Russian President’s New Law Affects Mainers

Updated 1 year ago

A new law in Russia is being felt here in Maine.Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children.Unicef estimates there are about 740 thousand orphans in Russia.The law also blocks dozens of Russian children now in the process of being adopted by American families from leaving Russia.The US is the top destination for adopted Russian children. The boyles are getting their Freeport home ready to welcome a child, even two children, from Russia, but, for now, their dreams will have to wait.”It’s frustrating because we were so close and we saw the light at the end of the tunnel and, to have that taken away, it’s heart-breaking and it’s heart-breaking to think of all of the kids that are over there that won’t have as good of a shot of being in loving homes,” commented Cristina Boyle.Cristina and Matt are high school sweethearts who married in 2006.They spent more than a year and a half trying to adopt domestically, but switched their focus to Russian adoption because they say there is no chance of a parent changing his or her mind at the last minute.”The one thing that we thought was a sure thing, now is completely the opposite. We were this close and now they’re saying, no, you can’t have a child,” said Matt.Anne and Dave Wilson understand the emotional ups and downs of adopting from Russia.”We bonded with Zach the moment we saw his video,” said Anne. “We bonded with Anneka the moment we met her. We knew these are our children.”The wilsons adopted 13-year-old Zach in 2000.They adopted 11-year-old Anneka in 2002.The wilsons are disturbed by Vladimir Putin’s push to stop Russian adoptions.”Personally, I think he’s using all these orphans as pawns in a political game,” said Anne. “He wants to show his clout, show he’s in control and it’s the children who are going to suffer.””It’s just an issue of: if the kids were really important, we wouldn’t be here,” Dave added.The Wilsons run a not-for-profit to help families who want to adopt from Russia.They hope international politics won’t stop other American couples from sharing in the joy they’ve experienced.Folks at Saint Andre Home in Biddeford facilitate domestic and international adoptions and say they have one person who is even further along in the adoption process than the Boyles are, but it’s too early to say how things will play out.


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