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April 28th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Parents sue over Russian adoption

(CNN) – Russian adoptions are firmly in the spotlight right now after the recent story of a Tennessee woman who put her adopted son on a plane by himself to Russia, saying he was too much to handle.

Today, an equally controversial and heart-wrenching case is grabbing national attention. Our Alina Cho went to Virginia where she spoke to an adoptive family who says a Russian orphanage misled them.


Filed under: World
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. beth

    Christine – you are SO right! We got the same thing when we attempted to foster to adopt, it is not always a deal breaker – it helps the prospective family be prepared for and better equipped on what needs to be done to help these children.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  2. beth

    Christine – you are SO right! We got the same thing when we attempted to foster to adopt...like i said in a previous post, it is not always a deal breaker – it helps the prospective family be prepared for and better equipped on what needs to be done to help these children.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  3. Donna in Westwood NJ

    A follow up to my previous post-
    @Elayna- I don't recall saying ALL children adopted from Russia had problems. I was simply sharing an experience I had with ONE child adopted from Russia.
    @Rachel- As many pointed out to you, you misread my post. I clearly stated the child seemed to be 4-5 years oldER than claimed.
    My days were spent protecting the other children from him instead of actually teaching them. Hence, I took the physical (and emotional) brunt of his violent tantrums. I had no support from administration or his parents. As a matter of fact, in one of the many meetings I had with his adoptive parents, his mother told me "I don't want to hear it! I have to deal with this monster at home, you have to deal with him here at school." Nice, huh?
    There are countless, loving, wonderful people out there that are willing to adopt children with Special Needs. My personal opinion is that Russia, unlike China and many other countries around the world, does not screen prospective parents well, nor are they up front and honest about the children's physical and mental health. Given that, people who are considering adoption need to be more careful.
    @Christie- One teacher's opinion or comments does not get a child disenrolled or expelled from ANY school/program. At the time, I happened to have been working at a private Preschool/Day care. There were no Special Education programs or facilities to deal with a terribly violent child. As a matter of fact, I advocated for this boy when Family Services and a Child Study Team came to investigate. I felt he needed to be in an environment that was more conducive to helping him assimilate into his new family, the United States, and a school setting. He also needed to be diagnosed and then have his issues/illness properly dealt with. I treated this child with nothing but love and compassion. I never raised my voice or treated him badly.
    However, I had 25 other children in my class with only one inexperienced aide, so yes, I was glad to see him leave (and hopefully get the help he needed) and get my classroom back in order. You have no idea how much anxiety he caused the other children in my care! Some were afraid to come to school! But that's a discussion for another day.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  4. ParentVN

    I agree that until you find yourself dealing with a troubled child, you will never no what it takes. However, if you choose to be a parent, adoptive or birth, your are responsible for your children FOREVER. These kids did not ask to be born or being adopeted; YOU made this decision for them; YOU bring them to this world or to this country. And the papers you sign when adopting a child clearly spell your responsibilities and obligations, and YOU agree with them. Sending a little boy, troubled or not, ALONE back to Russia on a flight that requires a transfer yet in another country, and knowing that he has nowhere to go, no one to turn to, just blows my mind. This woman needs to be prosecuted for mistreating this kid as any other parent would be in the U.S. for doing such a cruel thing.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  5. adoptive parent

    When I read many of your posts, the phrase that keeps coming to mind is, "Ignorance is Bliss" – because the majority of you making statements on what or how other people should live are clueless, and I'm sure the families who have lived with a violent child would prefer to be as clueless and ignorant as you. I won't waste much time on this because 1) people who think this way aren't likely to change due to facts heard, and 2) I am the mother of a child who we are afraid of and I don't have extra time to spend on fools.
    -This couple in VA is not sending him back, he is at this institution for a couple of weeks, then they need to determine what they will be doing to help him, and keep the rest of their family safe.
    -International vs. Domestic Adoptions- If you feel led to adopt in US, do it. If you feel led to adopt Internationally, do it – if we all did SOMETHING to help these orphans, many children could be rescued.
    If you think the couple is wrong in the way they've handled this, be thankful you have NO CLUE what they've gone through, so that you can sit in your safe home and make these judgements on them.

    April 29, 2010 at 7:50 am |
  6. Stephen Chizmar

    Russian children from their adoption agencies have always been known to pass-off abused children from foster dwellings to American couples.These children will always be a 'problem.'

    April 29, 2010 at 6:37 am |
  7. Geoweo

    Quote: "Why do Americans just REFUSE to adopt in the US?? It's almost as if international children are fashionable and they just have to get one!"

    Why do so many people just REFUSE to actually read?? Hello (even though I'm adding to the redundancy and most likely addressing the equivalent of a wall), it's MUCH more difficult (and more expensive) to adopt from the US. So many families that can't have children of their own are unable to adopt from the US. Seriously, learn to take a few minutes to do some research before opening your judgemental, bickering mouth.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:08 am |
  8. Christie

    I'd also state that I work with many parents who have children who are violent, medically fragile, severe autism, etc. They do the best they can and love their children. We all work as a team to support each other and simply shouting in message boards, adopt from the US doesn't help or address the issue. Would you be less deserving of adoption if you were born in another country? Really a child is a child, who cares where they come from. Perhaps parents should educate themselves on the risks of parenthood. Autism is what? 1 in 150 or something, so will you risk it? Or because you gave birth to that child it's more acceptable for them to have a disability?
    I'd also question a teacher who had a student basically expelled from school rather than given a behavior support plan and provided services to help him/her learn to be successful with his/her peers. Violent behavior exists in children, probably more than the public thinks, but there is an abundance of research and intervention available proven to have positive effects, and in some cases, medication. To expell or be happy a pre-k child is gone, who obviously sounds like they needed additional support, seems rather ...... well the type of teacher who thinks every "difficult" student is the sped. teacher's kid or someone elses responsibility. Then again I've worked with 18 year olds who hit, bite, and scratch me so dealing with a pre-k seems like a great opportunity for a teacher to make a big difference with both a child and family.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:17 am |
  9. Christie

    Regardless of whether you adopt or have your own child there is a possiblity that child will have a disability. Once you sign those papers or make the decision to have a child you are agreeing to take a risk and love a child no matter what, at least I hope you are. As a special education teacher maybe I have a different view on things, but in my opinion it doesn't matter where you adopt from, US or other country, what matters is that you are up for the challenge of parenting, regardless of the child's ability.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:08 am |
  10. MG

    It seems this family has the finances to care for their adopted son, place him in a facility and sue the agency. The woman who sent her child back to Russia was a single parent with limited funds and perhaps unable to provide the same care as the family featured in this story. Every story is different and in this case irresponsible to compare the 2.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
  11. Sandra

    My comment is about the Russian child that was sent back. I'm a fosterparent and i had a 15yr. old boy from Russia that kid was horrible he had so many behavior problems he also made several threats to harm me and harm my other kids. I had to have him removed from my home. He said he was going to kill us. I had him hospitalized and i gave him up at the time of his episode. Those kids have a lot of issues but then again why do all these americans want to go out of the counrty to adopt when we have so many loving kids right here that needs good homes.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  12. reeney

    We tried to adopt from the U.S. and waited for years. When we had the opportunity to adopt from Russia we did simply because we did not think we would ever get to the top of the list here. We were almost 40 and we were constantly passed over in favor of younger couples. We are glad we did adopt from Russia and our son has been the joy of our lives. Most adoptive parents feel this way. These sensationalized reports do not represent the typical adoption from Eastern Europe. Most people I know who adopted internationally would have been glad to adopt domestically, but in many states it is very difficult to adopt a child out of the foster system (birth parents often refuse to terminate their rights, simply leaving the child in "the system" and not available for adoption).

    April 28, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  13. Gemma

    I think that is ridiculous that the parents are suing because they should have figured out all of the childs "nature" before continuing with the adopting progress. How do you even sue over a child? What if you were thats child? Would you want your parents suing? Think about it.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  14. Cyndi

    My heart goes out to this family and I am shocked at the insensitivity of the posters here. What kind of response is this "serves you right" attitude? Those of you who proclaim the wonders of adopting from the US have clearly never tried to do so.

    I am the mother of two internationally adopted children, one of whom likely had fetal alcohol exposure and both of whom have suffered from various issues. We adopted our children because we wanted to be parents, and we were well aware of the risks.

    That said, I disagree with the family's lawsuit. Adoption agencies go to great lengths to make potential parents aware of the possibilities. Suing the agency is akin to suing your obstetrician if your baby is born with a birth defect.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  15. Richard Henson

    Wow, you have a kid or adopt you take on what ever problems the child has good or bad. It does not matter where the children come from you run the risk that the child was neglected or at the least feels neglected. If people want a perfect child they need not have or adopt children becaues there is no such thing as a perfect child. A prefect child only exist in the eyes of a loving parents.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  16. Dan

    There are many reasons people choose to adopt internationally. Please become more educated on these topics before posting ignorant, insenstive comments. Simply stating "they should adopt American kids so I don't feel sorry for them" is completely asinine once you have done the requisite research about adoption. Just try putting yourself in an infertile couples shoes and see how the options look to you. I speak from personal experience on this subject.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  17. adoptive parent

    My heart goes out to this family. We have experienced similar struggles. If CNN can email us their email address, we would like to contact them. Thank you.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  18. Kathleen

    I must say that I am appalled that people are just assuming all Russia adoptions are like this. My little sister is adopted from Russia. She was adopted when she was 4 and a half and she is now 15. She is a gorgeous and beautiful person, inside and out. She is brillant, respectful, and funny. I just want to put out there that not every case becomes a tragedy...in terms of my situation, my little sister is a gift to me every day. Every day with her is like christmas.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  19. MR

    what some of you may not know about the adoption process is that an adoption from a foreign country is usually a sure thing. meaning that you pay your money (usually a price of double from that in the US) and within a resonable period of time you will have your child.

    On the other hand adopting domestically in the US means you are on a list or in a pool (for newborns). In this case you may have to wait many many years. And in many cases these people have already gone through the struggle of fertilitly treatments with no luck and adding years to this is even harder.

    That being said, there are still many childern who need homes here in the US, which is the route my wife and I went and were extremely lucky to adopt a new born within 1 year.

    Adopting foster childer from the US is probably the quickest and most economical option. However, my understanding is that foster children are usually over 2 years old, have physical and/or physological issues which, unfortunately, makes them less desirable.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  20. wantingtoadopt

    i wonder if these people are required to attend classes and evaluations – that clearly speak to the behavioral issues that come with any adoption and what to expect. i feel its ridiculous to treat these children like returnable items – it isnt the child that needs fixin – its the parents. and if they chose to "return" a child they should be ineligible for further adoptions.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  21. Mom of 2

    Obviously, many of you have not explored adoption from the U.S. My husband and I have been trying to adopt from foster care for the past year and have run into nothing but problems. We were open to many of the issues that face the children with the exception of two: that the child not show aggression towards smaller children and has no history of sexual acting out. We were match fairly quickly with two boys, but the placement was opposed by one of their social workers because we are white and the children were black so there was no placement. Our second match was an older child (10) and again we were told that the workers would prefer he be placed with an African-American family-again the race issue. The third match was for a white child and the worker opposed it because we are a military family and my husband may have to deploy in the future. Our fourth match was an emergency placement and we had him for two days. We were assured that he exhibited none of the issues we were against. Then his therapist called. Blind rages, sexual acting out, and the 'aren't sure how he would be with younger children'. Since we had a little girl younger than him, we had to tell them to take him for her safety. His social worker flat out lied to get him into our home. We have been waiting for a placement from a birth mother for going on a year and it will cost us anywhere from $25,000 to $40,000 and there is no guarantee that halfway through, mom won't change her mind. That is why people are choosing to adopt from a foreign country. Do you research before you make your assertions to only Adopt American. If we could, we would.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  22. erin

    Don't criticize anyone unless you've walked a mile in their shoes. Most of you people have no idea what you're talking about unless you've been there. You have no idea what these kids are like or what they've had to deal with and if you honestly think they're going to back to Russia with a bright happy future, you're completely delusional.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  23. John

    Americans! Stop kidnapping babies from China, Russia, Romania, Ethiopia, Somalia, Haiti, etc....

    April 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  24. Danielle

    Unfortunately Russia keeps almost all of these children in orphanages where there is maybe 1 caregiver for every 20-30 children. This means from birth on these children are left to fend for themselves and the only time they are given attention is when they are fed. Most of them have severe detachment issues which lead to the anger problems and outrageous behavior. Many of these children can be helped but they need a lot of counseling and a lot of love to do it. Friends of our adopted a little girl from the US who was originally adopted from Russia. She has had a lot of problems but they are so patient and loving and she has done very well with them. She is almost completely past her bonding issues and is doing great. The real problem is the lack of compassion and bonding the children face in their first few years. The government in Russia needs to rethink how it handles the orphanages there.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  25. giavana

    Russia needs to start to take care of these orphaned children the proper way not like animals. They tie the babies to cribs, and give them no love or effection to another human being. I know many russian people and they have told me horror stories of what goes on in these orphanges. Shame on the Russion govt for not providing better care for these children. No one hears these childrend cry, its time the world wakes up to what is going on not just in Russia look at the Asian counrtries and what they do there children that have no parents. Such a cruel world we live in.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  26. giavana

    This mother should taken other steps by getting him the help he needed not sending him back to Russia. She should be prosecuted for her actions. She is no mother, shame on her. i hope this child gets the help he needs but I sure hope it is not in Russia. They are very abusive to the children that are orphens.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  27. nyrebel

    I've seen some excellent documentaries regarding foreign adoption. Unfortunately, many of the orphanages are overwhelmed and the country doesn't put money in the system to make it "good." Many of these children have health issues (maybe related to drug and alcohol from birth parents), have spent years in a crib with no love and affection, and are completely neglected. I've met a couple in my neighborhood and my heart goes out to the child and the parents. The learning disabilities and psychological problems are immense. The orphanages just want them out. Very sad situation for all.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  28. Wanda

    Rachel, Cultural issues? Cultural issues?!? Cultural issues are the very LEAST of these children's problems. If you think cultural issues are the biggest hurdle these adoptive parents AND kids are up against you my dear are clueless. IF you are a teacher you surely have seen children whose homelife is horrid, who have no parenting, whose parents have hardly ever even spoken directly to them, much less loved and cared for them. Now... multiply that X 100, throw in FAC, detachment disorder, and your cultural issues and you may possible be in the ballpark. All this being said, it is NOT the child's fault. Once again, it is the BIO parents' fault. But no matter whose fault it is how could anyone knowingly put their other children in danger? Whatever happend to the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?

    April 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  29. liza-3

    The Russian government and Russian orphanages have, for years, deliberately been placing neurologically impaired and mentally ill children up for adoption in the US, while keeping less impaired orphans in Russia. The adoption agencies have always known the truth, but have told adoptive parents it is their responsibility to "get accurate information" about the children's health, which is impossible when parents are being deliberately deceived. Americans need to stop adopting brain-damaged, mentally ill children from Russia. The US does not have enough mental health resources to take care of impaired children born in the US, let alone hundreds more every year adopted from overseas.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  30. Wanda

    Elayna, Why haven't you adopted from Russia? Until you have walked in these parents' shoes don't jump on someone who HAS seen what is being discussed. I have seen it. It is real. I have also seen problem children almost just like them from here in the USA. When there is a child like this in a home they are a danger to the other children present as well as other kids in their class, adults, etc. Whether you believe that or not is up to you but people who have seen it know you do not have a clue of what you speak.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  31. josie

    There are many reasons why people don't adopt from the US. Cost is one, many cannot afford the 30K+ price tag. In my personal situation, it took me and my husband 8 years on a wait list before we were able to adopt our son. Then there is the sickening feeling in your gut when you go to sleep everynight that the birth father will all of a sudden appear out of nowhere and want their child back. Courts in this country have given adopted children back even after 5 years in the adopted parents' home.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  32. Andre

    For those pointing to American orphans: it is usually more costly and riskier to adopt US orphans and foreigners AND there is a shortage of "most wanted" children for adoption (newborns, essentially).

    About the cost issue, what happens is that the vetting process is far more stringent for adoption of US-born children. Moreover, many mothers that are giving up their future babies require that the potential adoptive parents foot the bill of prenatal and birth care, sometimes even post-birth care (and we all now about health care costs in US).

    In addition to that, some controversial court rulings have overridden strictly confidentiality of double closed adoptions (where both adoptive and biological parents don't know about each other). Some mothers that gave their children away have many years later sued the adoption agency and adoptive parents for harassment and taking advantage of their emotional distressful state to "coerce" them to give babies for adoption and so on.

    Finally, is the biological parents live an ocean away, the chances they will ever try to "trace", let alone establish contact with their biological children are lower, there are visas issues, language issues etc. Someone speaking English and living at most an Alaska-Florida cheap flight away presents a greater risk.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  33. Adoptive Mom

    I hope that all of the respondents who are advocating "adopt American" are adoptive parents of American children. If not... I encourage them to get the facts before spouting what sounds like a patriotic sound bite.

    I am an adoptee and an adoptive mom of an older Russian boy. Every family who adopts must examine many factors – health/age of available children, wait time, process, potential abuse/disabilities, restrictions (adopting American children often requires that the family commit to keeping the child in touch with birth families), cost, etc. Until you have honestly weighed each of these in light of your family's situation, you do not understand the options that are available to adoptive families.

    We considered all the options and chose to adopt from Russia. Our son is a delightful boy and we are lucky to have found him. Of course it will be a lifelong process to heal the hurt caused by years of institutionalization, but our agency prepared us well and offers ongoing support. For what it's worth, our biological children are not easier to parent – they just have different challenges.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  34. WPB

    My wife and I chose international adoption over domestic adoption for the simple reason that with a domestic adoption, the birth parents, in some cases, can have up to 6 months or more to change their minds about relinquishing their parental rights. I personally know of a family who had that happen to them. About 3 days after the birth of the child, the birth mother changed her mind. That was after 6 months of telling our friends that this child would be theirs to adopt. In many international adoptions, once the child has been cleared for international adoption, the birth parent's rights don't exist.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  35. deb

    Perhaps, if adopting from within the US was more affordable, Americans wouldn't look to overseas orphanages to build their families. The waiting list to adopt from the US is incredibly long too compared to adopting from overseas, particularly if you want to adopt an infant.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  36. kelli9178

    I think media, celebrities (thanks Jolie-Pitts) glamorize adoption to a certain extent. Just like the mortgage crisis; having your home is the Americian dream. Having the family to fill up that home is part of that dream for most. I believe that most considering adoption go in with rose-colored glasses not realizing the child they adopt may have serious issues and does not fit idealically into their "dream". For those that have had great adoption experinces that is wonderful. For those that have not, hang in there and look for agencies, resources that can help. Its no different than a having a child born to you that ends up having a physical or mental disability that you were not prepared for and are now having to scramble and research to find what help there is. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  37. beachways

    All of you people talking "adopt American" don't know what you're talking about. I tried mightily to adopt an American child–of any race. The only way I could get a young (under age 4) child from DFS was if I was willing to take a sibling group that included two pre-teens, or if I was willing to foster–with no guarantees of adopting–a child whose mother had been a cocaine abuser. Then I tried the expensive "private" adoption route and the FOURTEEN year old birthmother (whose family I subsized) exercised her right to change her mind after the baby was born. So, yes, I went to another country to adopt my beautiful, wonderful, much-loved daughter. No apologies for it.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  38. Neece

    Any time a person has a child, whether they are adopted or not, your taking a chance. Just because they are born of your blood does not mean they will not have behavior problems. I wonder if they would they would try to get rid of their own kid if he had behavior problems. How do you give a child back! Oh Lord, can you imagine how that poor child must feel. Also, I do not understand why so many people are going overseas to adopt. Are there not enough children here that need homes. Oh, I get it, maybe they think they will get a better quality child if its not from America. Who does that! Children do not come with guaranty they are not going to have problems. I guess some people have no shame and do not care who they hurt...they want what they want.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  39. Susie

    Good for the parents for taking responsibility of "their" child. We do not put natrual borm children on a plane and return them, so let's take care of our, just important, adopted children. Kudos to the family for calling him "my" and "our" son.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  40. Val

    RACHEL: please read Donna´s post again...you did not read it well the first time and you forgot a very important key word....

    April 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  41. DinkyD

    Russian orphanages are notorious for lying to potential parents in order to get the child adopted (no doubt they want the money too). I do not condone what this mother did, as I definitely think she could have handled it better. However, if she wasn't told upfront about the psychological problems this child had, I completely understand her being overwhelmed and unsure about what to do. I attached a link earlier from Ladies Home Journal regarding a family who also adopted a child from Russia. That child had RAD (reactive attachment disorder) which is common in children who suffer trauma or neglect in the first months of life. He became violent and uncontrolable and became a danger to the rest of the family. This particular story thankfully had a better ending than what happened in Tennessee and again, I do think that this woman should have explored other options before putting the child on a plane back to Russian. However, I do understand what drove her to it. If you're despondent and concerned about your family's safety, that can cause anyone to react impulsively.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  42. ec

    How sad if this family could have a child of thier own they would not get to decided if he would have problems. They chose to adopt for whatever reason a child is not a returnable item. There a millions of familys who have troubled children who step up and take care of thier kids not treat them like and item purchased at a store.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  43. Michigan, US

    Klaayu, isn`t that a little harsh??? International adoption is perfectly fine. the children there didn`t decide to be in an ophange......so ......you can`t be to judge!!! Go Alina :)!!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  44. Adam

    @ Nancy

    What's it matter if the kid is Russian or American? What's wrong with helping out Russian children? Children here may be paretless however they are still far better off than those in Russia.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  45. DMR

    For all of you whining about people not adopting in the US here's a question – have you ever done it? Have you ever tried it? Do you know how long it takes and how much it costs? There are children EVERYWHERE that need parents. Don't judge.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  46. Alina

    Am glad that he was able to get adopted but the sad part is that the adoption agency. So what if he has problems. You don`t love the kid for what he looks like you love them for who they are. And for the people that think adopting internalionly is bad, I was adopted from Russia and I`v grown up to be a successful, and smart person. So don`t judge!!!!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  47. Wendy

    Please, JM. Get your facts straight before stating wrong facts for a pointless argument. Donna stated that the boy was the size of a child 4-5 years older. She didn't state wasn't 4-5 years older.

    At any rate, her point was that he was a large boy which obviously gives him more strength and power than the other children and that being from Russia, she obviously believes that his behavior issues stem from that fact.

    That being said – curious about how many of you that criticize these parents who adopted intenationally have adopted yourself. Easy to quarterback from your Lazy Boy, I think, but deon't knock it till you tried it. It's not easy, but it certainly is always in the best interest of the child.

    Although I applaud anyone who is selfless enough to adopt anywhere, I am a foster and adoptive parent in my state and can tell you that there are hundreds of thousands of kids in foster care across this country. In the end, a high percentage of these children need a family to adopt them. Just an FYI for anyone serious about helping a child locally.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  48. PJ

    I know it seems like there are a lot of children in the US for adoption, but there really aren't. Just because they are in the foster care system does not mean they are up for adoption. My aunt took care of several foster children and she tried to adopt some of them but the state would not allow it. She said several of the foster kids are not adoptable, especially if their parents refuse to signed over parental rights no matter what their situation is. And I also heard that less than 2% of teen moms choose adoption. In addition to that- it's way more expensive, takes a lot longer and it seems as if the biological parents still have the right to take their child back at any time because you hear those stories all the time too.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  49. markus

    My wife and I adopted 2 girls from Russia. They are incredible kids, both do great in school and will no doubt have great lives. Are they carrying around baggage from being abandoned by parents in Russia and some abuse which have affected our family life? YES. And we have met all the issues head on and our kids know we will do whatever is necessary to help them through tough times. And to those of you like NANCY who think all American kids should be adopted first; to me a child is a child. The Russian adoption just worked out well for us as I did not want to deal with the beauracracy of the foster care system nor did I want to have the life-long issues associated with a dysfunctional birth-family constantly in touch with my child. My children now know that the door is open whenever they want to reconnect with famly in Russia, but it is now on their terms, not someone else's.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  50. Mandy

    As a couple who tried to adopt American children, we were turned down for stupid reasons - "not having enough friend and family support" b/c most of our family lives out of state, needing counselling on making friends b/c my husband and I don't "go out with friends enough" and apparently we had issues with that, when in actuality b/c of our careers a lot of our close friends had to move away, and b/c my husband was going back to school for a back up plan in case of lay-off and had no intentions of switching careers until much much further (8-10 years) down the road, but that would be disruptive, dispite the fact that a layoff with no back-up plan would be MORE disruptive. Those were the ONLY reasons we were provided and then we were asked to fill out a form saying we were CHOOSING to withdraw from the adoption process to make the social worker's paperwork easier. That was to adopt waiting kids in the foster care system. I've also seen biological relatives suddenly decide to take the kids after all, and I've seen mom's change their minds and take their newborns back, both of which leave an adoptive parent devastated. The system works for some, and fails for a lot more. Overseas adoption is a pretty sure thing if you are looking to adopt a child. Domestic is much more unstable. And the children in the states come from just as screwed up envrionments as those overseas. FYI. Even domestic kids will act like the child in the article, and I've seen it with my own eyes. People need to research and learn before making comments on here.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  51. jan

    I meant we are not supposed to be a shelfish country...

    April 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  52. jan

    I don't feel that there is anything wrong with adopting from another country...we are not supposed to be a selfless country, we are one world, its not a perfect world but if you become snobbish and think only your country needs help then you really don't understand what adoption is about. However I do agree that sueing the adoption company could be a good thing, if a parent wants to adopt from outside their own country then they should have the right to know as much about the child that they are adopting as if they were adopting from within their own country, either way its a big risk, just like giving birth you don't know what your going to get till it gets here, with the exception of medical advancement to detect problems, adoption agency should provide the same rights and be strict about their standard of adoption.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  53. TM

    These are human beings we're talking about not cars. Whether these people chose to adopt in Russia or the US they want to have a child. Of course I feel sorry for these children but to say that the adoptive parents deserve the heartbreak is not fair. If there is fault here, it's not on the adoptive parents, they WANT a child. The adoption agency clearly doesn't give a cr@p about these children, they just want them gone.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
  54. Sherry

    Have all the people saying "Adopt from U.S." tried it? Why is it your business? Yes there are a lot of kids here. And I know a lot of people do it, but it doesn't work for everyone.

    We are adopting internationally, but not from Russia. We would have loved to have adopted domestically, but there are a lot of obstacles. We did not want to adopt from an expectant mother, and risk her changing her mind (something she has every right to do). We also want to adopt an older child, but to that we need to become foster parents. There are a lot of kids in the foster care system who are not legally free to adopt. Sometimes you have to become a foster parent first, and then sometimes you are able to adopt the kids and sometimes you aren't.

    A lot of times they are working toward reunification with families. Not every adoptive parent is capable of taking a severe disabilities, and that's the case with a lot of legally free kids in the U.S. Go to the Adopt U.S. Kids website and see. I've looked there many times.

    Also, most U.S. adoptions are open. Not everyone wants that. It's all personal.

    No I'm not expecting perfection, and I know it will be a lot of hard work. But after researching ALL programs we decided international was best for us. I'm so sick of people judging things they don't know anything about. The truth is most international adoptions are successful, and these high profile cases are casting a bad light.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
  55. nin6

    good lord, these people should quit complaining and deal with their issues them selves. Why are they even adopting from Russia? Serves them bloody well right. Americans should be adopting american children.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  56. Butch

    I agree with Kathy, they shouldnt be able to adopt. Just because you get a tough kid to handle doesnt mean the child isnt a human being. Maybe you dont need to be a parent if your gonna thnk that a kid isnt gnna have some sort of problem? When they get between 15 to 19 years old is when they get tough. I wonder if Russia has a 15 year return policy, to me thats when you would think something is wrong for sure. Truth is being a adoptive parent does not mean being a true parent to some people...

    April 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  57. Evelyn

    " un- adoptable" are you serious. Whether the child was from Russia or any other country I believe we are forgetting that for one he is a child. One who needs a home. We need to really stop seeing this child as some sort of commodity that we can just return – because the child is " defect"! Its sad that our perception of children is, perfect, angels, never rude etc
    i think the parents should be held responsible for sending this child by himself on a plane fast of all. i think this is a joke.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  58. elizoria

    Nancy, ELD, Klaatu, Kathy, Michael and others. I've been looking into adopting. Have you?

    The reasons people adopt from abroad is three-fold:

    1. There is a belief that babies are given up because parents cannot afford to care for them; not because they are damaged/mistreated/disabled.

    2. Many of the children in America that are up for adoption are either 1. too old/not infants; 2. physically, emotionally, or mentally disabled; 3. alcohol or drug addicts thanks to the mother; or 4. part of an open adoption, which means you have to maintain contact with the very family that is giving up the child/or had their rights severed. Most would-be parents want infants with no problems and no contact with former family.

    3. Its less expensive.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  59. Brenda

    "unhappygranny" – are you serious????? UNADOPTABLE CHILDREN? Have you lost your mind? NO child is unadoptable! Some children just require SPECIAL parents! I wasn't "warned or told"
    my child was going to have autism...who the hell should I sue? Come on people! What is wrong with you? Just because the adopting parent didn't give birth doesn't give them the right to send a child back! WHAT THE HELL?!

    April 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  60. Brenda

    Elayna, I have quite a bit of pity for you in your ignorance. What part of violent, biting, spitting, scratching do you not understand? True, many children experience trauma, but my thinking is some of these Russian agencies must be sending problem children over on purpose to be rid of them basically. Sad as hell but possibly true and the point of much of this discussion. Folks adopting should be informed of serious behavioural problems. Always just as with physical ones.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  61. kakilicli

    Regarding US adoptions. when we decided to adopt 15 years ago, there were several cases of the birth parents changing their minds AFTER the adoption was legalized. sometimes even years afterwards. In all cases, the courts decided that the child should go back to the birth parents. We decided we didn't want the heartache of going through an adoption, starting to raise the child, and then have her taken from us because the birth parents decided to change their minds. If there's a change in US adoption laws that puts a legal limit on how long a birth parent can have to recind the adoption, then maybe there will be more US adoptions.

    April 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
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