American juvenile Themis is thinking what to do with a raped orphan from Russia. Ksenia Antonova, who was abused by her adoptive American father, after the cancellation of the adoption will not be returned to Russia. Until she turns 21, she is likely to be contained in the area for "troubled teenagers" and then released, with no support from anyone and any future prospects.
A resident of the State of Georgia Michael Gizmor who raped his adopted daughter from Russia, no longer has the right to raise her. While the state police is working on the rapist "father", American juvenile authorities are thinking what to do with his former daughter. The adoption of the girl has been nulled for the second time. Ksenia is recognized as a troubled teenager, and, for objective reasons, has no prospect of getting into someone's "good hands".
Ksenia is now 17 years old. She is not a child any longer, but an adult with a complex life and a broken psyche. American families willingly adopt young orphans, albeit from disadvantaged families. Even from Russia, which many ordinary Americans think of as a "terribly underdeveloped country." Older Russian children however are often not wanted. If the U.S. authorities do not send them to their homeland, they are placed in an institution for troubled teens, simply put, to a reservation.
Pavel Astakhov, Russian ombudsman for Children's Rights, said that the Americans intend to place Ksenia into such a reservation. In the words of the ombudsman, a "ranch for troubled children" is the last U.S. refuge for Russian orphans abandoned on a number of reasons by their adoptive parents.
Until recently, these institutions were little known. Not only to the public, but also children and human rights activists. It happened because the Russian - American treaty on adoption has still not been signed. If there is no document, then the U.S. is not obliged to provide information on Russian young citizens who are adopted by Americans. Interested Russians should obtain information on their own. Consequently, information obtained is fragmentary and does no fully disclose the picture.
The first information about the "children's ranch" in America was obtain by a Russian consul who went late last year to Montana to visit a fairly well-known "children's ranch" of Joyce Sterkel.
At that time, Mrs. Sterkel was taking care of 34 abandoned teenagers from Russia. Mrs. Sterkel's wards had many issues: suicide, violence, including sexual, kleptomania, drug addiction and alcoholism. According to her, American public organizations help neither the adoptive parents nor their foster children. "The point of these organizations is just paperwork," she said in an interview with Time. Often, American child psychologists faced with the Russian children shrug their shoulders because they do not know the present situation in Russian orphanages and disadvantaged families. Accordingly, they cannot even properly diagnose or properly treat the disease.
Usually troubled Russian orphans in America will be immediately "titled" with two sinister abbreviations: FAS and RAD. FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome) is a syndrome of "drunken conception," fraught with severe brain damage. RAD (reactive attachment disorder) is a syndrome that makes a child see the world as hostile. Adoptive parents, even the most loving, would be perceived by such children as enemies or, at best, a means to obtain wealth.
Joyce Sterkel admitted to a correspondent of "Russian Reporter" that "love does not cure alcohol syndrome, organic brain damage and severe psychological trauma. As a minimum, special effort is required." Sterkel calls adoption an "extreme sacrifice" that American parents are often not ready for. They refuse to abandon their children, giving them to the government. But American officials themselves often do not know what to do, so they give these children to the "ranch" where orphans live in labor communes. The isolation of "reservations" from the big cities and patriarchal atmosphere shield them from the temptations of civilization. This, however, only lasts until they turn 21. At this age they must leave the "ranch" and start an independent life. They are not provided with housing or job opportunities and have to settle on their own. Therefore, the former "commune residents" are not fully adapted to life, and in many cases end up as homeless, criminals or simply kill themselves.
The fact that Ksenia Antonova will be sent to a "children's ranch" does not present an issue. She would be fine at Mrs. Sterkel ranch. The problem is that when she turns 21, she will be a troubled orphan from Russia, and an outcast in America. Pavel Astakhov is hopeful that the infamous Treaty on adoption will be signed. In this case, the girl may be sent to Russia.
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