Future uncertain for Hoosier families matched with Russian children after new adoption ban signed

Many Hoosiers have already visited with children

INDIANAPOLIS - Russian president Vladimir Putin signed into law a ban that will prevent families in the U.S. from adopting children in Russia starting Jan. 1.

Sources told RTV6 there are likely dozens of families in Indiana in the process of trying to adopt children from Russia. One expert said some have even flown there to visit the children. 

"Those children, they really had a hope for a family," said Michele Jackson of MLJ Adoptions.

Jackson has worked in international adoptions for 15 years. Her agency focuses on areas like Bulgaria, Congo and Honduras now, but she's well aware of the Russian adoption ban and the impact it will have on families in Indiana.

"A lot of them at first just aren't going to know, so they're going to have to handle the unknowns," she said. "And, they're going to have to be patient."

Many families in central Indiana have already been matched with the children in Russia and visited them as many as four times.

"That's significant for them, not only emotionally, but secondly financially," Jackson said. "They've already spent quite a bit of money on these services and travel."

Jackson said the U.S. State Department will have people going to Russia to advocate especially for families who have already been matched with children there. But, she said there's no guarantee, and it will take time.

"Anyone that's ever wanted a child and yearned for a child, to have that dream basically changed for them in one day is very sad for them," Jackson said.

Jackson said families who have already been matched with children in Russia have likely spent up to $30,000 trying to bring them home.

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