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Russia's homophobic hatred of gays is hurting more and more people and infants by the second.
A Halifax couple says their dreams of adopting a child have been crushed by Russian politics.
Pam and Adam Webber were in the final stages of a year-long adoption process. They thought they'd be flying to Russia this fall to bring home a toddler, but then they heard Canadian adoptions of Russian children were in limbo. “It's just heart wrenching and really hard to take,” said Pam.
International adoption was the end of the line for her. She and her husband tried fertility treatment and adopting from within the province with no luck.
“We wanted a family. We wanted a young family. We wanted a very involved family. I was the little girl who asked Santa for her own baby,” she said. Adam Webber said they chose Russia because they heard the process is quicker. “Quick being a year or two, as opposed to three or more years like a lot of places,” he said.
But soon the Webbers starting hearing about a change in Russia’s attitude on adoption.Single parents and same-sex couples were barred. A Russian law banning adoptions by U.S. citizens was rushed through parliament in December and sped to President Vladimir Putin's desk in less than 10 days in retaliation over a U.S. law calling for sanctions on Russians identified as human-rights violators. Then, earlier this month, the country stopped adoptions to Sweden because it allows same-sex marriages.
But there was no word on Canada, so the Webbers prepared a toddler's room and Pam quit her job so she could fly to Russia at a moment's notice this fall. Still, they braced for bad news. On Tuesday, the Webber’s fears were confirmed by their Ontario adoption agency. “It’s been a long couple of weeks trying to get answers and officially we found out today that Canada-Russia adoptions are suspended,” she said.
In 2012 UNICEF estimated that there are about 740,000 children not in parental custody in Russia while about 18,000 Russians are on the waiting list to adopt a child.
“It's those children that aren't necessarily chosen by the people in country that could have gone somewhere else and been loved,” said Pam.
You may not know that Putin is turning Russia into another Uganda without the help of anti-gay US pastors.
There are few places on earth as inhospitable to gays as Uganda. The nation is weighing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would punish homosexual acts with draconian punishments.
And the situation’s only been exacerbated by American evangelicals preaching anti-gay dogma in Uganda — rushing into the vacuum left by the collapse of Idi Amin’s regime in 1979. Roger Ross Williams’ new documentary, “God Loves Uganda,” depicts the process by which American proselytizers have taught anti-gay hatred to the people of Uganda. Characters in the film include Scott Lively, the author of anti-gay screed “The Pink Swastika”; Jono Hall, a media trainer teaching students at the International House of Prayer how to make multimedia production; and Jo Anna Watson, a mentor to young prospective missionaries to Uganda.