? The current legislature is almost as much of a rubber stamp for Putin as the Supreme Soviet used to be for the CCCP.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/12/06/9255664-moscow-election-official-i-helped-rig-russia-vote?lite

DavidW on December 30, 2012 at 1:18 AM

I think the best thing is to pressure Russia to take better care of their special needs children and leave them in Russia. While many prospective parents are under no illusions that these children will be difficult to raise and will require more than the usual effort, specialized care and heavily subsidized education, others have adopted believing that the children will not be impaired. I believe that one family returned such a child and ignited the furor that created this legislation.

Eastern Europe is rife with these situations as are other nations. They should be pushed to care for their own at this time.

clnurnberg on December 30, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Yanno…we smuggled Bibles INTO the nation under the noses of those God-hating monsters for decades…would it be so impossible to smuggle some otherwise-unwanted children OUT? They don’t guard too well what they don’t care about in the first place, right?

Just saying.

MelonCollie on December 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM