COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned Americans from adopting Russian children, immediately affecting 50 children who were already in the adoption process.
Putin says the ban is a response to a new U.S. law calling for sanctions against people in Russia found to be violating human rights.
Right now there are about 740,000 children without parents in Russia, and one Colorado family is now being affected by the new ban.
The Wells family in Colorado Springs is almost complete.
“We have room in our hearts and in our house and feel we are capable of adopting,” Sarah Wells said.
After serving a mission in Russia, Sarah and her husband Josh knew they wanted to adopt a Russian orphan into their family.
“We got to know their plight, if you will, and how difficult it is to be in an orphanage in Russia,” Sarah said. “It’s not like the foster care system here.”
“There is a lot of interest, there continues to be a lot of interest, and there’s a tremendous amount of need,” Heidi Hendricks with Lutheran Family Services said.
Sarah is looking to meet that need and is working with Lutheran Family Services during her adoption process.
“We’re looking for a little girl. The Russian government will be making a match, and they haven’t done that yet,” Sarah said.
That might not happen now after Putin made the ban official.
“Personally for us, I’m not sad because we don’t have a child assigned to us yet,” Sarah said. “I’m sad for the children in Russia.”
For Sarah and several adoption agencies, there is a fear it’s all about politics and it’s victimizing children.
“We know that there are going to be issues that our governments have to get in and duke it out about,” Hendricks said. “What we hope is that children are never in the middle of that.”
“I would beg them to look at the percentages and just get to know some families who, like us, are normal and good and well educated,” Sarah said.