Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My Public Comment on the Decision of the ECHR and Current Talk about Ending the Dima Yakovlev Law

I have bittersweet feelings about yesterday's ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
(you can read about it here: )

I'm sad that money is the focus, and the idea that less than $4,000 means something. I'm sad that it's found that American adults' rights were violated but not the Russian orphans'.

I'm glad that it's bringing about talks. Here, I will reference the following two articles.

I would like to know specifically what steps Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko is speaking of when she says Russia is ready to open talks about cancelling the law, "but the US should take some steps for that."

If the steps she is speaking of are in protection of children, I think we are all open to that. Protection should always be at the forefront of any governing body's concerns. I know it's at the forefront of mine and Polina's. If you were to ask her what my number one job is, she would tell you, "To keep me safe."

I'd be happy to personally teach parenting classes for adopting parents in both the United States and Russia. It would be a dream job.

In the second article, the head of Russia's presidential human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, is quoted as saying that the ECHR decision "is an excellent reason to revise it." I see what he is saying, but the reason to revise it isn't so much the ECHR's decision but that it's what's right for children. As an educator and a parent or special needs children, my barometer is always what's right for the children.

He goes on to say, "But we won't forget that it was passed in response to the unfriendly US steps and the law was an answer to the US so-called Magnitsky Act." In all fairness to him, I didn't want to cut that quote short. In all fairness, I want to make sure I am not misunderstanding him, nor leading you to.

This statement leads me to think that the steps being requested by the Russian government are not in protection of children but political in nature. Is he saying if we cancel the Magnitsky Ack (which is over human rights) that Russia will cancel the American adoption ban? Surely he wouldn't do that. That would mean that the claim that Russia has been playing a "tit-for-tat" political game using orphan's lives as the pawns had been true all along.

It's been 1482 days since President Putin put his pen to the law, days of agony for approximately 1500 sets of American parents who had chosen a Russian orphan to adopt. I described what it felt like for me on Christmas Day 2012 when the law was pending his signature here. More importantly, there's at least 250 Russian orphans who are left wondering why parents they had met never came back for them.

That's not a game at all.

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