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Complications with foreign adoptions

Whether someone has decided to adopt a child because they cannot have a biological child of their own or because they want to provide a better future for a child born into less-than-favorable circumstances, adopting a child is exciting for new parents. This time of happiness and anticipation can sometimes be marred, though, by any number of complications and difficulties.

A cautionary adoption story out of Texas

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, five children die every day in the U.S. from complications related to abuse. Yet one case – the death of a three-year-old boy adopted from Russia by a couple from Texas – recently, held two nations captive The facts of the child’s death are unknown, but Russian authorities, aware that 20 of the last 60,000 Russian orphans adopted by U.S. citizens, reached the conclusion that this was a case of abuse and they have been outspoken in their response. In fact, while it’s not known if this will be a temporary or permanent policy, Russia has banned the adoption of Russian children by U.S. families.

The United States response

The United States is not taking this issue lightly. Officials share the Russians concern over cases of abuse. However, the U.S. authorities are not jumping to the conclusion that this particular case is one of abuse. The boy’s death is currently under investigation.

The bigger picture

Some speculate that Russia’s new policy is less a response to this one toddler’s death and more a response to a new U.S. law that places restrictions on human rights abusers living in Russia. The law, called the Magnitsky Act, directly affects the abusers’ ability to travel and conduct financial transactions in the United States.

Russian is the third largest market for U.S. adoptions. So no matter what the reason, heightened tensions between the United States and Russia will have a direct impact on U.S. couples hoping to adopt.

Foreign adoptions in the state of Texas

Adopting a child from a foreign country has complications that parents will not experience when adopting a child from within the United States does not. For example, when a family from Texas adopts a foreign-born child, that child must be Americanized within the Texas courts, and given a Texas birth certificate.

When a couple is considering a foreign adoption it is imperative that they seek the help of an experienced family law attorney. These attorneys understand the unique challenges of foreign adoption.

Abstract: Foreign adoptions present unique challenges for individuals and couples. A recent move by Russia to ban U.S. families from adopting Russian children spotlights issues with foreign adoptions.

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