Adoption of another aspect of life stopped by the war in Ukraine | Lifestyle

PATRICK WHITTLE-The Associated Press

Maine Leeds (AP) — Spillover Russia invades Ukraine It has been devastating to families of all kinds, including those who have seen future adoptions pending.

Ukraine was once one of the most frequent partners in the United States regarding intercountry adoption, but the war changed it all. The embarrassed country has suspended all international adoptions as the country copes with the turmoil unleashed in courts and social welfare. Many children, They are forced to flee or evacuate, including orphans.

When the war began, more than 300 Ukrainian children, formerly hosted by American families, were formally seeking adoption, said Ryan, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the National Adoption Council. Hanlon said. A representative of the adoption agency said that at least 200 families were at some point in the adoption process, which would ideally take a couple of years.

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However, the National Council for Adoption said in a statement, “This is not the right time or situation to consider adoption by US citizens.”

Adoption can only be advanced to children who are clearly orphans or whose parental rights have expired, and it is currently impossible for many Ukrainian children to establish identity and family status.

Jessica Pfrum, a housewife who runs a smoothie business and has two daughters on the outskirts of Kansas City, is one of the potential adoptive parents. She wants to adopt a young teenage Max — Pfrum hesitated to reveal his exact age due to safety concerns — they were in December and January. Hosted for 4 weeks. Max is now back in Ukraine and the director of the orphanage has moved him to a relatively safe place in the western part of the country.

“Every day is hard. We pray a lot and try to think about what he is experiencing and what we are experiencing,” Pflumm said. “It’s difficult for us, but nothing compared to what he’s experiencing.”

Wars, natural disasters and other precarious events have a long history of transnational adoption. And Ukraine is a big piece of the international adoption puzzle, Hanlon said.

Although the number of international adoptions has declined in recent years, it is relatively common in Ukraine. In fiscal year 2020, Hanlon said that China was the most adopted to the United States, accounting for more than 10% of all intercountry adoptions to the United States. Ukraine is one of the countries with the highest proportion of children living in orphanages in Europe.

According to US State Department statistics, there were more than 200 adoptions from Ukraine in 2020 and nearly 300 in 2019. On the other hand, Russia Prohibition of adoption of children by American families 2013 (about 60,000 children from Russia) Was adopted By Americans for the last 20 years).

Many future adoptions begin with an American family temporarily hosting older Ukrainian children through a network of orphan hosting programs, Hanlon said.

“If you’re already connected to a particular child, it’s a very different experience,” Hanlon said. “These families have a very visceral connection with their children and can take them home.”

Pflumm said she and her family have a language barrier with Maks. He only speaks Russian, but they don’t know it. She said they communicated with him over the phone and entered everything into Google Translate. A friend from Belarus sometimes translates, she said.

Pflumm said the family really has a bond with Maks through experience rather than words. She said he experienced his first Christmas opening gift when he was in Kansas. They were also connected in sports and Max was introduced to baseball, Pfrum said.

Recently, Max couldn’t sleep often when he heard air raids taking place every night, Puflum said.

“He has a family and deserves an opportunity in front of him,” she said. “I feel like these kids are shuffled and lost.”

In the countryside of Maine, Tracy Blake-Bell and her family will host two siblings, now 14 and 17 years old, for the month of 2020 through a program called Host Orphans Worldwide, based in Wyoming. bottom. The family then began a formal adoption process. The already complex process was further snarled by the coronavirus pandemic first and now by the war.

The brothers who grew up in the orphanage are now relatively safe in a Polish facility, Blakebells said. But Blake-Bells, who has two teenage sons and a dog named Jack, wants to get them home.

“My husband and I love these two kids as much as everyone in the world loves them,” said Tracy Blake-Bell.

For most families, the wait does not end immediately.

The State Department is cooperating with the Ukrainian government to resolve cases involving families who have a final adoption order but need to obtain other necessary documents to process their child’s immigrant visas. “Spokesman Vanessa Smith said.

However, the Ukrainian government claims in a March statement that “intercountry adoption is not possible in the current situation.”

Blake-Bells is one of about 15 families waiting for permission from a Ukrainian court, the final stage of the process. And they said they would stick to it as long as it took.

“These boys are eligible,” said Nat, husband of Tracy Blake Bell. “Let’s experience a little more than an orphanage.”

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine.

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Adoption of another aspect of life stopped by the war in Ukraine | Lifestyle

Source link Adoption of another aspect of life stopped by the war in Ukraine | Lifestyle

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