"The Dark Matter of Love," a documentary that follows three Russian children adopted by an American family, has met its goal of raising £50,000 for a tour of Russia and the United States. The filmmaker, Sarah McCarthy, hopes her film will bring greater scrutiny to the ban on American adoptions of Russian orphans.
McCarthy never intended to make a documentary that would become part of a political campaign. The film follows the adoption of Masha, Marcel and Vadim by the Diaz family. At the beginning of this year, after filming was complete, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a ban on all adoptions to the United States.
Using a few high-profile cases as examples, Putin voiced an impression that Russian orphans received in the United States were destined for a life of abuse and mistreatment. McCarthy realized that her film could be a tool to counter that stereotype and show that Russian orphans can have a chance at a normal life if given an opportunity to be adopted. more >>
As Christian concern for the orphan and the importance of family for all children has gained momentum, criticism of Christian practices and, more recently, their motives in serving orphans has increased. Some of these criticisms are fair, and certainly any malpractice must be rooted out and condemned by Christians as a violation of human rights and of our responsibility as stewards of the gospel. But during my time working for President Obama-where I helped to lead The White House's engagement of adoption issues during President Obama's first term-I learned even more deeply that the real story of the Christian adoption movement is a cause for optimism and perseverance.
During my time in government, the adoption community was a source of inspiration. I was able to work with faith-based adoption service providers like Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Charities that work tirelessly to find kids a home. We partnered with non-profit organizations like the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, the National Council for Adoption and the Evan B. Donaldson Institute, that bring together the most rigorous research on how to support children and push policymakers to do their job. The federal government's initiative, AdoptUSKids, along with organizations like Focus on the Family and Adoption Journey help those who may just be thinking about adoption walk through what can be a complicated process, and provide a community of care around adoptive families. Organizations like Bishop Charles Blake's Save Africa's Children, and World Vision perform valiantly to serve orphans internationally. Finally--and most importantly--I had the opportunity to meet thousands of foster kids and adoptive families. Their love, perseverance and dedication should be a source of pride and inspiration, not ideological battles.
The Christian motivation to care for orphans and support adoption is not nefarious, it is plain: adoption offers a picture of our Heavenly Father's love for us ("the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father." Romans 8:15b), and our caring for the orphan is an outflow of the love we have been given what one of Jesus' original disciples called "true religion" (James 1:27). more >>
A pair of U.S. Senators who co-chair the Congressional Coalition on Adoption have introduced a piece of legislation that would create a federal level "Responsible Father Registry."
Democratic Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana and Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma introduced on Thursday the Protecting Adoption and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act of 2013.
In a statement, Sen. Landrieu argued that the proposed national registry would be valuable to fathers across the country. "By establishing a national registry, we can better ensure that any father has the chance to be involved in the life of a child he may have fathered," said Landrieu. more >>
The U.S. Senate approved an amendment Tuesday to the immigration reform bill that provides automatic citizenship to all persons who were born outside the United States and were adopted by U.S. citizens. The provision would fix a controversial law that has led to the deportation of adoptees who lived most of their lives in the United States.
Called the "Citizenship for Lawful Adoptees Amendment," the fix would give citizenship to all of those who were adopted as children by U.S. citizens.
In 2001, inter-country adoptees were given automatic citizenship, but it was not made retro-active for those over 18 years old at the time. There are some adults in the United States today who were adopted, brought to the United States as infants, grew up in the United States, but are not citizens because their parents failed to apply for citizenship for them. more >>
A new documentary that follows the lives of three Russian orphans adopted by American parents will be screened at the Moscow International Film Festival. The filmmaker, Sarah McCarthy, hopes the film will build support to end the ban on Russian adoptions to the United States.
McCarthy never set out to make a political documentary, she explained to The Christian Post. There was no adoption ban when she began the film, "The Dark Matter of Love." It follows the adoption of three Russian children, 11-year-old Masha (11) and five-year-old twin brothers Marcel and Vadim, by the Diaz family – Claudio, Cheryl, and their 15-year-old daughter, Cami.
Parenting adopted kids presents its own unique challenges, which the film makes clear. Kids raised in orphanages tend toward two extremes, Dr. Robert Marvin, a developmental and clinical psychology expert who helps families who adopt orphans, explains in the film. They generally deal with emotion through one of two extremes: frequents outbursts – viewers get a taste of this with Marcel and Vadim's profanity-laden tantrums; or, they shut down all emotion, as Masha expertly demonstrates. more >>
When we gaze across the pond at our European cousins, the general assumption is that we're looking at our future. From food and fashion to politics and culture, Europe is on the cutting edge – the avant-garde.
Depending on your ideological sympathies, this is either seen as a good thing or a bad thing. Conservatives see Europe's shrinking families, Socialist governments, and empty churches and shudder to think America is on the same track. Progressives swoon at the idea of America evolving towards a progressive, multicultural, global-minded future.
One would assume, then, that when it comes to hot button social issues like abortion and gay marriage, Europeans would be of one mind – the Progressive mind. But assumptions, as we well know, are often wrong. more >>