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Famous Siberian orphan attacks ban on adoptions of Russian kids by US parents

By The Siberian Times reporter
01 January 2013

Jessica Long is pleading with the Russian authorities to reverse the new ban on children being adopted to America, which came into force on January 1.

Jessica Long,  born in Siberia, is the current world record holder in 13 Paralympic events. Picture: swimswam.com

The US swimmer - aged 20 - was born in Siberia and given up by her family because of her disabilities. She was adopted by a remarkable US family in Baltimore, Maryland who gave her the care and love she needed, also allowing her to develop her sensational swimming abilities. 

Under the new laws, such adoptions are now illegal.

Jessica is the current world record holder in 13 Paralympic events - and you can read our earlier exclusive story here on how her real mother in Siberia had wanted to get her back from an orphanage in Bratsk before realising she had been adopted already. 

Born Tatiana Olegovna Kirillova, she revealed that in 2013 she hopes to return to Russia and to meet her blood family in Siberia. 

'I love my family here in America, thanks to them I am what I am, and I achieved what I achieved,' she said. 'I learned to swim and now I've got bright future ahead of me. To prohibit the adoption means to deprive these children of their bright future. Its so sad. 

'They've done nothing bad, these children, they are just children. So why prohibit adoption if it would give them a hope to have things they never had? 

'When I go to Russia the first thing I would like to do would be to see my Russian family; then I want to make sure that my story is known by as many people as possible. If I have a chance to see Russian politicians, look them in the eyes and share my story with them then I'll do it'.

Jessica Long


Jessica Long

'They've done nothing bad, these children, they are just children. So why prohibit adoption if it would give them a hope to have things they never had? Pictures: Channel One Russia

The new rules are seen as having been rushed through in revenge for the American 'Magnitsky' Law, which places curbs on Russian officials deemed by the US authorities as having been involved in 'human rights abuses' against the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in a Moscow jail. 

However, Russia has long expressed concern about the fate of a number of children adopted by American families where abuses have occurred. There are also concerns that Russian legal requirements for follow-up information on adopted children are not permitted by the US authorities.

President Vladimir Putin has robustly defended the new controls and accused the US authorities of 'acting brazenly and arrogantly' towards Russia. He also insisted that Russians must themselves care for their own children. 

'It may seem like our resources are limitless. But this is not the case', said Putin. 

'We may reach a certain point at which - once we overstep it - we will not be able to stop our ruin. So we have to be extremely sensitive and attentive toward such things.'

There were claims from US adoption agencies that Russian children were being used as political footballs in the dispute. It is estimated around four dozen children - where adoption procedures were well underway - will now not go to the US to start new lives. 

Recently, around 1,000 children a year have been adopted in Russia by US families.

A protest is expected in Moscow on 13 January demanding that the law is annulled. 

Comments (2)

We also adopted our daughter from Siberia. She, too, is overcoming a challenging start in life. I will share this article with her to share your strength and determination for further encouragement. God Bless.
Mary, San Diego, CA, USA
25/06/2013 23:18
2
0
pictures of her crawling out of the pool make me ashamed for any complaint i ever had in my life. You are my hero Jessica, you and your american parents, and example of greatest optimism, love and determination.
Denis, Russia
01/01/2013 22:25
7
0
1

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