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The statement “Families for all orphans” which allowed about 20 thousand of small children to find families in 2008 was forgotten together with the abolishing of the Ministry in charge of the family and youth affairs.
The adoption peak in Ukraine caused definite reaction of the boarding school staffs. Seems, not wanted any more and thus abandoned boarding schools should be a dream of each sensible person. But because of the fear to lose their jobs boarding school staffs have started their own campaign of “artificial orphan-making”. Fallen within such a “help” program, any child who has found himself in a boarding school “for a while” runs the risk of remaining an orphan forever.
The Pogonyshev family in Veselovskoye, Volnyansk district of the Zaporozhye region, fell a prey to alcoholism. This situation led to the absence of any kind of upbringing within the family. Older children are already in a boarding school; as for the younger ones, they still live with their parents but acute problems are evident: the daughter has completed her first grade of the primary school but hasn’t learned either to read or to write. The family head confesses he is close to sending his younger children to the boarding school as well. The Service in part of the children’s affairs, the village council and the social service in charge of the family and youth are aware of the situation but they have never taken any action. The Pogonyshev family has become an illustration of an “asocial family” for journalists and social service staffs; and that is all of the attention they’ve got from the state bodies: no one is going to investigate the reasons and really help the family. Instead, boarding schools are always ready to accept their children.
«Russian roulette» concerning orphans
This story is typical for contemporary Ukraine. It’s in this that the principle of “touring villages” works best – the principle developed by the boarding school staffs in order to “improve” lives of children from asocial families. Such parents as the Pogonyshevs are offered to send their children to boarding schools “for a while”. This takes minimum of effort and has a lot of “pluses”. First, the burden of material expenses is taken off the parents’ shoulders and put on the state when the child gets full state support. Besides, it is easier to obtain such things as computers, TV games, hot running water or even a new teddy in boarding schools. Often parents in their sincere wish to provide their children with the best do not know that if staying in the boarding schools for long, their children acquire psychological features of orphans’ behavior and as a result they adapt to the different life beyond the boarding school walls with great difficulties.
It happens sometimes asocial mother and father are against parting with their treasure. Then the boarding school representatives can “threaten” such parents with depriving them of their parental rights for good.
And sure a lot of families do not have the slightest idea about the difficulties to be faced on the way. Often parents do not have any possibilities to visit their children in the boarding schools at least once in two months as required by the Law - due to the absence of the means of transportation or money for the trips. It’s then that the hidden dangers become more evident. The parents can really be deprived of their parental rights. And this kind of problem solving is far from the best, because boarding schools being interested in filling in the vacant places do not undertake any activities on settling such children in full families where they would be loved and taken adequate care of.
The result of this approach is illustrated by the rigorous statistics of the graduates of the “institutions of ruined lives” - 70% of the boys deprived of parental love and care widen the number of criminal “authorities”; 60% of the girls become prostitutes and strip-tease dancers. And each tenth of them eventually commits suicide.
In general, children from boarding schools face a chance to build a happy life equal 40%. The chances to win the “Russian roulette” are twice as big. Then, why those who must help such children make them turn this drum?
Nature abhors a vacuum
The child sent to a boarding school “for a while” runs the risk of becoming an orphan for ever
Ukrainian officials started to rejoice too early stating that “at last children have implemented their right to be brought up in Ukrainian families”. It has turned out that this propaganda campaign of all-Ukrainian adoption is in conflict with the interests of boarding schools. The drastically reduced number of orphans has endangered their existence.
According to Lyudmila Voronets, co-chairman of the administration of the “Children protection service”, a former director of the state department in charge of adoption and protection of children’s rights, - the Zaporozhye region occupies one of the leading positions in the negative rating of the “artificial orphan-making”.
At present, there are 16 thousand orphans in Ukraine. During the last year these institutions have already taken 7 thousand children more due to the program of the “artificial orphan-making”.
There is one more important thing to this. Among other requirements, European Union has set a task for Ukraine to decrease the number of families deprived of parental rights. In this, the principle of “touring villages” helps in avoiding problems because officially the parents are not deprived of their rights; their children are simply taken to the boarding schools. Everyone is “happy”: the mother and father get financial freedom, often together with the freedom from their own child; the boarding school gets a new pupil.
Somehow no one remembers that the EU requirements said about the necessity of psychological and sociological work with problematic families and those that are approaching this state, and about the requirement for the authorities to grant them financial support. As usual, officials holding tight to their positions remember about children least of all.
Do I have rights?
There is a regulation about children’s homes saying that children from problematic families can temporarily live in boarding schools and orphanages. The same regulation is included in the statutes of the Ukrainian boarding houses and orphanages. The boarding school staffs state that it’s not possible to foresee everything that can happen in life. But in accordance with the Law the main categories of people having the right to temporarily send their children to the state funded orphanages are single mothers and mothers of children suffering from any kind of disabilities. Or a family can simply be in a crisis situation: with no money for the child’s food, no possibility to send the child to a kindergarten when the mother has to find a job. Some of the rehabilitation orphanages can even accept children from full families if these children find it difficult to adapt in a kindergarten because of, let’s say, some problems with speech or sight defects.
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