One year later: Lessons learned from the Russian adoption case

Tomorrow, April 9, 2011, marks the one year anniversary since news broke of the heartbreaking case of Artyem Saviliev, a 7-year-old boy whose adoptive mother returned him to Russia alone on a plane.  For months this case caught the eyes of American as well as others around the world and significantly affected how Russian officials would work with the U.S. to process intercountry adoptions.

Since then, there have been many discussions about both the joys and challenges of adoption. If heeded, honest and open conversations about the needs of adoptive parents and the children they seek to adopt can be an essential step toward the development of improved adoption policies and practice.  But if the dialogue surrounding cases like this go no further than short lived media sound bites or are used only in support of long standing debates on the merits of domestic and international adoption, this already tragic case could have an unfortunate and long standing effect on future efforts to recruit prospective adoptive parents for the millions of children still in need of the love and support.

With this in mind, CCAI took a look into what are areas of adoption law and policy that were triggered by this case and which, if strengthened, could better protect the safety and well-being of adopted children and their families.  This report outlines five areas of adoption policy that could be in need of reform as well as legislative options for addressing identified shortfalls.

Click here to read CCAI’s report highlighting policy considerations raised by this adoption case.