Will Obama Push Putin On Adoption Restrictions? — Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has joined a bipartisan group of senators and congressmen to ask President Obama to raise the issue of Russia’s ban on U.S. adoptions with President Vladimir Putin at G8 Summit, which will take place June 17-18 at a luxury golf resort in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, which is about 80 miles west of Belfast.
“I am urging a humanitarian solution for those Russian orphans who have already met and bonded with their American families, yet were not able to have their adoptions completed due to the ban,” he said. “They have become known as “pipeline” families.”
Toomey noted that Americans have been able to adopt Russian orphans for 20 years, during which time over 60,000 Russian children were welcomed to the United States.
“An overwhelming majority has found loving, nurturing homes, including many in Pennsylvania,” Toomey said. “President Putin’s ban eliminates the possibility of a new life with a caring American family. It is shocking that the Russian government would punish the most vulnerable members within its society – orphan children. I hope President Obama can convince President Putin that the welfare of children should not be used as a bargaining chip for diplomatic retribution.”
Frank and Lisa Barhight of Kingsley, were among the couples seeking help from Toomey.
“The Russian Ministry of Education referred to us two beautiful Russian orphan boys; ages one and three. The moment we held these children in our arms, a bond was formed and we became a family,” Barhight siad. “We were in Vladivostok, Russia when President Putin signed the ban. As soon as we returned from Russia, we contacted Senator Pat Toomey for assistance. Senator Toomey and his staff have shown tremendous concern and empathy for our family. Now is the time for President Obama to engage with President Putin and find a solution to allow us to finish our adoptions and bring these children home.”
Toomey’s letter can be found here