Author`s name Olga Savka

American Families Adopt More Russian Children

Americans only deal with the countries, where it is easy to adopt a child

In 2002 former countries of the Soviet Union, China, South Korea and Latin American countries became the world leaders on the so-called “export” of children, who were later adopted in the USA. Most often, American families adopted Chinese children – 5 053. Russia takes the second position on the list – 4 939 children. Ukraine took the fifth position – 1 106 children, Kazakhstan – the sixth (819), and Belarus took the 14th position on the list (169 children). According to the information from the US National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (NAIC), the top five of the list of the states, whose children were adopted by American citizens, also include Guatemala (2 219 children) and South Korea (1 779 children).

Pursuant to the information of the US State Department, there were twenty thousand and ninety-nine children adopted by foreign parents in total. Adoption becomes more and more frequent. In 1992 foreign parents adopted 6 472 children, while in 1997 the figure increased to 12 743. There were 17 718 children adopted in the year 2000. The “export” of Russian children to the USA has increased as well. Three thousand eight hundred and sixteen children were taken out of the country in 1997 against 4 348 kids in 2000.

KidSave is one of the largest noncommercial and non-state organizations, which selects Russian children for American parents. The scheme of its activity is as follows: they pick out a kid in children shelters, and then a child is invited to visit an American family. An employee of a children shelter accompanies a child in his trip to the United States. American families often set out their wish to adopt that child later. As the people from KidSave claim, they are not a special agency for picking out children for foreign parents. As they say, their major goal is to take children out of their shelters for a while, and to give them an opportunity to have a family. As a rule, such children are between seven or twelve years of age. Their chances to be adopted in a Russian family are equal to five percent. About eight hundred children have been to the United States over three years. As a result, 95% of them found their new families. Terry Baugh founded KidSave after she had adopted a Russian child herself in 1997. She was completely shocked with what she saw in a Russian children shelter. She can hardly hold back her tears, when she talks about it.

Such geography of adoption is basically explained with legal peculiarities of adequate countries. Americans do not deal with the countries, if it is hard to take a child out of it from the juridical point of view. The majority of African and Mideast countries do not allow foreigners to adopt their children. The majority of West European countries stick to the same policy. On the other hand, adoption is the only way out for the children of the third world. This is the only way that can provide them a right for normal life. For example, there are 730 shelters for children in all African countries. There are more than 1.7 million orphans in one African country of Uganda – the majority of African children live in streets.

According to the American law, only a certain category of American citizens are entitled to adopt a child. A family couple is supposed to be married for not less than two years. If a single man or a single woman plans to adopt a child, he or she is supposed to be over 25 years old. Every candidacy for adoption should undergo FBI and police examination. The level of income of a family or a single adoptive father/mother must be 25% higher than the average income in a certain region. A special social agent is supposed to visit a house or an apartment of wound-be adoptive parents to see, if a family or a parent is ready to provide all necessary conditions to a child.

Adoption of a foreign child usually costs up to twenty thousand dollars. The average yearly income of an American man made up $28 272 in 2000. The average income of an American woman was $16 190. According to experts’ estimates, potential American families have to spend $25-27 thousand to take a child out of Russia (plus about three thousand dollars for a trip to Russia).

MiK News Agency


Translated by Dmitry Sudakov