…in case you were wondering.

Russia’s Adoption Halt
April 26, 2007, 1:42 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

“Americans adopt more children from Russia than from any other country except China and Guatemala. But now the government has suspended the work of all foreign adoption agencies…

“Healthy babies are lying in hospital beds all day as if they were sick, sometimes for months or longer,” Koloskov says. “They’re completely ignored. No one plays with them or provides any kind of stimulation. That happens because orphanages where they’re supposed to go after birth are full.”

Experts say that the lack of attention at an early age seriously harms a child’s development. Elena Olshanskaya started a group of volunteers to help children in hospitals after noticing abandoned babies in rooms at the hospital where she gave birth.

“I was stunned,” she says. “They were completely alone. They were fed several times a day and that was it. After a while, they just stop crying.”

Last winter, another patient in a central Russian hospital noticed a room of abandoned babies with their mouths taped shut to stop them from crying. Her cell phone video shocked the country when it was played on national television. Reports of babies tied down in their cots are common. Many believe that’s because hospital staff are seriously overworked….

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4 Comments so far
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One of my very good friends adopted a little boy from Russia almost 7 years ago. He is absolutely precious. She said it was so hard to go get him because she could only take him and not a room full of others staring her down with pitiful eyes and breaking hearts. He’d NEVER tasted water at 15 months! He would gorge himself sick at every meal because it took awhile to convince him there was enough to eat and he didn’t have to fight for it. This was one of the better orphanages too. She was hoping to adopt another. I haven’t heard the outcome yet. It’s VERY expensive to adopt and cost prohibitive for many families too. I don’t have any quick answers either. I wish we could afford to adopt.


Comment by Beth

Beth is right that foreign adoption is very expensive. We’ve some friends who adopted from Viet Nam last year, and the total cost was upwards of $25,000.

I heard this story on NRP driving in to work yesterday morning. I was appalled at the treatment of the babies left to rot in their unchanged diapers, so mistreated and abandoned. The older orphans are little better off.

What can we do, when we are so shut out? The best things most people could do is write their congressional representatives about this issue, and try to raise awareness and put pressure on Russia to change its long-held policies on the status of orphans.

Comment by euphrony

It broke my heart when I read this. It’s certainly frustrating not knowing what to do.

Comment by kat

When I worked at a preschool there was a family that adopted a precious little boy from Russia. I had seen a documentary on the babies and children in orphanages in Russia and they showed the babies that would just sit in their cribs and rock back and forth to entertain themselves. When this little boy had down time and almost everytime he sat, this is what he did. It was habit by that time. He was 2. It broke my heart.

Comment by Anonymous

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