Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hot Topic: Russian Adoptions

"When I heard about the adoptive family who sent their 7-year-old boy back to Russia, I was saddened, but I wasn't surprised," said Josephine Ruggiero, parent of three Russian siblings and author of the article, "When Adoption Isn't Easy" (Newsweek, 4/26/10). Neither was Leap Books author Jackie Horsfall.

Jackie's soon-to-be-released novel, For the Love of Strangers (Fall, 2010), mirrors the attachment and behavioral issues faced by adoptive families, and now splashed across news headlines: "Shipping an Adopted Son Back to Russia" (New York Times 4/9/10) and "Why Won't Anyone Adopt These Kids?" (CNN, 4/28/10).

"It's a hot news item now," Jackie says, "but I wrote the first draft of my novel over ten years ago, after learning of a friend's trip to Russia to adopt two children.  I saw the adjustment struggles these kids were having right from the start."

But Jackie also saw glimmers of hope after traveling to St. Petersburg.  "Russia has many problems but also a powerful mythology, one I've allowed my 16-year-old protagonist to personify.  I hope every struggling Russian child, and his or her adoptive family, can identify with Darya's situation and have a conversation about it."

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