, 11 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
There's actually serious geopolitical reason this "adoption" issue keeps coming up. @KremlinRussia Putin signed law banning adoption Russian orphans by #US citizens to retaliate for #Magnitsky Act by which Russians face sanction for human rights abuses 1/ nytimes.com/2012/12/28/wor…
#US Congress adopted Magnitsky over @BarackObama admin objections. White House feared diplo retaliation. But Congress was dead-set on replacing cold war-era Jackson–Vanik amendment. Putin claimed in parallel that he was powerless to stop @dumagovru from imposing adoption ban 2/
Of course that wasn't true. But Russia loves tit-for-tat. Crimea justified by Kosovo. There's always a kernel of truth but it's also always more complicated. In this case, the adoption ban was outright cruel - harming children already suffering who had chance for better lives 3/
More than barrel bombs in #Syria or any other policy this one must weigh on #Putin's conscience. These were innocent #Russian orphans. Families were lined up to adopt them & #Russia govt blocked it all. There is real debate to be had over morals & motives of intl adoption 4/
Some #US parents clearly would prefer to adopt white Russian child rather than equally needy child of color already in #US. Cultural differences can be awfully difficult to surmount. Many kids arrive already troubled/suffering (fetal alcohol syndrome etc) Tragic things happen 5/
.@rachelswarns & I wrote about one such case here: nytimes.com/2013/09/01/us/… 6/
Who the heck knows what's at core of conversations btw @realDonaldTrump & @KremlinRussia. But waving off adoption issue as irrelevant or insignificant to great awful mess of #US / #Russia relations is a mistake. Magnitsky Act was a game-changer as @Billbrowder can attest 7/
That #Russia govt wd be so enraged about prospect of human rights sanctions as to ban adoptions, harm kids reveals something. Partly seems rooted in a sentiment - justified or not - that #US will never get over "winning" cold war. Stuff like Jackson–Vanik can't just disappear 8/
For sure #Magnitsky has flaws. Those listed for sanction don't get equal protection under law, or any court hearing necessarily, or even any defense. But other mechanisms also proven insufficient to deter grave human rights abuses. And somehow orphans got caught in the middle. 9/
Visit a Russian orphanage & see firsthand. Those children have it hard enough. And it's a safe bet whatever Trump & Putin are talking about, those kids are not the top priority. 10/10
Commemorating International Children's Protection Day at orphanage in Pechory, Russia. June 2013.
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