Russian adoption ban hits close to home in Lincoln - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Russian adoption ban hits close to home in Lincoln

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By: Sabrina Ahmed
Sahmed@klkntv.com 

The President of Russia made it official today.  Americans can no longer adopt Russian children.

Linara Carlson came from a Russian orphanage that was considered to be one of the good ones.  She was so afraid of not having food again, that she would eat the crumbs from under the table.  Now her adoptive mother is afraid of what will happen to the kids who are still there.

She is nine years old and has been in Lincoln for almost her entire life.  She was one of the lucky ones.

With a stroke of pen, Russian President Vladimir Putin put an end to their children being adopted in America.

"It's unfair that they can't have a family like everybody else," young Linara said.

After more than 60,000 children have been adopted by Americans since the late 90's, they can no longer open up their homes to Russian children.

Russian officials say it's because they're afraid of the fate of their children once they arrive into the states, saying there have been 19 deaths after American adoptions.

One case that upset Russian officials was the death of 9 year old Anton Fomin, who was originally from Russia.  He died in a house fire earlier this year in Davey, Nebraska. He was left alone in his foster home.

No charges were filed, and the foster family says this is not a case to be compared to other child abuse cases.

Child advocates in Russia and the US claim all of this is just a politically fueled fight.  Parents Alicia and Brian Carlson say this is not a fight that should involve innocent children.

"No human being will thrive in an institution, and having been there and see the institution and to see my daughter once she got out of that environment," the Carlsons said.

After spending their childhoods in the orphanages, the Carlsons say those kids don't have very many options or any help to make it in society.

"We were told that they age out and there's no transition or housing, no family, no skills.  women become prostitutes because that's the only way to earn a living and men become gang members," the Carlsons said.

The Carlsons also said they fear the children in the orphanages won't be adopted by Russians.  They said there's a negative stigma associated with adopting orphans in Russia, and it's usually kept secret.

Even if the President pumps money into the system, it will be harder to change the culture.

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