Mother of adopted Russian children, calls pending legislation "h - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Mother of adopted Russian children, calls pending legislation "heartbreaking"

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - New legislation is moving forward, which would stop all adoptions from Russian orphanages from happening. President Vladimir Putin made the decision to sign that bill into law.

The director of the Children at Heart Adoption Services agency, Janice Bergeron, who has adopted four children from Russia herself, called the decision, 'heartbreaking'.

A little over 18 years ago, Bergeron took one look at a baby girl in an orphanage miles and miles away and everything changed. "I used to practice law - [my husband] was a schoolteacher, we both gave up everything adoption became our life," explained Bergeron.  

The couple adopted five children, starting with Lara, four of them from Russia.

"It's amazing to watch them grow and know what opportunities they now have," said Bergeron. Because of the adoption, Lara was able to get surgery, preventing her from going blind in one eye. Now, she's off at college, something that never would have happened if she stayed at the orphanage.

"They don't get the same education that others get," explained Bergeron. "When they turn 15 16 some stay at and work at the orphanage - but most are turned to the street and the girls become prostitutes." She says, every year tens of thousands of children enter the orphanages and resources are limited.

That's why she says she was heartbroken to hear about the legislation.

"I hope that our countries can work together for the benefit of the kids," said Bergeron.  "Every child should have a permanent loving home and we all need to work towards that.

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