Tag Archives: orphanages

Evil Empire Ethics: Stand Up For The Crooks By Sacrificing The Children

Putin's pawns

Putin’s pawns

Stalin would be proud.

Today Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill barring  Americans from adopting Russian children. The objective of the bill had absolutely nothing to do with American adoptions, both Russian and American analysts agree. The law is retaliation for various American measures that punished or embarrassed Russia for various human rights violations.  One of these was the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which mandated  financial and visa sanctions on corrupt Russian officials linked to the arrest and imprisonment of Magnitsky, a lawyer who discovered a $230 million tax fraud and was then arrested by the same police officers he had accused of the fraud. He was sentenced to prison and died there in 2009.

The adoption ban is itself a human rights violation. Continue reading


Filed under Around the World, Family, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement

Justice Is Served: Torry Hansen Gets The Bill

Look out for that sword!

Two years ago, Ethics Alarms featured the story of Torry Hansen, the Tennessee adoptive mother who couldn’t handle her adopted Russian child, so she pinned a note on him and sent him back to Russia, alone, on an airplane. I wrote:

“Sending an innocent child back to the orphanage, like he was a defective toaster returned to Walmart, is the ultimate betrayal, as unforgivable as treason, and far, far worse than adultery. A child who, in Justin’s case (his Russian name had been Artyom), was neglected by his alcoholic mother and taken by the state, sent to an orphanage and given to an American mother, has been rejected again and abandoned. I cannot imagine what this would do to a child. I cannot imagine allowing anyone’s child to endure this, least of all my own.

“Her son was making her life impossible. She couldn’t handle the stress; she looked into the future and saw only problems. Check: I understand. I empathize with Mrs. Hanson completely, for we knew when we adopted our son that this was a possible scenario. Again, it doesn’t matter. Sending an adopted child back to Russia is not an option, because it is absolutely wrong, like murder, like torture, like sacrificing one human being to save another. Never. Absolutely never. Nothing can ever justify treating a child—your own child— like that.”

Now CBS has reported that Hanson will have some consequences of her actions in addition to being roundly detested by every adoptive parent in the world (like me) and being a permanent member of the Bad Mothers Hall of Infamy. Continue reading


Filed under Around the World, Character, Family, Love

Comments of the Day: “UNICEF’s Unethical War Against International Adoption”

A Rumanian child in an orpahanage for "incurables," circa. 1990, enjoys his "heritage."

A post that is a year old recently attracted two important comments, thanks to a link to the essay from another website. The topic is international adoption, an issue that I have a special interest in as the parent of an adopted son who was born in Russia. I have seen first hand the conditions described in these posts, and when I wrote the original article, I was unaware of the substantial movement opposing international adoption, a misguided effort with tragic consequences to the children these people supposedly want to protect. I am aware of it now. It is an especially tragic example of what happens  when tunnel vision and ideology causes individuals to lose perspective and objectivity.

I am taking the unusual step of pairing two comments as the Comment of the Day.  They arrived together, and compliment each other well. You might want to read the original post, “UNICEF’s Unethical War Against International Adoption.”

Here are the Comments of the Day, by Mel and Holly F. Continue reading


Filed under Around the World, Family, Government & Politics

UNICEF’s Unethical War Against International Adoption

UPDATE, 12/19/2011: There is more on the topic of international adoptions here.

There are few things more harmful than a trusted organization associated with good will and good deeds that uses its influence irresponsibly, and there are few organizations with more accumulated trust than UNICEF, the United Nations organization dedicated to children’s rights, safety and welfare. That UNICEF could be promoting policies that actually harms children seems too awful to contemplate, but that appears to be what is occurring. The problem is that most people have grown up thinking of the organization as the epitome of international virtue. UNICEF doing something that hurts kids? Impossible. Since the group’s impressive moral authority seems to be focused in an unethical direction, the damage it can do before public opinion turns is substantial.

The area is  international adoptions. Continue reading


Filed under Around the World, Family, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Race, Research and Scholarship, U.S. Society

Russian Adoption Ethics: No Returns

Fifteen years ago, my wife and I flew to Moscow to adopt our son. It was the best thing we ever have or ever will do, but it was harrowing: we were rushed through the process along with four other couples at fugitive speed, because Boris Yeltsin’s government was about to shut down foreign adoptions any day. The whole experience felt like a spy movie, being pushed into black cars driven by strangers, watching bribes take place, and racing from building to building, from doctors to mysteriously grim bureaucrats. We got our son his passport at the American Embassy just as word arrived that foreign adoptions in Russia would be suspended for months.

Now adoptions by Americans in Russia have been suspended again, not just because, as was the case in 1995, Russia’s inability to find native parents for its own children is a national embarrassment, but because of a horrific act of betrayal by an American family. Continue reading


Filed under Around the World, Family