Isakson, Gingrey Honor Faith Allen of Georgia as Angel in Adoption

Date: 2006-09-20

Allen to Be Recognized Tonight at National Event in Washington

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and U.S. Representative Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) today announced that they have nominated Georgia resident Faith Allen as a 2006 Angel in Adoption™ for her outstanding contributions toward the welfare of children in the United States foster care system and orphans around the globe.  

Ms. Allen, who adopted her daughter Masha in 2005, will be honored tonight at the Congressional Coalition for Adoption Institute 's Annual Angels in Adoption™ Gala in Washington, D.C.

In 1998, 5-year-old Masha was adopted from a Russian orphanage by Matthew Mancuso, who abused Masha and distributed sexually explicit pictures of her over the Internet.  Law enforcement officials were able to track, arrest and convict Mancuso, and Masha was placed under the emergency foster care of Ms. Allen.  Last year, she adopted Masha. 

“Faith Allen, who adopted her daughter, Masha, last year, is a truly amazing woman who embodies the spirit of the Angels in Adoptions program,” Isakson said. “Masha’s story is heartbreaking, but it is also hopeful for orphans everywhere.  After a lifetime of unimaginable hardships, Masha now has a safe home filled with compassion and love thanks to her Angel in Adoption, Faith Allen.”   

“Faith Allen is a shining example of the selfless love adoptive parents give their children,” said Gingrey.  “Faith is more than just Masha’s adoptive mother; she is her pillar of support, providing encouragement as Masha bravely shares her story.  Everyone who spends time with Faith and Masha feels the warmth and kindness that make Faith an Angel in Adoption.” 

Isakson and Gingrey nominated Ms. Allen for the Angels in Adoption award after working with her and her daughter to introduce legislation, also known as Masha’s Law, that dramatically increases penalties for anyone who downloads child pornography off the Internet.  Provisions of this legislation were included in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which was signed into law by President Bush on July 27, 2006.

The Angels in Adoption™ program is the signature public awareness program of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, which provides an opportunity to all members of the U.S. Congress to honor the good work of their constituents who have enriched the lives of foster children and orphans in the United States and internationally. Each year, more than 160 members of Congress participate, making it the year’s single most significant Congressional event pertaining to child welfare in the United States.

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