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  • Yelena McCafferty

Adoptions from Russia and the way they evolve

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

When Russia introduced a ban on international adoption by single parents this summer, many prospective adopters in the UK got a bit of a blow and I can see why. I personally translated documents for a few single British people who became parents after adopting a child from Russia. Due to the nature of my job I can follow long and often complicated journeys from the moment people get ready to become parents to a Russian child, which is detailed in a home study report, through to the time when their newly adopted child settles in the family and local community, which is reflected in subsequent post placement reports.

I have not yet translated a report where children failed to adapt to the new environment but I have seen how they flourished and thrived in their new families year after year. Adopted from orphanages in Russia and often rejected by Russian adopters, these children get a home in the UK, care and sense of belonging to a family, even if it's a family unit with only one parent. British parents who choose the adoption route for a variety of reasons don't do so light-heartedly. Like with giving birth to your own baby, adopting a child from overseas is a big commitment and responsibility to raise the adopted child like your own, providing him/her with opportunities they'd often be deprived of if they spent the first years of their lives in a Russian "baby home".

A few articles have been published in the press about the poor conditions in such orphanages and if the new decree by Russian authorities to stop single overseas parents from adopting means less children get a chance for a brighter future, then it's very sad indeed. One such article published by the Daily Telegraph back in 2011 is focused on one of our clients who went further and wrote a book to help future adopters from Russia with practical advice. I wrote a short blog article about it a couple of years ago.

Another such adopter, Cecile Trijssenaar, is so passionate about adoption, over the years she has been successfully running a specialised group, RUKA, Russian UK Adoption support group. The particular interest in Russia shown by UK adopters is easy to understand: Russian and British cultures are very similar, making the transition process for them and their children much smoother.

Cecile has now started a new exciting project, GIFT - Growing International Adoption Families Together - which will aim to find 50 UK homes a year for children from orphanages in Russia, Bulgaria and Ethiopia. Like with anything else, especially when this particular enterprise requires registration with Ofsted, there is an issue with initial funds, and GIFT welcomes any donations, large or small. More details on this project can be found on their page. I sincerely hope this wonderful project gets off the ground.

[Tip: If you need your adoption files translated into Russian, call us on 0207 043 6940 or email]



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