U.S. urges Russia to sign adoption treaty
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By Freeman Klopott
Jan 11, 2009 D.C Examiner
The U.S. State Department is seeking a treaty on adoption with Russia, reacting to a threat from Moscow earlier this month not to permit children to be adopted into the United States in response to the death of a Russian infant in Virginia.
The dispute over adoptions has become heated since a Fairfax County judge acquitted Miles Harrison, 49, of involuntary manslaughter charges in December. The Purcellville father discovered his Russian-born adopted infant son dead in his car after leaving him there for more than nine hours on a hot July day.
Russian news outlets have been aggressively covering the story of Chase Harrison’s death, raising questions about adoption policies and at times questioning Americans’ priorities when they adopt foreign-born children. Meanwhile, relations between the U.S. and Russia have soured, particularly since Russia’s August invasion of Georgia.
With the threat to end adoptions on the table, the State Department said in a statement provided to The Examiner on Friday, “We strongly encourage the Government of the Russian Federation to move forward with ratifying the Hague Convention on Inter-County Adoption, which we believe is the best means to further our mutual goals for increasing protections for children.”
The U.S. signed the treaty in December 2007, along with 69 other countries, and implemented the policies in April. In its statement, the State Department said Russia’s signing the treaty would ensure adoptive parents undergo parenting classes.
U.S. adoption officials said Russia already has many of the policies required by the Hague treaty in place, including requirements for psychological testing and others regarding home visits. Those policies have been generated in the last 15 years as inter-country adoption has become increasingly popular and incidents of mistreatment have cropped up.
But Russia joining the treaty would still be beneficial to both children adopted from Russian and the worldwide adoption community, said Chuck Johnson, vice president of the National Council for Adoption, a Virginia-based nonprofit adoption advocacy group.
“With countries like China signing the Hague treaty, the expectation is that the whole field will rise to that standard for adoptions,” Johnson said. As more countries sign the treaty, it’s likely that adoption agencies will start applying the treaty’s standards to all countries regardless of their signing it, he said. Adding Russia to the mix would increase that likelihood, he said.
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Do I laugh or cry?
I have no doubt the worldwide adoption community would benefit if the international marketing of children remains large and open.Do Russians REALLY want to send their children to a country that can't take good care of it's OWN State Children?!?
The more I read, the less I blame AP's for the growing list of abused adoptees found within the PPL pages... I blame our own government, and their lack of care and concern in terms of what treatment programs and therapies are given parents through adoption/family services, and I blame the adoption advocates who think more children being moved from foreign countries is better for all involved. The greed involved in international adoption has just gotten completely insane. [I can only hope Brian Douglas is right when he wrote, "Inter country Adoptions on the decline"
Meanwhile, looking at other recent developments, I see Microsoft and Angelina Jolie have teamed-up with "a host of leading law firms and corperate law departments" and established a new non-profit organization called KIND (Kids in Need of Defense). According to the KIND press-release, their mission is to ensure pro bono legal counsel to unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States. ("Unaccompanied", meaning orphaned, trafficked, or without legal documents/papers?) Their goal in 2009?
Given the nature of immigration enforcers and the way in which detention centers operate I'm sure foreign adoptees facing deportation and their American AP's will benefit greatly from this new American service. And I'm more than sure sending countries would love to see what American parenting classes and family services have done to and for those "returning orphans" through the criminal justice system.
<shaking head....> It seems I'm being sarcastic again. My bad. Sometimes I just can't help it... (it's the angry-international-adoptee in me).
Too bad we don't have a government that puts a firm hand and foot against child trafficking/black-market/illegal adoptions made by and through corrupt adoption recruiters/agencies that operate in countries like: Guatemala, Cambodia, India, Ethiopia, and Vietnam, just to name a few.
I said it before, I will say it again, I hope Russia, China, (et al ) stop international adoption and start taking care of their native-born children, so Americans with a heart can start focusing on our own parenting problems in our own back yards.