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Adopting a child from Russia

The Parents Network > Advice > Adoption > Adopting a child from Russia

May 2003

My husband and I are seriously considering adopting a child from Russia and would very much like to get some agency recommendations. If you've had a positive Russian adoption experience, or know someone who has, we'd love to know which international and local agencies were involved, and how they helped the process along. Practical advice would also be welcome, as we are just starting to get the ball rolling here. Thank you!!! Sara

First, congratulations on your decision to adopt. It is a very exciting and sometimes exhausting process!

I can highly recommend HeartSent Adoptions, Inc. (Orinda) as a great place to start your process. Also, I believe, they offer a Russian adoption component. Val Free, Executive Director, is excellent. She is an adoptive parent and a licensed MFT. She has established an agency which is as caring and supportive as you could hope for. Also, they offer fantastic courses which are benefical in the process.

I am a MFT who works in the field of adoption. I have meet with Val professional and appreciate and respect her very much. Also, many clients have used HeartSent and have spoken so highly of their experience. The number is (925) 254-8883. Good luck. Cindy

Please be careful with an adoption from Russia. Children in orphanages there are ''rated'' or ''graded'' with A, B, C, etc. Children who are in the best shape, with no obvious anomalies or known problems in the family history, e.g., alcoholism (a prevalent problem), are given a higher grade (A) and not allowed to be adopted out of the country. There is a higher incidence of having problems with a child who is ''adoptable'' under these terms - special education/learning problems from fetal alcohol exposure, mental health problems, etc. Signed, ''Experienced with children of adopted families''
If you haven't already done so, I suggest that you look at the website and join their e-mail group for Russia. There you will get to see a variety of e-mails from people who are in all stages of the process of adopting from Russia, and you can see what difficulties or suggestions people have along the way. The website has some agency recommendations, but you can also post the question to the list to find out what agencies people recommend. I have not seen the Russian list, but I am on an EEAC list for another country, and it has really given me a wealth of information (including people's experiences after they get their children home). Traci
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this page was last updated: Aug 17, 2003

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