Over 600,000 children in Russia lack permanent homes and more than 120,000 of them are available for adoption, says a March 2 news article analyzing the impact of the Russian government's ban on international adoptions to U.S. citizens. Ronald C. Hughes, Director of the Institute for Human Services and North American Resource Center for Child Welfare, suggests that the impact of the Russia adoption ban may not be what it first appears.
"From a broader perspective, adoption of Russian children by U.S. families is not and should not be a strategy for long-term child-welfare reform," writes Hughes. "One thousand American families mining potential Russian adoptees for specific desirable developmental characteristics cannot address the needs of Russia’s 600,000 children in need of permanent homes."
Russian adoptions have long-been among the most popular for U.S. families looking to international adoption to build their families. According to the U.S. Department of State, Russia has ranked in the top five countries from which Americans have completed international adoptions since 2007. The number of Russian adoptions completed by U.S. citizens peaked in 2004, when 5,862 Russian orphans joined their American families, according to statistics available from the U.S. Department of State.
The Russian adoption ban has caused angst and heartache for many U.S. families who were either in the middle of the process of adopting from Russia, or were hopeful that they'd adopt a Russian orphan at some point in the future. Those families continue to watch for news related to talks between U.S. and Russian officials. Those talks degraded with news of Russian adoptee Max Shatto's recent death. U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, continues to meet with Russian officials in an attempt to improve relations between the two governments.