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Putin bans American adoptions of Russian children

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 27 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 28 2012 05:05:57 PM CST

A new law on the books in Russia is breaking the hearts of many families in the United States.

A new law on the books in Russia is breaking the hearts of many families in the United States.

Russia has banned the adoption of its orphans to American citizens. Some said the law turns Russian children into political pawns.

Bryce Dunn loves to play games with his family. The 6-year-old Macungie, Lehigh Co., boy is what you would expect at his age -- happy, outgoing and very energetic.

Four years ago, however, Bryce was living in a crowded orphanage in Russia, waiting to be adopted.

"He was just a beautiful little boy when we met him," said Cindy Dunn.

"He captured our heart instantly," said Billy Dunn.

After a year of waiting, two trips to Russia and $60,000 later, Bryce came home. The Dunns said they now worry other families won't know the joy they've experienced.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children. It's a move said to retaliate against U.S. government sanctions on Russian citizens thought to be human rights violators.

Forty-five U.S. adoptions already approved by the courts could now be voided, along with thousands more that are in the works.

"Regardless of the international politics, the ones who are the victims here are children," said Kris Faasse with Bethany Christian Services.

Bethany facilitates thousands of international adoptions every year. Faasse said Bethany is working with its partners in Russia to get answers for frustrated would-be adoptive parents.

The Dunns said they understand the frustrations that come with international adoption. Their prayers are for the families and the children separated by the ban.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., reached out to the Russian ambassador, urging him to get Putin to reconsider the ban.