The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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January 16, 2013

Russian adoption ban wrenching for families in US

(Continued)

MOSCOW —

The hasty enactment left many questions unresolved. Although Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that adoptions already approved by courts could go ahead, the Preeces said Tuesday they were told that the ban has left a legal vacuum — with no mechanism for issuing the decree that finalizes the case.

"The process used to be all streamlined and fairly straightforward. Now there's no instructions," said Rebecca Preece, on an emotional knife-edge as months of visits and paperwork hit a roadblock.

"He understands that we're coming for him," she said of the boy they hope to adopt. "We were able to visit him ... and he talked about going in a car with us, in an airplane.

"He knows. He calls us 'mama' and 'papa'," she said, on the verge of tears. "We've come for him three times and three times we've had to leave."

A spokesman for Russia's Supreme Court, Pavel Odintsov, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the high court is seeking information that would allow it to make recommendations on establishing a legal framework for resolving the dilemma.

It is unclear when that clarity might come, but "we are not talking about months; possibly a couple of weeks," he said.

Now, Preece said, the question is whether to stick around in Moscow to see the process through and hope things don't go further awry, or go home and wait it out in Idaho.

The Preeces have three other children, including one with Down syndrome. The plan now is for Brian to go home this weekend, to attend to the couple's fireplace business.

Jeana Bonner, in a telephone interview before leaving Utah, said she and her husband have felt so enriched by the experience of raising their own daughter with Down syndrome that they wanted to adopt a child who also had the condition.

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