Parents Denounce Russian Adoption Ban

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DELAWARE TOWNSHIP -- Senator Bob Casey is urging Russia to reverse a decision that bans American families from adopting Russian children.

He sent a letter to Russian officials saying political differences should not prevent children from being placed in caring homes.

One family from Northumberland County agrees. They adopted a little boy from Russia nearly two years ago.

Kyler Schmit is three years old and right at home, jumping for joy with his parents Steve and Jessica at their place near Watsontown.

Kyler's the typical kid, loves to laugh and race around and may never have had his name on a stocking for Christmas at the Schmit home if it weren't for his adoption from Russia nearly two years ago.

"He has filled a void in anyone's family, there's always that little spot where a little kid fills that void and he's definitely done that," said Steve Schmit.

Kyler's parents went through the grueling adoption process including expensive trips to Moscow and St. Petersburg and eventually wound up with the son they always wanted.

Now the couple is saddened to see the Russian government stop all adoptions to American families, an apparent retaliation for a U.S. law meant to punish Russians who violate human rights.

Nearly 50 American families were in the final stages of adopting a child from Russia when the ban went into effect. Steve and Jessica believe the ban does nothing more than keep a little boy or girl from having loving parents and a good home.

"I can't imagine what those poor families are going through, I just can't imagine," said Jessica.

"The only ones that will end up suffering are the little kids and the families who wanted to make homes for these kids and make them part of their family," added her husband Steve.

Steve and Jessica Schmit hope United States and Russian leaders come to some kind of agreement that will open the adoption process again to all those families and orphans.