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View Diary: Anti-Orphan Politics in Russia Sends Messages of Intimidation and Hurts Orphans (16 comments)

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  •  Most of the world sucks more than Russia (0+ / 0-)

    This notion that American parents have to rescue the children of the world by taking them to America, while pleasant individually, is messed-up as a large-scale phenomenon and the only surprising thing is that there are countries willing to go along with it.  

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:55:55 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Most of the world? (0+ / 0-)

      Africa, yes.  They are subsistence farmers living in a sweltering land with dirt roads and unsafe water.  Russians have been reduced to living as subsistence farmers, living in a frozen land with dirt roads and unsafe water.  Oh, but they do have GazProm to sell them gas to keep warm in the winter, so that makes them better off than Africa.  

      One of the nice things about driving around in the former Soviet Union is that there is NO traffic.  For an American used to big city traffic jams, it seems like paradise.  Until you notice that on the few roads that are paved, there are traffic cops every 10km waiting for a bribe vigorously enforcing the speed limit.  

      Latin America, for all its poverty, is a lot better off than the former Soviet Union.  People have more cars and the public transportation is not as crowded.   The pace of development is slow, but year over year, things get better.  The former Soviet Union went over the cliff in '91, and for most people, they are still tumbling down, trying to hit bottom.  

      Eastern Europe is better off.  They rebuilt much faster after World War II so that they could be showplaces of Communist success.  Rebuilding at home, well that could wait.  As long as there was 5 square meters of housing per capita, the proletariat would have to be satisfied.

      There are a few Asian countries that Russians can look down on.  They are better off than the Afghanis and the North Koreans, but the list is longer of countries that have surpassed them: Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, maybe even China.  

      If you look at statistics, Russia has one of the highest death rates (11 out of 231) and one of the lowest birth rates (160 out of 231), which taken together doesn't indicate a very happy populace.

      While we can quibble exactly which country is on the bottom of the heap, I can totally agree with your sentiment that the world is not going to be saved by rich Westerners saving one orphan at a time, as if they were plucking gold nuggets out of the landfill.  

    •  Most Americans who adopt children from other (0+ / 0-)

      countries, simply want to be parents.  The fact that a child gets out of an orphanage is a bonus.  UNICEF estimates that there are 740,000 kids in state care in Russia.  Only 18,000 are listed as available for adoption, and at it's height, numbers wise, around 6,000 kids per year were adopted by Americans.  In the past few years, maybe 1,000 to 2,000 per year are adopted to American citizens.

      Russia has a huge problem:  The population is declining due to emigration and low birth rates, yet on a per capita basis, there are now more kids in institutions in Russia than there was after the devastation of WW2.  Adoption to the U.S. or any other nation hardly puts a dent in the total number of Russian orphans.  It is not meant to solve the whole problem, but to the individual children adopted, it means a world of difference for them.  That is why these adoptions should continue, it's in the individual children's best interests.

      Instead of Putin lashing out at the U.S., maybe he should get started on providing programs to keep children with their parents, support at risk families, develop national foster care programs, and encourage a society where adoption is accepted and done.  Westerners have been adopting Russian orphans for over twenty years, and Putin or his BFF Medvedev has been in charge for most of that time, so where is the accountability for him on how Russia treats it's vulnerable children?

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