Tulsa Agency Reacts To Russian Adoption Controversy
By Chris Wright, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- There is some confusion Thursday over whether or not the adoption of Russian children by American parents has been suspended. The Russian Foreign Minister says that is the case, but the U.S. State Department says adoptions are still being processed.
This controversy started last week when a Tennessee woman placed her adopted son alone on a plane back to Russia. How are Tulsa area adoption agencies reacting?
Conflicting reports emerged from Moscow and Washington D.C. Thursday - a week after an incident sparked international outrage. Saying she could no longer parent the child, a Tennessee mother sent her 7-year-old adopted Russian son back to his home country.
Reports circulated that Russia will no longer allow adoptions to American parents, but the state department says that's not true. A representative of the U.S. State Department said they have not been informed of any change in Russian policy.
In Tulsa, the walls at Dillon International Adoption Services are filled with pictures of children from all the over the world who have been adopted by Oklahoma parents. The process can take years, and program director Jynger Roberts says this international incident has been stressful for those in the middle of it.
"A lot of families, they get emotionally invested in a country," said Jynger Roberts of Dillon International Adoption Services. "So for our Russian families, it's going to be hard for them."
Roberts handles Russian Adoptions for the agency and says couples must make several trips to the country and are subjected to an extensive background check. So being subjected to a possible adoption ban, no matter how long, would be tough.
"Some families, they're real patient - they wait. Sometimes they jump and bail, and start looking at other country programs. It's hard; it's just really hard," she said.
The process may become even more difficult because of the actions of one woman.
"It also has the potential to ruin children being placed in permanent loving families," said Jynger Roberts.
Dillon International Adoption Services says that American families adopted 1,600 Russian orphans just last year.