Monday, 28 October 2013, 13:00
Prospective heterosexual parents who were anxiously awaiting their adoptive children to arrive to their new Maltese homes from Russia were shocked when they were informed that all adoptions from Russia have been put on hold pending the Maltese Parliament’s decision to legalise same-sex ‘marriage’.
Following reports in other media that adoptions from Russia have been ‘temporarily frozen’, this newspaper has seen correspondence of a Maltese couple who were preparing a new home for their adoptive daughter, born to Russian parents in Russia.
Notwithstanding the fact that most of the paperwork was complete and that the child was due to travel to Malta in the coming months, the married couple is now living a nightmare after receiving emails which have halted the process.
The couple was informed that due to the situation in Malta, with Parliament soon to legislate in favour of ‘civil unions’ giving same-sex couples the right to adopt, Russian authorities have pulled the hand-break on all possible adoptions to Maltese couples. This directive follows a Moscow court ruling which precluded Swedish gay couples from adopting from Russia. Russia is currently legislating against gay couples raising children of their own.
One particular expert in the field who preferred to remain anonymous told The Malta Independent that this could be a temporary setback and that following in-depth investigations by the Russian authorities on the applicants (adoptive parents) all will return on track.
However the expert did emphasis that given the hard stand taken by the Russian government against gay unions, Maltese applicants for Russian adoptions will be scrutinized in greater detail. It is also most likely that when the ‘gay marriage’ bill becomes law, for adoptions to continue, some kind of bilateral agreement will be needed between Russia and Malta that will exclude same-sex couples from adopting from Russia.
Adoptions from Russia to Maltese families account to 50% of all adoptions in the past three years. Other countries from where children have been adopted recently are Cambodia, Vietnam and Ethiopia. Yet difficulties are arising in these countries too, making it very hard for Maltese couples who wish to adopt to offer a loving home to children whose future is bleak.
Countries like Pakistan and Romania were previously the most popular destinations from where adoptions took place but now that these destinations became ‘out of reach’ with no bilateral agreements in place between Malta and these countries, Russia had become the most preferred option.
Maltese couples adopting children from Russia have to pay legal fees amounting between €20,000 and €30,000 for one adoption.