Russia is retaliating against a law passed by the United States,
leaving prospective American parents in a grim situation.
A Russian attorney working for an American law
firm in Moscow exposed fraud by Russian police and tax officials
against an investment company, was arrested and then allegedly
beaten and tortured to death in jail. Last Friday, Congress passed
and President Barack Obama signed the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law
Accountability Act to rebuke Russia, essentially slapping the
Kremlin for human-rights violations.
Now Russia's parliament has given preliminary approval to a
measure banning the adoption of Russian children by Americans, a
harsh retaliatory move against that legislation. Top Russian
officials have expressed unease about the proposal, an apparent
indication that the Kremlin opposes the move. To become law, the
measure would have to pass a third reading in the lower house of
parliament, the State Duma -- expected on Friday -- then clear the
upper house before going to President Vladimir Putin for his
It's a lengthy process to adopt Russian children. Whit Lewis --
senior pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in New Albany,
Mississippi -- and his wife are in the final stages.
"We're adopting two boys, 4 and 2 years old," he tells
OneNewsNow. "They're full brothers and we are scheduled to be in
court on Friday, January 11." The pastor and his wife spent
considerable time with the boys in Russia last August.
The Mississippi couple and others in line for adopting Russian
children have launched a campaign asking people to contact their
elected representatives in Washington, the State Department, and
President Obama to encourage them to work with Russia to resolve
"These two boys have our hearts already, and we're just desiring
that nothing will be set in stone to keep us from going and getting
these boys and to bring them home and to have them under our roof
and be a part of our forever family," says the pastor.
Lewis points out there are many U.S. families in the same
situation -- and notes more than 700,000 orphans in Russia
need a family.