Supporters of the ban on America adoptions insist Russia needs to stop giving its children away.
Authorities in Moscow, Russia, say that 12,000 people have marched in support of the recent ban on American adoptions of Russian orphans. They carried signs with slogans including “Children are our future” and “America — hands off our children” and called for improvements in the care system in Russia. The Guardian reports,
There are more than 650,000 orphans in Russia, and 110,000 of them lived in state institutions in 2011. There were about 7,400 adoptions by Russian families in 2011, and 3,400 adoptions by families abroad.
Americans have adopted more than 60,000 Russian children since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, but now only a few dozen children whose adoptions were approved before 1 January will be able to go.
Natalya Bakhinova, who marched in support of the ban said, “These children are ours. We shouldn’t give them away.” And another demonstrator, Alexei Dobrenkov said, “We gave away something that is ours, and we need to take it back.” These are the very same sentiments President Putin used as the reasoning behind the ban that was voted into law in December, 2012. Putin, who has made a concerted effort to increase patriotism in Russia since the beginning of his new six-year term has argued, “that the ban is justified because Russia should take care of its own children.” He has also ordered institutional wide “improvements” to care for Russia’s orphans.
Critics of the ban assert that the Russian system is “plagued by neglect and instances of abuse.” Tens of thousands of Russians who opposed the ban joined together at a rally in Moscow in January, some even labeling Putin a “child-killer.” They have accused lawmakers and the Kremlin of using “particularly vulnerable children” as pawns in their political maneuvering with the US, with whom relations have been strained since Putin returned to power last May.
Photo: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko