INDIANAPOLIS — When they adopted their son from a Russian orphanage in 2007, veterinarian Dan Genatiempo and his wife, Nancy, endured a year filled with red tape, tens of thousands of dollars in travel costs and months of anxious waiting.
The suburban Indianapolis couple recently began the process of adopting a Russian sister for their now 6-year-old son, Max. But they aren’t overly optimistic that their second adoption will be any easier, despite the Russian parliament’s approval of a long-awaited agreement to simplify the adoptions by Americans.
“I think it’s going to be a beneficial thing, but as far as changing the process real drastically, I honestly don’t expect it to,” Dan Genatiempo said Wednesday.
The adoption climate between the two nations soured in April 2010, when a Tennessee woman put her 7-year-old son alone on a plane with a one-way ticket back to Russia. She said the boy had emotional problems and claimed she had been misled by a Russian orphanage about his condition.
Russian officials responded by threatening to halt all adoptions by Americans.
Adoption agencies and prospective parents hope the agreement ratified on Tuesday will ease tensions between the two countries over the abuse and deaths of Russian children adopted by U.S. parents. Russian officials say at least 19 adopted children have died at the hands of their American parents.
Opportunities for international adoptions have declined dramatically in recent years as countries such as China have tightened restrictions and begun promoting domestic adoption and foster care to keep more children in their native countries.
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