The Oscar-nominated film Philomena tells the tale of an Irish Catholic mother separated from her son by one of Ireland’s infamous 20th century Magdalene Laundries. But this adoption system wasn’t limited to mid-century Ireland; there are millions of Philomenas out there.
Philomena is another reminder of the vast inequalities between those who adopt children and birth mothers.
Three-year-old Russian adoptee Maxim Kuzmin’s death has been ruled accidental. Still, there may be more bad news to come on the Russian adoption front.
Anyone who follows inter-country adoption and its dramatic decline since 2004 can see that Russia’s ban on inter-country adoptions to the United States is the final slamming of a door that has been slowly closing for a number of years.
Being one of many stories of force, fraud, and coercion, Loyda’s case is particularly compelling because all of the steps in the legal system have been followed. Still, there has been no justice.
Stories abound of children stolen from their families in countries of conflict and chaos. Beware of countries with a history of atrocities and don’t become complicit: The “blinders” are quite profound once you enter the adoption process and become committed to a child.
This past week Torry Hansen was ordered, by a Tennessee judge to pay $150,000 child support for her adopted son, whom she returned to Russia by plane, unaccompanied.
We all know the story of international adoption: Millions of infants and toddlers have been abandoned or orphaned. If they are lucky, adoring new moms and dads from faraway lands whisk them away for a chance at a better life. Unfortunately, this story is largely fiction.