As we have noted previously, another child adopted from Russia to the United States was recently killed by his parents. Russia takes the death of one of their children very seriously, and as this now makes 14 children in total who have been killed in the United States, we have been concerned as to what ramifications this latest case may have on the international adoption process. In the past, we have seen increased document requirements, greater scrutiny on parents, a further restriction on mental health diagnoses and treatment in prospective adoptive parents, and requests for documents from US governmental authorities as a result of children’s deaths.
We have now received word that one of the regions we have recently begun working with again has decided to halt adoption activities for one month, citing this incident as the cause. They have not elaborated further on why they have chosen to halt the adoption processes in this region and how this will protect against this situation in the future. We do know that at the same time they are currently changing staff within the adoption department. We do not believe these staff changes to be a result of this incident, but believe them to be parallel processes. We anticipate that this one month delay in the region will likely extend to at least the middle of May due to the first 10 days of May having Russian holidays.
At this point, we have not received information from any of our other regions as to effects from this latest tragedy. We will continue to monitor this and would encourage families to be prepared that there may be effects, like those we have seen in the past, listed above.
We would ask that families pray for the Russian authorities, that they would have wisdom during this time. We would also ask for prayer for the people involved in this tragedy, particularly the other children who were in the family.