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The Whole NGO
Saturday, September 16, 2006
I wanted to just mention a few things about the whole NGO/accrediation process currently in flux in Russia. This is more of pontification for those who may be reading this blog with either a desire to adopt a child from Russia or those currently in the process.

First a quick recap. Russia, like all countries with a strong national self esteem, feel that it is not a good thing for foreigners to adopt their orphaned children. And Americans adopting Russians are probably viewed even worse, and based on our current concept of international morality who can blame them.

As a result, Russian adoption is, in a word, a quagmire. And one that is ever changing. Since opening up to foreign adoptions (in 1994) the process has changed almost every year due to the fact that adoption agencies are accredited only for a one year period. Some years the changes were minor while in others they were major.

This year, it was super major. The Russian government decided that all non governmental agencies (what we call non profits) had to be "registered" to do business in Russia. This was a significant hurdle for adoption agencies since (just like our government) the Russians made the law without detailing the process for registration. The law went into effect in mid April.

So far, 8 adoption agencies have the coveted NGO registration. However that is not only thing they need to work on adoptions in Russia. They still need to be accredited. And none of those 8 (to my knowledge) have been reaccredited yet. And until the first of those agencies get reaccredited it is impossible to how long the accreditation process will take.

The problem with why the accreditation is not quick this year is a result of the NGO thing which superseded the details of how accreditation has occurred in the past. There needs to be some changes to these details. Now, the reaccreditation may only require a change to the decree known as Government Decision No. 268. It is NOT a law but is a decree, and that's good news. Changes to decrees are much much easier to get done. A new law would require a full Duma (their congress) vote and that takes months upon months.

But no one is really sure if indeed the decree will be updated or if Russia will decided to implement a new law, hence the wildly differing time estimates. Most hope that a change in the decree (which is rumored to come out this month) will be what happens. However, if a new law is required, it will take several months before any agency will be reaccredited and as a result, international adoption in Russia will most likely come to a standstill.

Now how does this affect us you ask. It's a hurdle and a major one, but this whole process is nothing but hurdles. And again, our estimates were, and this was a very aggressive best case, to be traveling to Russia in the November timeframe with a more likely scenario being that we would be traveling in the January/February timeframe.

I'm still leaning towards the Jan/Feb time as the most likely with a worst case being...say next April or May. Net net, even that worst case is not so bad when you consider that we started this process in May of this year and one year is not long at all when you realize we've been waiting 13 years to get our family.
posted by Steveg @ 4:34 PM  
  • At 10:49 PM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    Yeah, and there's no way you can estimate the timelines of the Russian govt. After waiting eight months for our agency to be reaccredited, I gave up on any timelines that I had going. But, like you, we were willing to wait as long as it took.

  • At 12:53 AM, Blogger Jim said…

    Hang in there. Persistence and patience are the keys to Russian adoption. I still remember waiting for months, then all of sudden everything started happening.

    Good recap on the NGO/accred stuff, BTW.

  • At 5:55 AM, Blogger Debbie said…

    Thanks for the info on the NGO. It helps me to see others explain it.

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I'm Steve and this is my wife Stefanie. This is our story, mostly seen through my eyes, of the journey to create our family by adopting a child from Russia.

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