In a letter sent to President Obama this week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) joined other members of the Ohio delegation in urging the president to engage with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to find solutions for children and families affected by the Russian government's ban on American adoptions of Russian children. Speaker Boehner met personally this week with Ohio parents affected by Russia's adoption ban and listened to their stories, pledging his support for their efforts to find a solution.
"The orphans affected by this ban are vulnerable and without families or homes in Russia. Many of these children have a disability that requires medical care that they are not receiving in Russia. These children are loved by and have come to know the American parents who want to welcome them into their homes and provide a life filled with promise," Boehner and other members of the Ohio congressional delegation said in a letter to President Obama, who will meet with Putin at the G8 Summit in June. The letter was initiated by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Hundreds of families across the United States have been left in limbo by the ban after traveling to Russia and falling in love with the children they planned to adopt, only to be told later that the children could not join them at home in the United States.
One such family is the Brewer family of Hamilton, Ohio, in the Speaker's congressional district. The Brewers were in the final stages of adopting a six-year-old girl from Russia when the ban was imposed.
Speaker Boehner remarked, "I know about this issue first-hand because I had a staff member from Ohio who with her husband adopted two Russian children, and it's been a wonderful thing for everyone involved. Families such as the Brewers are ready and eager to provide the love and care these children deserve. The governments of both countries should give priority to the needs of these children as other issues are addressed and discussed. I hope President Obama and President Putin will be able to work toward a solution so that these children can be united with the families who are ready to welcome and care for them."
May 14, 2013
President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As representatives from Ohio, the state most affected by this issue, we are writing to request your assistance with finding a solution for the small number of Russian orphans who are in the final stages of the adoption process, but are not able to have their adoptions completed due to the Russian adoption ban. The number of Ohio families halted by this ban is the highest of any state in the country. As a united delegation, we urge you to prioritize this issue and seek a prompt resolution when you meet with President Putin at the G8 Summit in June.
The orphans affected by this ban are vulnerable and without families or homes in Russia. Many of these children have a disability that requires medical care that they are not receiving in Russia. These children are loved by and have come to know the American parents who want to welcome them into their homes and provide a life filled with promise.
The Ohio families in this process have remained vigilant and are doing everything in their power to help bring these children home. These parents have made countless trips to Russia before the adoption ban to spend time with the children with whom they were matched who have become their sons and daughters.
We have visited with these families and have heard them speak about these children who have already had such an impact on their lives and communities. Families from Toledo to Cincinnati and Lima to Akron, have opened their homes to these children and now their hearts are breaking. Thousands of Ohioans have also heard these stories and demand that Congress and the administration do what is necessary find a solution.
Please find a humanitarian solution for these children and these families. We ask that you continue to work with the Russian delegation and we urge you to prioritize this issue with President Putin to help these children. Thank you for making these efforts on behalf of these children and families.