January 01, 2008


Adoption from Russia in the last three years could be summed up in three words: uncertainty, delay, frustration.

Russia has been implementing a series of much-needed reforms to weed out fly-by-night intermediaries and parents like those who murdered three children after their adoption in recent years. Adoption agencies – American and foreign – scrambled to comply with a rigorous new licensing process, but those new licenses have been very slow in coming. For several months early this year, not a single American adoption agency was accredited to operate in Russia. Prospective adoptive parents would need to re-do their documents twice and sometimes three times just to get through the process.

The delays have taken a huge toll. Immigrant visas issued to allow Russian orphans to come to the United States could drop below 3,000 this year from a high of 5,865 for 2004. 

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