Check out this recent article from Moscow…I have been unable to find the report from Unicef that is referenced…..Take aways from the article: The social orphan problem is still terrible, many children are still living in state care, and the promises of “family like alternatives” have failed to materialize in any adequate sense.
I count myself as one who is curious and deeply distressed by the stories of abuse of Russian children in adoptive American families. These stories are so completely at odds with what I know about the wonderful, loving, highly motivated adoptive families of children from Russia and everywhere else…It is baffling. But it must be faced and understood. Is it a combination of things at the margins–poorly prepared parents who believe that corporal punishment is a way to deal with post-institutionalized children?? I truly do not have the answes…Could there be a small cohort of adoptive parents who really do not know what they are doing? But this cannot cast a shadow over adoption from Russian institutions. I think all involved know that the vast, vast majority of these adoptions work out amazingly well….What is the Russian state doing? Blame the orphanage directors? the state-run care system? Profiteering by one and all? I can say for certain that paid stranger foster care is not the answer, and will simply create new problems. We need an urgent dialog between the Russian and American authorities and child welfare experts–not, may I say, Unicef! (Unicef is not an objective participant in this conversation…) and try to root out the problems, while furthering the project of permanency. Let’s have visits by objective observers to Russian orphanages–and for that matter, to our own foster care system. Let the children go. Either go back to their original families, or go forward to a new one….
If there is a “string of crimes” to be identified, there are lots of criminals here.