Apr 18, 2010

Artyom Savelyev

In today's New York Times there is an excellent editorial about the story of Artyom Savelyev (Sunday April 18, 2010, pg9) titled "A Safe, Loving Home."

As the editorial states, while we don't know all the facts and details, returning a child is "profoundly wrong." The response of the Russian Foreign Ministry, while understandable, is, in my opinion, also wrong. Since 1991 over 50,000 Russian children have been adopted by US families. Currently there are 250 adoptions nearly completed and 3,500 pending. Children do better in families than in orphanages. That being said, many children who come from orphanages, which are frequently over-crowded and understaffed, have a variety of difficulties that sometimes require very specialized care, such as Alcohol Related Neurological Dysfunction, Sensory-Integration Dysfunction, and various psychological and emotional problems caused by chronic early maltreatment.

The inadequacy of post-placement services for families is a problem that we can fix by requiring agencies to provide those services. The problem of inadequate information from the orphanages, under staffing, and over crowding is something the other government can and must fix.

No comments: