Local Family Speaks Out About Russian Ban - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Local Family Speaks Out About Russian Ban Recently Signed Into Law

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Scott Boyd always wanted a big family.

Kirsten said, "We had some friends who were adopting from Ethiopia...I looked into adoption and thought about it and prayed about it and talked to him about it and I think, at first, he thought I was crazy."

Eventually, Kirsten and Scott decided to adopt a child from Russia.

Kirsten said, "People always ask, well, there's so many children in the United States, why don't you adopt from here? The only answer I can give is it's just a personal decision."


After visiting the orphanage for the first time...they couldn't get their baby home fast enough.

Kirsten said, "The first pictures that we saw of her, her face was very sad and it didn't really look like there was any life in her, just, she didn't have any joy."

Statistics estimate more than 700,000 orphans live in Russia.

"There was no sound. You couldn't hear a baby cry. You couldn't hear a child scream," said Kirsten.

Scott added, "Very clean, everything was white...I think it was just very cold, very cold...sad...very bare."

To this day, Sophia hardly ever cries.

"They just train themselves to soothe themselves because when they cry, no one has come."

Scott said, "The room that she slept in, 18 - 20 cribs just pushed as tight as you could get them into a room."

In most cases, children "age out" of Russian orphanages at the age of 16.

Statistics estimate, 80% of the girls go into prostitution.

"The highest percentage of orphans in Russia come to America," Kirsten said.

Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a measure saying American families will not be allowed to adopt any Russian child after January 1st.

Kirsten asked, "How could any human being deny any child the right to have a loving family?"

Backers of the Russian bill cite 19 deaths of adopted Russian children since the 1990s.

And in 2010, an American woman sparked outrage after she sent her adopted 7 year - old son back to Russia alone on a one-way flight.

"That happened when we were going through the process...we were told that Russia may stop adoptions...a little bit of me can understand how these parents are feeling," Kirsten said.

The ban could affect hundreds of U.S. families trying to adopt.

Kirsten said, "We have some friends in Dallas who, they've been on their first trip and they've seen their daughter...she has hope that the law will be overturned eventually."

It took the Boyds three trips and 18 months before they could bring their little "Russian princess" home.

"She's a joy. She's a delight. She's happier than most children I've ever known," Kirsten added.

They hope President Putin recognizes the loving, happy and supportive homes people want to provide his nation's children.

This move by President Putin is seen by some as retaliation for a law President Barack Obama signed on December 14, which imposes U.S. travel and financial restrictions on human rights abusers in Russia.

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