Russian Adoption

Children in Russia for adoption range in age from six months to six years and up. Almost all the children in Russia up for adoption are behind in growth and development due to being institutionalized. Once these children are in a family environment they bounce back. There are a variety of ethnicities such as Asian, Gypsy, Mediterranean, and Caucasian. Children of both sexes are available, but there are more boys than girls. Russian children will remain on the adoption list for six months before being considered for international adoption. This way they have a chance to be adopted by a Russian family. Many of the children in Russian orphanages come from teenage pregnancies, although a few are truly orphans. A handful of them are there because the families couldn’t afford to care for them.

The Russian adoption program has remained stable, and is second to the top country that Americans choose to adopt from. Americans adopted around 4,639 Russian children in 2005. The Russian Government began a review in 2005 of international adoption procedures, and changes are expected. Fees range from agency to agency but are usually somewhere around $19,900 to $25,500. This does not include travel, immigration filing, visa, document preparation or collection.

In order to start a Russian adoption you should choose an agency that deals with Russian adoptions or international adoptions. You should research the different agencies and request information packets from the ones that you might be interested in. In Russia only married couples or single women can adopt. They believe the woman to be the main caregiver. Once you have chosen an agency, you can begin you journey for a Russian adoption. The entire Russian adopting process usually takes about nine months. You start by doing a home study. The home study is basically a report on what the social worker has found out about the adoptive parents. Once you have finished the home study you will have to complete the Dossier. This is paper work that the Russian Government requires.

Before having your paper work for your dossier notarized, ask when the notary’s commission expires. Most countries require that the notary’s commission be valid for at least a year past the date they witness a signature. When the paper work has been gathered and notarized, your agency will send it to Russia to be translated and notarized, and then they will give the paper work to the Russian authorities.

When a child is ready for adoption your agency will give you notice that there is a referral waiting for you. They used to just send you a picture and travel information, but in April of 2000, Russia changed the regulations to include that the adopting parents must receive their referrals personally, before the Russian Ministry on Education. When you receive your referral it should include a video tape of the child and any medical information on the child. If for some reason you are not happy with the referral, then your agency should work with you until you are happy. Once you are satisfied with your referral your agency will contact the Russian authorities to prepare the documents for the child being adopted. When the paper work is finished your agency should then contact you and let you know of your departure date and any travel information that you may need to know. Once you agree to a referral, families will take two trips to Russia. Most adoptive children are ready within six months of finding a family. Trip one is usually five to seven days. Usually one month after agreeing to the referral.

Families generally wait two to four months between the first and second trip. The second trip is usually about ten days. The adopted child will be able to go home ten days after the court hearing. In Russia if you get along well with your facilitator it will make it easier in the long run if you ever decide to adopt from Russia again.

Russia Defends Iranian Nuke Program; Considers Position Good Customer Service

While the civilized world has reacted with horror at Iran’s plan to harness the energy of the atom, as in bombs away, Russia has steadfastly defended the menacing mullahdom’s nuclear ambitions.

At first, any person distinguished for responsible behavior is taken back by such apparently reckless advocacy, not only because it seems wildly risky, if not outright self-destructive, but also because one does not expect it from people who have decided to present themselves as such reformed friends of humanity and trustworthy politicos that they dress in spiffy garb, instead of in their former universal drab.

We, however, turn to the hard-learned observation that, if anybody’s behavior doesn’t’ seem to make sense, you probably just don’t understand what his or her goals are.

Seen this way, the gremlin in the Kremlin is as obvious as the red power tie we often see dangling from Vladimir Putin’s neck. Iran buys weapons from Russia and will now buy enriched uranium, too, and Russia is just servicing the customer.

As V. P., who brought order to Russia by ordering his Russian cohorts around, said, “Once when I was in the KGB and didn’t have a lot to do, I read about the American department store tycoon, John Wanamaker, who once told a clerk, ‘When a customer comes in, forget about me.’ So when Iran comes up, I forget about everything but putting the customer first. It seems like the capitalist thing to do, and in the modern Russian economy, I think there’s at least room for that much free enterprise.”

One would think that there would be some awareness of the geographical limits of his enthusiasm. After all, Russia is a lot closer to Iran than we are. There are also other inescapable aspects of the client relationship that ought to be considered, among them that Vladimir and his gangsta-rich associates look as much like infidels to the Iranians currently steering their ship of state toward the reefs of war as we do.

What Lenin once said about capitalists apparently also applies to reformed communists: they would sell you the rope to hang them with.

Russia Travel Visa – Vodka and Old Friends

If you think getting a visa to travel to Russia is difficult, you should try getting one to travel around the country. Living in Russia, I needed just such a Russia travel visa.

Russia Travel Visa

Unlike many countries, foreigners in Russia must declare on their travel visa where they will travel in the country. If they want to add a location, they have to get a new, temporary visa for the location. Basically, it is red tape and bureaucracy out the ying yang.

While living in Siberia, I was invited to speak at a human rights conference in the town of Tinda. I wasn’t entirely sure where this was, but new I needed a temporary visa to get from my city to it. My host, Oleg Vladimirovich, told me getting one would be no problem. I should’ve known I was in trouble when our first stop was the liquor store.

Four vodka bottles in hand, we hit our first stop at the home of a retired customs official who was married to someone’s half brothers third sister and so on. We reminisced and drank shots for a half hour or so. Feeling no pain, the customs official called a friend and off we went to meet him while leaving the open vodka bottle behind.

At the new gentlemen’s home, we cracked our second bottle of vodka. Reminiscing was undertaken, which left me out of the process since I had never met the chap before. Eventually, another phone call was made and we were off to make a new friend.

As you can probably guess, this process was repeated two more times. At our final meeting, I was so “warm on the inside, cold on the outside” as Russians say when demurely sipping vodka that I was reminiscing with a man and wife who I had never met before in my life!

Eventually, we obtained the necessary visa or something that wouldn’t get me arrested. Oleg joked it was a “semi-visa”. It might work or might not. Seeing double, I headed home to pack my stuff for the train.

Eastern Russia – Vladivostok, Khabarovsk and Magadan

With an incredibly large land mass, Russia is really many countries in one. In this article, we take a look at travel destinations in the Far East.

Vladivostok

A naval port city on the Pacific Ocean, Vladivostok has a passing resemblance to a run down San Francisco. Home to the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy, the city has lost a little of its luster as spending on the military has dried up. Like San Francisco, the city is built on the hills surrounding a harbor with the center of the city sporting a nice collection of architecture from the pre-communist era. The city is dotted with parks and scenic points overlooking both the harbor and Sea of Japan. Although the center of the city is very clean the surrounding suburbs have unbelievable industrial pollution problems. As the saying goes, “A nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.”

Khabarovsk

The largest city in Eastern Russia, Khabarovsk is the headquarters of the Far Eastern Russian Military Command. The city is built on merge of two large rivers, the Amur and Ussuri. Vying with Vladivostok, the city is a major tourist hub for Asians flying into Russia and has a corresponding open atmosphere. Although Khabarovsk is primarily a military and industrial city, it is a good launching place to pursue inland activities such as fishing, exploring and hiking. The city is also an excellent location to pick up the Trans-Siberian Railway for the trek to the west.

Magadan

The town of Magadan is located in the far north of Russia on the Pacific Ocean. The town is very remote and can be classified as the stereotypical frozen Russian town in the middle of nowhere. So, why would anyone visit Magadan? The town has played a major role in the suppression of Russians throughout history.

Under Stalin’s rule, Magadan and the surrounding area was the final stop for many exiles. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of political prisoners and “undesirables” were sent to Magadan to be dispersed to labor camps mining for gold. Indeed, the only road to the town is known as the “road of bones” for the prisoners who died building it.

Today, a large memorial stands in Magadan in memory of the dead. Trips can also be arranged to visit the decrepit gulags and labor camps used so mercilessly by Stalin during the Red Terror. Ironically, the town has also gained a reputation with hunters and anglers as a launching point as game is plentiful in the area. Much like Auschwitz, a visit to Magadan serves to remind visitors of the evil man will visit upon his fellow man.

The cities and towns of Eastern Russia are nothing like those found in the west. Having lived in Russia for a year, however, I believe they are a better representation of the conditions in Russia as well as the soul of the country.

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