On July 13th, 2011 the United States and Russia reached an agreement on Russian adoption policy in the United States. Over the years there have been cases of mistreatment and abuse of Russian children adopted by Americans. The “last straw” according to Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, was the highly publicized case of the adoptive mother from Tennessee, who sent her 7-year-old Russian son, alone, on a plane, back to Moscow. Russia has threatened to suspend adoptions with the U.S. in the past; now, however, with the newly ratified agreement, Russian authorities will track the welfare of Russian adoptees more closely and there will also be a more meticulous screening process involved. Read more about the adoption agreement here.
Kidsave’s involvement with Russia has burgeoned over the past 12years and we are currently working on a program in Moscow to help teen mothers. Malenkaya Mama (Young Mother) is a program that helps offer guidance and temporary shelter to teen mothers without a support system. Trained professionals work with the mothers to help them obtain access to government benefits and find housing and jobs. They also focus on helping the mothers build stronger relationships with their babies and break the cycle of child abandonment in Russia.
On June 28th Kidsave and MaryKay hosted an event to benefit our Malenkaya Mama participants. The event’s aim was to inspire our teen moms to believe in themselves, to feel beautiful on the inside and out, and to gain skills which will benefit them later in life. Miss Russia, Natalia Gantimurova, delivered an inspiring speech to the girls. To add a little fun to the event, a MaryKay representative taught all the girls how to apply their own makeup and the girls all received a selection of products donated by Marykay. Following the event, Kodak ran a photo shoot for all the beautiful mothers. The walls of the ‘Malenkaya Mama’ crisis center will be decorated with the portraits of the mothers and their children.