In the children’s best interests

Nagasaki

Regarding the Jan. 4 editorial, “Russia’s orphans as political pawns“: Over the past 10 years, four times more children have died in the U.S. from domestic violence than have soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of the wars. This is the worst death rate in the developed world. It casts doubt on the assumption that Russian orphans are necessarily better off in the United States than they are in Russia. Who knows what awaits these children in the U.S.?

In December, the U.S. organization Childhelp (an advocate for children affected by violence) released a report that, every day in the country, more than five children die for reasons related to violence. Authors of the study concluded that the U.S. has the worst record of all developed countries. More than 80 percent of the children believed to have died from violence are reportedly under 4 years old. In approximately 60 percent of the cases, death certificates do not specify that the cause of death was abuse.

Separately, a BBC investigation concluded that in the past 10 years, nearly 20,000 children have died in the U.S. in their own homes at the hands of family members.

According to Russian Federation authorities, 60,000 adopted Russian children have left for the U.S. The fate of many is unknown, but a number of them have been raped, starved or abandoned. For example, Dima Yakovlev, age 2, died after his American adoptive parents left him in a car for nine hours in hot weather.

One Russian mother was expelled from Norway after she complained to police that her Norwegian husband was regularly raping her son from a previous marriage. The son remained with the man she had accused of rape. Russia should ban adoptions by foreigners when the fates of these children cannot be determined.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

dipak basu