I'm Adopted

My View on the Russia – New Zealand bilateral agreement – Alex Gilbert

We know that this is never an easy topic to talk about. I also understand the rules on each end of the Countries but not everything is clear.

At the start of the year we were all told that at this stage the Russia – New Zealand bilateral agreement on adoption has been put on hold. Since October 2013, New Zealanders have not been able to adopt from Russia after the Russian Government introduced a stop on intercountry adoptions unless a bilateral agreement was settled.

Since then New Zealand has not been able to settle the agreement.

I am writing this not to be on any sides or to cause a stir. I myself am writing this to hopefully get some word on there on what I think. I was born in a town called Arkhangelsk, Russia in 1992 and adopted into my family in 1994. Being adopted out into New Zealand was one of the best decisions that my parents had ever made.

I also adopted along side of my Brother Andrei. We both have different Birth Parents even though when we were young people did think that we were twins. We were however 3 months apart.

Throughout the 1990s we were apart of the adoption community with other Children who were also adopted. Many from Russia as well as Romania at the time. Over 650 children were adopted from Russia into New Zealand in the 1990s.

Earlier this year I got the chance to talk in New Zealand’s Parliament however we all agreed out of respect that we would not talk about the New Zealand – Russia bilateral agreement. I wanted both sides and countries to agree on both sides but I understand that at this stage this is something that is not likely to happen anytime soon.

I had sent letters to the Ministry last year and this year but I this was regarding the talk with I’m Adopted in Parliament that we had earlier in the year.

I am writing this to send out a sign of hope that something will be looked at one day soon. Re-opening the agreement to be looked over again is something that we all wish could happen. Though I know the rules and with why New Zealand and Russia won’t agree with the agreement. We need to understand this and respect both sides.

Because at the end of the day we all know that there are many children who are waiting to be adopted.

– Alex Gilbert

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