Family hoping to adopt from Russia will have to make other plans
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
Every year, hundreds of Russian children are adopted by U.S. families.
The already long and complicated process may be reaching the ultimate roadblock.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin announced plans to ban U.S. adoptions completely on Thursday.
This puts dozens of Middle Tennessee families in a holding pattern.
"It's a big issue, it's a scary issue," said Debbie Robinson, the executive director of Miriam's Promise, "Right now, there aren't a lot of answers coming out of Russia, of when it would happen and what exactly the effects would be."
Miriam's Promise is an adoption agency based in Nashville.
Robinson said they haven't had many calls from concerned families yet, but expect that to change as news of Putin's decision spreads.
"They are families who have spent months and months preparing their hearts and homes for these children," said Robinson, "The idea that they have these pictures that they've treasured and loved and these children won't come home is pretty heart wrenching. Not to mention all the work they've done and all the money they've spent."
The Carney family knows just what kind of sacrifice, planning and patience goes into adopting a child from Russia.
"It's not easy, I'm not going to act like it is an easy process, but I hope this doesn't scare people off," Lindsey Carney told Nashville's News 2.
Carney said she and her husband Jason decided to adopt a little boy from Russia over five years ago.
Thursday, they celebrated their "gotcha day" with five year old Hudson; it was four years ago they brought Hudson home to Cheatham county from Moscow.
"It is very scary and it doesn't just affect the parents," added Lindsey, "It affects grandparents and aunts and uncles. Jason and I aren't the only ones who went through our boys adoptions."
Lindsey said "boys", because just a few months ago, they brought home another boy from Russia.
Heath is now 17 months old and both Jason and Lindsey said he's adjusting well to his new life and new siblings; the Carneys also have a two-year-old biological daughter named Hollan.
"We're obviously really thankful his adoption went quickly and very broken for the kids that are there," added Lindsey, who has been watching new about President Putin's decision with concern.
"Thinking about children with no father, no home, no mother, it's just breaks your heart," said Jason, "It changes your priorities."
That's why the Carneys had long-term plans to adopt another child from Russia, a girl.
But that may need to be put on hold.
And even though the Carney family has completed the major part of the adoption process, for Heath, there are still years of "post placement" visits that are supposed to take place.
Someone with the adoption agency they worked with comes to check on them and reports to Russian officials to ensure the safety and happiness of the child: it's not clear if these visits will be impacted.
Jason told Nashville's News 2, "I worry for the people that are in the process right now, more than anything, and I worry most of all, for the kids, because there's going to be thousands of kids that are stuck there."
Lindsey added, "Maybe people will get more of an interest and realize just how many kids are out there that needs homes. If we can't get them out of Russia, maybe we can get more out of Africa or China. We just don't know. Good could come of this. We just don't know what it'll be."
Reporter Erin Holt is following the story and will have more on Nashville's News 2 at 5 and 6.