April 14, 2010
Dear fellow FRUA members:
The National Board of Directors of Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption, Including Neighboring Countries, is taking the unusual step of contacting you twice in one week because of the potential repercussions of the extraordinary decision by an American parent to return her adopted child to Russia. The incident prompted some top Russian officials to threaten to put a hold on adoptions of Russian children by U.S. families. Sue Gainor, FRUA National Chair, has conducted many media interviews in recent days and has emphasized FRUA’s concern that this one incident could jeopardize the chances of thousands more children in Russian orphanages to join ”forever families” and to thrive, as the overwhelming majority of adoptees have to date.
Below is a Call to Action issued by the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, whose members include many of the adoption agencies authorized to operate in Russia. The FRUA Board wants to make you aware of the initiatives embodied in the Call to Action in the event that you would like to participate in any or all of them. The message in the petition is consistent with FRUA’s general support for measures to avert a suspension of adoptions. The Tell Your Truth request for adoption stories echoes the Love Letters campaign that FRUA sponsored several years ago. Those poignant stories were well-received by Russian officials and media alike.
FRUA will continue to emphasize that our families feel fortunate to have our children and are grateful to their birth countries for entrusting them to our care.
From: Joint Council of International Children’s Services
We Are The Truth
A Campaign and Call to Action
The outrageous treatment of Artyem by his adoptive family has rightfully resulted in outrage by the Governments of Russia and the United States and all who care about children. The tragedy has cast a light on intercountry adoption that says it is not safe, the system failed and adopted children cause insurmountable problems. The heartbreak of Artyem Saviliev’s abandonment has once again elevated a singular incident to a level which may result in the suspension of intercountry adoption. Suspending adoption, even temporarily, will only cause thousands of children to suffer the debilitating effects of life in an orphanage.
You, the community of adoptees, adoptive parents, adoptive grandparents, child welfare professionals and child advocates know that the outrageous and indefensible actions of one parent are not indicative of how children are treated by adoptive families. You know that families who encounter difficulties do not simply abandon their child. You know that help is available, that solutions are found and that families can thrive. And you know that suspending adoption does not protect children but only subjects them to the depravity of an institution…and an entire life without a family.
You, the adoption community know the truth. You live the truth. You are the truth.
Join our campaign to bring the truth to light and help children in need find a permanent and safe family.
What You Can Do
1) Sign the letter to President Medvedev and President Obama: The letter asks both Presidents to ensure that intercountry adoption continues uninterrupted and to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone involved in the abuse of children. You can sign anytime, but doing so before Tuesday night would help us get the letters to both Presidents before President Medvedev leaves the U.S. To sign the letter, click here.
2) We Are The Truth – an adoption blogger day: To ensure the world knows about every successful adoption, on Thursday, April 15, 2010 blog about your adoption or the adoption of someone you know. It doesn’t matter if your adoption is with Russia, domestic or otherwise international. Let the world know your truth!
3) Tell Your Truth with Video – make sure the world sees, hears and feels the thousands of successful adoptions from Russia by:
- Send Joint Council your successful Russian adoption video via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Video should be a maximum of 3 minutes.
- A release must be sent to Joint Council or we cannot accept your video. For a copy of the release, click here.
- Joint Council will translate the video into Russian and post it on our YouTube Channel.
4) Tell Your Truth with Words and Photos
- Send Joint Council your successful Russian adoption story via email to email@example.com. Send us your stories through:
- Photos (please do not send more than 10)
- Essays (maximum 500 words)
- A release must be sent to Joint Council or we cannot accept your story and/or pictures. For a copy of the release, click here.
- Joint Council will then compile the stories and pictures, translate them into Russian and post them on our website and/or blog.
5) Share Your Truth
- Joint Council will post, forward and share your stories via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Joint Council will be updating our YouTube Channel and Facebook page as the stories get compiled and translated, please subscribe to us on YouTube, Twitter and Fan us on Facebook.
- You do the same by posting on your Facebook, Twitter, blog and website!
Want to help more?
- Are you willing to speak to the media about your Russian adoption? If so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- Your name(s)
- City, State of residence
- Contact Phone Numbers
- Contact Email
- Short 4 sentence bio about your adoption
- Do you speak Russian?
- We are in need of individual volunteers who can help our staff translate the videos and text quickly. If you are interested in helping, email Joint Council at email@example.com.
- Do you live in the Alexandria, VA area?
- Joint Council is in need of short term volunteers over the next two weeks, email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to volunteer.