The importance of [carefully considering] international adoption

Since the debacle involving Tory Ann Hansen returning her adopted son to Russia, several follow-up stories have highlighted the plight of children growing up in orphanages in Russia.

This report from CNN quotes the child psychologist at Children’s Home No. 59, “Most of [the children here] have had traumatic experiences in their life.”

I spoke with Anastasia Whitesell, adopted at 14 from Russia with her 9-year-old sister. From her experience in a Russian orphanage, Anastasia agrees.

“It’s a stereotype that Russian kids are aggressive, but there is some truth…[they’ve] been taught to be aggressive to survive, to keep from getting beat up.”

Anastasia could have told Ms. Hansen:

“It takes work to adopt. It’s not an automatic “happy family,” but rather it’s a calling on couples and individuals who choose to adopt. It will take time and work for a family to be healthy.”

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