STATELINE (WIFR) -- Hundreds of American families hoping to adopt a baby from Russia are simply out of luck after the Russian government banned adoptions to the US and now Stateline agencies are reacting.
Thousands marched in Moscow Sunday to protest the new law. Members of the Russian Parliament called for the ban after an adopted Russian toddler died in 2008 when he was left in a car for hours in broiling heat. More than 60,000 Russian kids have been adopted by Americans in the last 20 years. Nineteen have died.
Here in the Stateline, Children's Home and Aid helps with around 40 adoptions, both domestic and international, each month. Caseworkers say Russia's move limits the opportunities for kids and hopeful American parents.
"Adoption is a private decision in the first place and then you have to decide if you're adopting international or domestic. Then there additional choices to be made there and it’s such a private decision based on so many factors that one country can have a huge impact when it closes down," says Kirsten Holloway, a caseworker with Children's Home and Aid who helps with international adoptions.
UNICEF estimates there are about 740,000 children not in parental custody in Russia, while about 18,000 Russians are on the waiting list to adopt a child. Since the law banning American adoptions was passed, Russian political and religious leaders have been encouraging Russians to adopt more children.