Home > B2 > National Adoption or National Abuse: What can the President do?

National Adoption or National Abuse: What can the President do?

On January 21, 2013, a Russian child, Maxim Shatto (Maxim Kuzmin), was brutally beaten and killed in his home in Texas. This story became controversial after Moscow began to create a new law disallowing US citizens to adopt Russian orphans since they believe that Americans are adopting these kids in order to abuse them and use them for child labor: “Moscow has said its ban was justified by the deaths of 19 Russian-born children adopted by U.S. parents in the past decade, and what they perceive as lenient treatment of the parents, (Reuters).” U.S. authorities and Texas child welfare authorities are investigating allegations of the child abuse and neglect in the case, but Texas Department of Family and Protective Services would take about at least a month or more to fully process the situation. Even the Russia’s Investigative Committee, are opening 10 more investigations involving situations similar to that of Maxim Shatto.

President Barack Obama should play the voice of the people and deliver a speech to the whole world and discuss about the problems occurring  within international adoptions. Obama should act fast soon and discuss this situation with Congress before China as well decides to put a ban on Americans adopting their orphans. China is the leading country for international adoptions and if Russia, being the second most adoptive nation, placed a ban on Americans adopting adopting, then China would most likely follow them as well. The reason being is that these nations, as much as Russia and China want their orphans to be adopted, do not want the orphan’s human rights to be violated nor do they want to miss the opportunity to show that they care about protecting their children. Hence, President Barack Obama needs to go to Congress and at least come up with a plan to help prevent these types of problems, after all, keeping a nice relationship with these nations is what is keeping America on it’s feet in its tough economical times. According to Simon Shuster of Time World, “Over the past 20 years, more than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by American families, and 19 of them have died in their care through negligence or domestic violence. Each death is a tragedy, but the rate of child mortality, deprivation and abuse in Russian orphanages is far higher.” This just shows how serious the situation really is because even though the mortality rate is not that high, they are still orphans who are looking for a better life except instead they are abused to the brink of death.  The worst part is that the U.S. embassy decided not to immediately comment on this issue in Moscow, and being hesitant only shows a form of guilt, which in this case it shows the U.S.’s guilt of not taking the initiative and trying to resolve these situations.

Barack Obama has the potential to issue the international adoption problem throughout the whole world by using his resources available to him, since according to Neustadt, a president must use his resources carefully yet at the same time take advantage of them: “Presidential power derives primarily…from the president’s personal ability to persuade people to do what he wants” (Neustadt 217).” The President can use social media sites to keep the people updated on his discussions with Congress and the Russian government, and he could use internacional television to broadcast any speeches or messages to even in the world to follow. With the constant evolution of technology, it makes the Presidents job much easier to address these types of issues to the public and the world. Hopefully the President would take action and do something about the child abuse in international adoptions with Congress and the Russian government so deaths like that of Maxim Shatto would not be in vain.

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