Russian Adoption Ban Affects Michigan Families

A woman opposing a bill that would ban adoptions of Russian children by Americans holds a sign reading 'Give the children a chance to live' during a picket at the entrance of the State Duma, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. The lower house of parliament takes a final vote on the measure Friday. Some top government officials oppose it, but President Vladimir Putin hasn't tipped his hand on whether he'd sign it into law. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
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Russia has a newly imposed ban on American families who want to adopt from Russia. Many see the new law as retaliation for a U.S. law that imposes sanctions on Russians who are human rights violators.

Those who work in adoption services will tell you the process is complicated and emotional. Kris Faasse is the director of adoption services at Bethany Christian Services, an agency that handles thousands of adoptions per year.

"When a family goes through and starts wanting kids or plan to bring a child into their home, their hearts get connected," Faasse said.

Sometimes the connection has not borders. Bethany is currently working with 20 families around the country, with several in Michigan, who are in the process of adopting a child from Russia.

"We have several families who have actually received their referral which means they've been told this is going to be your child," said Faasse.

Faasse says the new ban on American adoptions means those families who are so close to bringing a child home may have to start at square one.

"They're not going to bring that child home. They've been planning in their hearts for this child to come home and like any new parents they're already seeing this child's future."

While it's a great loss for those families, Faasse says also think about the kids.

"They will continue to grow up in orphanages. There's some hope they will increase domestic adoption but the numbers I've seen are about 120,000 children in the Russian orphanages who are available for adoption right now."

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