• Family proceeds with adoption despite Russian legislation

    By: Tina Terry


    MATTHEWS, N.C. - A Matthews family preparing to adopt a child from Russia is praying that the adoption process goes through.

    This week, the Russian parliament passed legislation that would ban Americans from adopting Russian children.

    The ban would impact hundreds of families nationwide including Christa Sumwalt. She adopted her 5-year-old son, Andrew, from Russia in 2008. She adopted her second son, Ryan, in 2010 and she and her husband planned to head to Russia again this summer to adopt another child.

    "It certainly jeopardizes our chances of completing this adoption and bringing home this child," she said.

    The ban is believed to be Russia's retaliation for a set of human rights sanctions that were signed into law by President Barack Obama this month.

    However, Russian politicians have pointed to cases of 19 Russian children who have died after being adopted by Americans.

    Sumwalt said the vast majority of adopted children are happy, like her boys, and getting a home many may not have found otherwise.

    "I feel like the politics and posturing is taking a front seat to the children," she said.

    Sumwalt said her adoption agency is waiting to find out if President Vladimir Putin signs the measure into law and that could happen next week.

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