Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill banning U.S. Citizens from adopting Russian children.
Last year Russia was the 3rd most popular country for Americans to adopt from. I spoke with people who have adopted internationally, including from Russia, and the news that Americans will no longer be allowed to is breaking hearts.
William is a bubbly 8 year old who loves soccer, Disney World and being with his sister. He's growing up right here in our area but was adopted from Russia when he was just 4 months old. His father Vaughn reflects back on the day when William, along with other Russian orphans, became U.S. citizens.
"It's the only time, I've flown a lot in my life, but the only time when the wheels of the plane touched the tarmack...the plane just burst into applause," Vaughn says. "Because we knew that all 17 of those babies on that plane were now officially ours."
But now with Russia's new ban, other children will no longer have the opportunity William did. The ban is seen as retaliation to a U.S. law that targets Russian human rights violators. Vaughn says when he heard the news, he was devastated.
"It broke my heart," says Vaughn. "Because I looked at the situation and I thought about those children and thought about our William. I thought about the joy that he's brought to our family and our family is now complete because he is apart of it."
Sam Mclure runs The Adoption Law Firm in Montgomery and helps families get through the legal issues that may come with adoption. And he himself has adopted internationally. He says politics should never trump the welfare of a child.
"There's a loving stable fit family. Let the child go to it," says Mclure. "No matter if they're American or Australian or Ugandan or wherever. Let the child go to a loving stable family. "
This ban will go into effect January 1st and as a result terminates the plans any Americans may have already made to adopt from Russia.