Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Ironic Uproar

Ironically, yesterday many American families who have adopted children from Russia, celebrated along with Russia on the 450th anniversary of St. Basil's Cathedral.  Most of us posted iconic pictures of our new families posed in front of St. Basil's that we took on our trips home with our children.  For us, this picture was taken on the same day that we had received our Immigrant Visa approval for Aidan to come home.  Huge celebration!

I say this is ironic because also yesterday, on that momenteous anniversary, another announcement was made:

Sometime today or tomorrow, the United States and Russia will finally sign the Bilateral Adoption Agreement.  For the most part, it does not affect us or our completed adoption.  However, there is wording in there that indicates that part of the agreement will be retroactive to 16 years back: we will now have to report annually to the Russian government about our children until they reach the age of 18. 

On the one hand this makes me angry that my government would come to an agreement which is contrary to what we agreed to, with the Russian judge (a representative of the Russian government), under oath, and which we have fully and happily complied with.  It makes me feel a bit like a criminal who has done something wrong. . .

However, on the other hand, my child is a Russian citizen.  Therefore, as such, he is entitled to the protections that the Russian government can provide him. . .although he is fully protected under US law as well.  I suppose I can understand that the Russian government wants to keep track of their own. . .the US government would do the same, right???

I believe, hopefully, that we won't have to engage the services of our Adoption Agency--not that we don't love them, but because of the cost!  I think we will have to fill out a report and submit pictures, all apostilled, of course, on an annual basis, directly to our region.  This is not expensive, nor is it difficult.  If that is all it will take to keep the Russian's happy, I'll be happy to comply.  But it still feels a bit like my own government just stuck a thorn in my side. 

Additional irony was provided in the news yesterday about Tory Hansen, the woman who sent her Russian son back to Russia by himself on a plane.  It was announced that the Russian government is suing her for child support!  I hope they win.  She is legally still the mother of that child (who is also an American citizen, by the way) because she did not take legal steps to reverse the adoption order.  She made it diffult to impossible for many people who were in the process of bringing their children home to complete their processes.  Just desserts for her.

The uproar happened when this news broke.  The two Russian adoption Facebook groups I am a part of erupted with all kinds of hateful things to say.  I agree we should be angry with the likes of Tory Hansen.  However, we should also remember that our children are citizens of Russia (as well as the US) and one day, when they are old enough, they will understand better from where they have come.  We don't need to be putting our thoughts and angry emotions on them. 

I want my son to be proud of who he is.

1 comment:

Kim said...

I 100% agree with you! Our children are Russian, a fact that so many AP's forget as soon as the plane lands. Why would I go around moaning about the Russian government? It was the Russian government that "gave" me my children and I will happily do what they ask for the next 16, 18, etc years if that means that the orphans left behind will find a forever family! Those left behind are easy to forget, it should not be that way.

I bet we are part of the same FB group. :)