NEWBERRY — As the nation joins in an outcry for Vladimir Putin to reconsider allowing parents from the United States to adopt Russian children, two local women are saddened by the news.
Allison Dawkins Jasinski and Elizabeth Long have each adopted two children from Russia and both are upset over the ruling by Putin that no Russian children will be adopted by U.S. citizens. The ruling also goes for those who had started the adoption process and had met their future children.
Long said she knows what it feels like when a Russian adoption does not go through.
After adopting her first daughter in 2003, Long learned that a boy had been born to the same family. After making three trips to see the boy, Long was denied the adoption because of a change in the law to keep siblings together.
In between the time that the boy was born and the adoption, the boy’s parents had another child and Russian officials wanted them to stay together.
“It was awful,” Long said, not only for her but for her daughter. “I was lead to believe he would come home with me.”
Long even took the ruling the the U.S. Supreme Court but her efforts failed. Long said her request of a hearing was not considered by the court.
Long later adopted another girl from Russia.
After a kidney transplant prevented Jasinski from having a child, she and her husband adopted a boy and a girl from Russia.
“I cannot imagine,” said Jasinski over losing a child due to the ruling. “It breaks my heart.”
She added that she started loving her children as soon as she got basic information about them and the first photos of them.
For the Jasinskis, they only took a couple of trips to Russia before they were able to adopt their children.
But Allison said she knew she needed to get her son out of Russia as soon as she could, which forced a second trip to get Anna.
“Whit was 16-months-old but the size of a 4-month-old,” said Jasinski, adding she felt that if he was not soon removed from the country he would not survive.
Both women agree that while Russia tries to care for its children, the child care system there is not the best with a high number of children being cared for by few people.
Infants spend much of their day in cribs and it is a “sad situation,” Jasinski said, adding that children not adopted by the age of 18 months normally die by age 21 because they are cast out into the streets where they are either prostitutes or get into drugs.
While the four children adopted by Long and Jasinski are thriving and doing well, Long added that many children live in poor areas without many available resources.
“It is devastating,” Long said. “There are parents here who can change a child’s life and that is being taken away from the Russian children. There are so many willing to give these children a wonderful life.”
She added that it is not known the number of lives Putin’s decision will impact.
Both women are praying that things will change for Russian children.