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Thursday, March 15, 2007
On the hotline yesterday they mentioned about some recent documentary by Russian TV that did not show foreign adoptions in a positive light. Of course, this is par both for the predominant viewpoint of Russians towards foreign adoption and quite frankly for any peoples toward foreigners (most U.S. TV shows that discuss the whole illegal immigration don't really show the immigrants in a positive light either).

This kind of thing doesn't really bother me much. First, it's just human nature (unfortunately) to hate people who are not like you. And second, and I have to apologize it's a very selfish reason, but we are so far along in our adoption process that anything like this won't really effect us. Like I said, it's a very selfish thought, sorry about that. I believe our agency mentioned it primarily because adoption is their business and they are very concerned with how the landscape of their business will change over time. And negative TV shows could impact public thought and make government officials write up new laws which could adversely effect foreign adoptions. But that would be a long way off and as I said will have zero effect on us (again, sorry for being selfish).

On the more topical side, they reiterated that their Moscow office officials are hearing significant frustrations from the orphanages in the various regions they work in about overcrowding. They added some specific info. Evidentially it is getting so bad that some orphanages are no longer accepting new infants from the maternity hospitals.

They also restated that some of the regional departments of education have called the Ministry of Education in Moscow to air their complaints about overcrowding and asking the MOE to speed up accreditations. As I've said before, it's unknown whether or not this will have any effect. However, it is good that at least the Russians themselves are the ones asking the MOE to get a move on.

The interesting part of this is that this overcrowding is occuring even in spite of that new Russian law that gives significant sums of money to Russians who adopt. So it's pretty obvious that new law is having no impact on adoptions and that this major overcrowding is due to the stoppage of foreign adoptions. If you recall I had a major rant about this new law and that I thought it would have very little impact. Actually my main purpose of the rant was that a supposed "expert" (a Russian lawyer here in the U.S. that works with people doing independent adoptions) had said "...This law has already made an impact on Russian society..." and would have a major negative impact on foreign adoptions and that more children will "...adopted by Russian families."

(sound of the "wrong answer" buzzer going off)

Well, I guess she's wrong on that score. What really ticked me off was that she misrepresented what the law actually said and being she's an adoption lawyer I find that totally inexcusable. Because she is basically in competition with adoption agencies her comments (which she sent to like every Russian adoption forum on the planet) seemed to me to be some marketing ploy to get new clients for herself (since indepent adoptions do not require an accredited agency).

Okay, Steve, okay. We get you're upset. Just breathe, breathe.
posted by Steveg @ 12:19 PM  
  • At 1:01 PM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    Yeah, that law is odd. And I don't know if its true in your area, but in ours, each child had to be seen by three Russian families and turned down before they were eligible to be adopted by Americans. Now, where is the sense in that? And that just means that more kids will sit in those orphanages until three families turn them down. How sad.

  • At 1:37 PM, Blogger Jim said…

    Steve - your agency is wise to tell you about that program. There is actually quite a lot of negatively-slanted and distorted programming about foreign adoptions being aired in Russia, in print, on the radio, and on TV. It's not just one or two shows; it is actually relatively frequent. In my opinion, it's the TV news items and shows that do the most damage to public opinion.

    I have noticed a pattern in which the programs and news items of this sort tend to be more frequent right around the times that something big happens with regard to adoptions in Russia. There were two items in the news yesterday and today, which I am going to post on FRUA chat tonight. Maybe there is news coming soon about accreditations?

  • At 4:45 PM, Blogger Steveg said…


    Boy, I sure hope so. That would also make sense in terms of how all media outlets work (course, that's just how that business operates). Nothing better than showing the hot topic and tossing in some controversy to get your ratings up.

    Our agency did say that interestingly enough there was also some Russian TV shows aired that were showing (in a negative light) the plight of the Russian orphans in the orphanages, showing the lack of resources, poor care (which personally I think is more because of the lack of resources), etc.

  • At 4:47 PM, Blogger Steveg said…


    At least the "benefit" of that law is that the money is suppose to go for expenses of raising the child and is not just some lump some of cash given out.

    Not to mention that the parents don't even get that until I believe 2010.

  • At 9:05 PM, Blogger Cristina Warner said…

    Sad, sad, sad that we have to all watch children continue to wait for their forever families because of bureaucrats. It's just stupid.

  • At 7:02 PM, Blogger Tricia said…

    absolutely no news from our agency, but i haven't asked either. i figure it's going to happen when it's going to happen. i'm trying to stay focused on just getting our dossier done. then i'll start worrying.

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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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