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Right This Wrong: Punishing Parentless Russian Children

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. FITZPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, the Russian President recently signed a law to prevent American citizens from adopting Russian children. Sadly, it appears that the Russian Government is playing politics with children and is destroying the dreams of many Americans already in the process of adopting.

Last year alone, nearly 1,000 Russian children were adopted by American families, and many of these children struggled with physical disabilities. Every child deserves the opportunity to be raised in a caring environment. Over the past 20 years, almost 60,000 Russian children have been welcomed into the United States. Many of these children have found loving parents in my congressional district. Regrettably, President Putin's new law now takes away this possibility. This law not only prohibits future adoptions, but even more disturbingly, it attempts to put a halt to those already in progress.

Among those impacted is a family from my district, Marc and April Pongitory. They're in the process of adopting two children from Russia. After months of paperwork, background checks and interviews, this family's dreams are now crushed, and there are dozens of cases out there just like the Pongitorys.'

It is truly disturbing that the Russian Government would punish parentless children in retaliation for an entirely unrelated American law. We all know that the wellbeing of children should not be used as a bargaining chip for diplomatic means. This week, I will be introducing a House resolution to right this wrong. Please join me in sending a clear message to the Russian Government.

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