Baby clothes hang on miniature plastic hangers in the closet of the fully-furnished nursery in Robert and Kim Summers' home in Freehold, New Jersey.
With the crib assembled and a stroller ready to roll, the childless couple have waited two years to adopt a child from an orphanage in Russia after eight trying years, that included three miscarriages and four unsuccessful IVF attempts, in their struggle to have a child.
This year, a little red-headed boy at an orphanage in Kaluga, Russia stole their hearts and they promised the little one that he would soon become part of their 'forever family' in America.
Now the Summers are among the 1,500 American families desperately pleading with the Russian and American
governments to allow their adoptions to proceed in spite of the adoption ban signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
Over the past 20 years, more than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by Americans. Estimates show that 650,000 children are considered orphans in Russia and many live in state run institutions with conditions considered appalling by American standards.
The adoption of Russian children by Americans has come under scrutiny though after cases of abuse and neglect.
In 2009, a Tennessee woman, Torry-Ann Hansen, adopted a boy, Artem Saveliev, from a Russian orphanage. But just one year later, she put the 7-year-old child, unaccompanied, on a plane back to Russia with a note saying 'To whom it may concern....I no longer wish to parent this child.'
The woman said the boy had behavioral problems and she couldn't care for him.
In July 2008, an adopted child from Russia, 21-month-old Dima Yakovlev, died of heatstroke when his adoptive U.S. father left him in a car for nine hours in Purcellville, Virginia.
The shocking incidents sparked debate in both countries, with calls for greater regulation of adoption procedures.
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