Many American families have offered hope and help to Russian children in orphanages by making them part of their families. But now Russian President Vladimir Putin, perhaps fed up with criticisms of human rights issues in his country, has signed a law banning American adoptions. Its a cruel blow to the children in crowded Russian orphanages who might have been given a chance at new and uplifting lives.
Putin and his allies note the deaths of 19 Russian children adopted by Americans as reason for the law. But officials who are involved in the adoption process say the good experiences far outweigh the bad, and many Russian children have been rescued from what might have been dismal prospects indeed.
Should those deaths, reported by the National Council for Adoption in Virginia, be thoroughly investigated? Of course. But so many Russian kids have found happiness in American families that, conditional on a thorough background check, the adoptions clearly should be allowed to continue.
Adoption helps the children, of course, but it can be an enriching experience in families where there are children who appreciate and embrace their adopted siblings, and for parents who have a desire to provide love for young ones who need it. Most of those parents go into the process well-aware that there are difficulties in adjustment to new surroundings and a new language that have to be faced. But there are thousands of examples of those challenges being overcome.
Putins Cold War attitude toward so many things having to do with the United States makes his action suspect.