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Russia's ban on US adoption may impact Alaska families

Alaska Dispatch

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation that will ban American parents from adopting Russian children, including orphans, apparently even if they have already begun the lengthy approval process.

Families in Alaska, KTUU reported on Thursday, could be affected by the ban which is being called a retaliation for legislation that bars Russians involved in human rights abuse cases from entering the United States.

Catholic Social Services told KTUU that one adoptive Anchorage family has been matched with a Russian child and another three families are already in the process of adoption.

It is unknown precisely how the pending adoptions will be affected by the new legislation, but U.S. parents who have been involved in the adoption process are saying their chances look grim. One commented that the mood in Russia has swung toward preventing "even one more child from leaving the country."

Terry Hamm, an Anchorage mother who adopted two young boys, Dmitry and Roman, from Russia in 2002 told KTUU that the process of losing a child in a pending adoption process is difficult. Hamm said:

You literally grieve. It's like a miscarriage when you find out that that doesn't go through. I think the bigger picture is what's happening on the other side of Russia with some children that are waiting to come home.

The new legislation will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

Read more from KTUU, and more from Friday morning's Washington Post.