Pain of adoption ban is felt in county

Jan. 05, 2013 @ 05:52 PM

Since 1999, American families have adopted 45,112 children from Russia, according to the U.S. Department of State. Russia was second only to China. 

However, recent legislation signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned U.S. adoptions from Russia, a law that has impacted thousands of families in the country, including local families.

The number of adoptions has been in decline since 2004. In 2011, 962 children were adopted from the country. Compared to 5,862, according to the State Department. 

Monroe resident Emily Dilworth and her husband adopted their son Zachary from Russia about five years ago.

Dilworth was saddened to hear about the ban. 

“It was heartbreaking,” she said. “To think, we actually have a friend who’s personally in the process to adopt their third child from Russia and it’s heartbreaking to know that there (are) children over there.”

Her friend’s adoption is currently in limbo.

Dilworth’s adoption went fairly quickly by international adoption standards, she said. From the application to meeting him was about nine months.

“It was long, it was hard, the paperwork was ridiculous, but it was all worth it,” Dilworth said.

Zachary is now a part of their family and while she sometimes forgets that he is adopted, they celebrate his Russian heritage.

“He’s an amazing little 5-year-old,” Dilworth said.

Dilworth hopes the law is changed in the future.

“There (are) so many children there that need a good home that can come out of the orphanage and the baby homes and have a happy, productive life,” Dilworth said. 

“I’m at a loss for words, because it’s so sad,” she said. “I can’t imagine my life without (Zachary)...the thought that someone else might not be able to get to experience that...breaks my heart.”

Lucilia Maria Beasley, a Charlotte area resident, adopted her son, Vladislav, from Russia when he was nine months old. They are currently in the process of adopting a child from Ukraine. 

“We’re very happy,” Beasley said. “We love to be parents.” 

When she and her husband made the decision to adopt, they first looked at domestic adoptions. After some research, they decided that was not their best option. At first they wanted to adopt a child from Mexico, where Beasley was born, but eventually decided to adopt from Russia. 

The process took about six months, considered quick for an international adoption. 

Vladislav is now nine years old. 

“He’s always been a pretty good child,” Beasley said. “We’re lucky that he’s very healthy.”

Beasley worked with an agency that did blind adoptions and they did not receive a lot of medical information about the child.  

She thinks the ban is “terrible.”

“I know how it must feel like,” Beasley said. 

She hopes the law will be amended or changed in the future. 

“(That) would benefit the children,” Beasley said. “The children lose the most...all those children are stuck in Russia.”