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Missouri State Senator: New Russian Adoption Law 'Tragic For Children'

John Lamping and his wife adopted a son in Russia in 2005. Vladimir Putin has now signed a law that would ban Americans from adopting Russian children.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's move to sign legislation which bans Americans from adopting children there is drawing criticism from a Missouri State Senator whose youngest child is from the country.

Reuters reports the bill is a response to a U.S. trade relations bill which also establishes "visa bans and asset freezes on Russians accused of human rights violations."

The New York Times reports that the ban could put the immediate brakes on 46 children who are in the process of being adopted by American families, and could impact as many as 200-250 families.

Missouri State Senator John Lamping (R-Ladue) knows how those families feel. He is the father of six children, including three adopted from overseas. Dmitri, now 14, came into the family in 2005 from a village south of Moscow. Lamping said he made 3 visits to Russia over a 6-9 month period, and told Patch Thursday he was sympathetic to parents who have made the investment of time, energy and emotion only to be turned away now.

"It'll have a devastating effect on the parents," Lamping told Patch by phone before it was signed, adding that it would be tragic for the children involved. "Their lives will be so much worse."

Despite a Putin promise to "modify the support mechanisms for orphaned children" in Russia, Lamping said "He's really worsening the lives" of children who will go unadopted.

A U.S. State Department alert issued Wednesday urges American families in the process of adopting from Russia to get in touch with U.S. officials to help facilitate information on the legislation.

Several agencies who work with families on international adoptions are based in the St. Louis area. The Lampings worked through Children's Hope International, which says it has been working with Russian adoptions since 1996. 

Small World Adoption Foundation of Missouri claims to have placed 2,100 children from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Vietnam since 1992, according to the agency's website.

John Newcomb December 31, 2012 at 04:28 AM
US State Department does not condemn the adoption ban, but rather is content to "deeply regret" it – a weak criticism that implies that the US is almost absolving Russia of wrongdoing. Maybe such mild criticism stems at least in part because the US administration is aware that in a very-corrupt Russia, their adoption system may be one of the most corrupt systems. However, by cynically tying the Russian anti-adoption ban to the US Magnitsky Act, Putinist Russia shows that harming innocent Russian children to avenge several Russian bureaucrats implicated in the Magnitsky death who now can't to go New York to check on their real estate investments is apparently in their definition of an equitable retribution. A clear sign of cynicism is that Putinist Russia did not take the important first step to reduce corruption and increase the orphan protection by ratifying the Hague Adoption Convention that it signed back in 2000. US, UK, China and many others are Convention countries – but not Russia. Why not? And breaking the recent US-Russia adoption treaty is another gesture of cynicism suggesting little real concern in Putinist Russia about the fate of Russian orphans in America. Now the Putinist child-protection minister Pavel Astakhov is making grandiose promises for a "Russia Without Orphans" [Россия без сирот] by 2020, but his message just smacks of gimcrack-policy cobbled together to rationalize their Putinist anti-orphan, anti-American-family action .

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