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Open Letter From American Mother of Russian Kids

October 6, 2006, 0:00 3073 www.russiablog.org

Dear Yury,

My name is Jen McLaughlin. My husband and I have adopted three children that were born in Russia. While looking for articles about the orphanage abuse that occurred in late July, 2006 in Krasnoyarsk, I came across your story about the "Boys for Sale". It has had a profound affect on me. Thank you VERY MUCH for doing the research, then reporting your findings. I view the article differently than most of the folks who replied, I view it as a mom who realizes that the abused boys could have been my sons, and still could be.

In February, 2006, I contacted the Krasnoyarsk Ministry Of Education (MOE) regarding siblings of my sons' that may be in the Orphanage system. I found that my son, Patrick, has a brother who is living in a Krasnoyarsk orphanage. (That is why I was researching articles about the orphanage abuse.) Since the MOE has yet to disclose which orphanage he is in, one of the five abused could have easily been my son's brother. Since finding out about Igor, I have been desperately working on getting him home to live with his brother, my son. The immediate problem is that their birth mother has yet to terminate parental rights and the MOE cannot locate her. Due to my desire to share the rich Russian Culture and their heritage with my children, I hired a searcher who located my sons' birth families in September of 2004. He provided me with the birth mother's sisters' addresses and mother's address. So I believe she can be found.

Igor is just one of thousands that are in a similar situation, waiting for the birth mother to voluntarily terminate parental rights or for the Court to do it for her. If the Court terminates her parental rights, I understand it to be a minimum of an 18 month process, a minimum of 12 months on the "Watch List" then 6 months for the birth mom to have time to "rehabilitate" herself, this does not include any additional time needed to get Court Dates, vacation time, etc. 18 months to a child is an eternity!!! Especially when this child has parents and siblings who want to meet all of his needs and more.

Research on Post Institutionalized Children shows that for every three months that a child is in an orphanage, the child is most likely developmentally delayed by a month. For Igor, this means that he will most likely be delayed an additional six months while the Court terminates his birth mother's parental rights. If their birth mother had the law explained to her, she would be able to make an educated decision regarding Igor's future.

We have found several barriers in the United States and in Russia which face the orphaned siblings. Our situation is different than most. Instead of "There are too many orphans and not enough families", there is a group of us who have found that there are families who want to love, parent, and provide for these Orphaned Siblings, we just can't get them home. I am one parent of many that have united to change work with the U.S. and Russian governments regarding Orphaned Siblings. We are desperately wanting to bring our children's siblings home. We are starting with Russia as this is where our children were born, and plan to expand to include other countries as adoptive parents who have orphaned siblings in other countries come forward.

We would appreciate it if you would help spread the word about our group in any way possible. We would also appreciate any advice and leads that would help us reach our goal of uniting international siblings. We are open to any and all suggestions.

Thank you very much for your time. Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information or have any questions.


Jen McLaughlin

www.JourneyToIgor [at] Yahoo.com


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