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Our view: Orphans used as payback

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Updated: February 9, 2013 6:06AM



In the strained relations between the United States and Russia, there are bound to be casualties. Chalk up another last month when Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill that banned the adoption of children from his country by American citizens.

The long walk through the bureaucracy in any adoption — domestic or foreign — is delicate enough as it is. For the hundreds of families who were on the verge of finalizing the adoption of children in Russia, the pain is real today.

But their grief, not to mention the fate of Russian orphans, was just another bartering chip in a game of retribution between Putin and the United States.

The adoption ban ushered through by Putin was payback for the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law that went into effect in December. The act prevents Russian citizens accused of violating human rights from traveling to the United States or from owning U.S. real estate. Putin has been adamant that the law is out of bounds.

Left in the rubble are children who could have chances at a better life. Though Putin denies that. According to the New York Times, Putin said: “There are probably many places in the world where living standards are better than ours. So what? Shall we send all children there, or move there ourselves?”

Not in question, despite Putin’s insistence, is the number of Russian children who are adopted by U.S. families — about 1,000 in 2011 — and the 120,000 children in Russia who are eligible for adoption. The fact that they are caught up in the gamesmanship is a sad state.

(Lafayette) Journal and Courier



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