A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson requesting his aid in navigating a 2013 law that blocks the adoption of Russian children by American parents. The Kremlin enacted the law without grandfathering in hundreds of American families who were already in the process of adopting children from Russian orphanages.
Some of these children have medical needs that go unmet in Russia, while others had developed bonds with their American families when the law abruptly ended the adoption procedures.
Adoptive parents like Mike and Pam Romano of Gainesville, Ga. were devastated by the Russian adoption ban. The Romanos had traveled to Russia and furnished a room in their home for two brothers when they learned that Bogdon and Yura would have to remain in separate St. Petersburg orphanages.
"Loving parents in America have invested their love and personal resources in creating homes for Russian orphans, and we're asking Secretary Tillerson to act on behalf of these families, who have waited years to be united with their children. It is our hope that both countries will find a way to act in favor of children who have suffered more than their share of loss," said Collins.
Other Members of Congress who have signed this letter include Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Andy Harris, M.D. (R-Md.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Trent Kelly (R-Miss.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.), John Moolenaar (R-Mich.), Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), and David Young (R-Iowa).