Playing Politics With Orphans’ Futures


A new Russian law bans Americans from adopting Russian children. Almost four dozen adoptions already in progress were terminated. Max Fisher largely blames Russia's domestic politics:

Is there something more to the ban than childish foreign policy? Could there be domestic considerations as well? As it turns out, the ban on American adoptions is remarkably popular in Russia. A new Russian survey finds that 56 percent support the ban and 21 percent oppose, a ratio of almost three-to-one. The support seems to stem from a belief that American families are dangerous, cruel, and at times violent to their adoptive Russian children. More than half of respondents who want to ban American adoptions cite either hostile American families or the fact that some adopted Russians have died in the U.S. A much smaller number say that Russian children would be best served by keeping them in their home country.

Jacob Sullum sees the ban as senseless:

The nearly adopted children affected by the new Russian ban are unambiguously worse off as a result, to the benefit of no one. It is hard to fathom how anyone could support such a policy, let alone almost every legislator in Russia's parliament. You say we abuse human rights? We'll show you! It would be comical if it weren't so cruel.

Recent Dish on international adoptions here

(Photo: A June 2006 photo shows Misha Gumenuk, 4 month old, during a medical treatment in an infectious diseases hospital in Moscow. More than 1,500 babies born to HIV-positive mothers are given up every year. By Maxim Marmur/AFP/Getty Images)