Local group prays for end to Russian adoption ban

SYLVANIA, OH (Toledo News Now) - The United States is the biggest destination for adopted Russian orphans.

Sixty thousand have been taken in by Americans in the last twenty years.

But for the time being at least, adoptions of Russian children in America has come to an end.

The group 'Friends of Russian Orphans" held a prayer vigil Sunday at the McCord Road Christian Church in Sylvania.

President Vladimir Putin just signed a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian orphans.

The Putin bill is retaliation for an American law that calls for sanctions against Russian officials considered human rights violators.

"These children don't have a future in Russia. There are hundreds of thousands institutionalized in Russia. Their likelihood of finding a family is very, very small," said Lisa Wurster of Friends of Russian Children.

At the vigil is nine year old Alexander Sasha Carr.

His parents, Timothy and Catherine Carr, met him at a church visitation program in Toledo.

They instantly fell in love with the Russian orphan and adopted him.

"Once you meet someone and see the need, then you have to respond, so that's what we did," said Mr. Carr.

"Many of the children stay institutionalized and in a few years he would be thrown on the street," added Ms. Carr.

Daniel and Kendra Pinkelman's plans for adopting a seven year old boy are on hold.

The paperwork was in place and everything looked like a go until the Putin bill.

The boy remains stranded in Russia.

"It wasn't a Russian child versus American child or ethnicity. It was just the child that touched us in particular," said Ms. Pinkelman.

"We just feel a real peace that at some point this little guy is going to be ours. We'll hold onto that hope and faith we have and pray a lot for that to happen," added Mr. Pinkelman.

Vigil organizers say there's some behind the scenes diplomacy going on to either reverse or water down the Putin bill.

For now, they're turning to a higher power for guidance.

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