Greenville Family Who Adopted From Russia: Adoption Ban Is Devastating

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WITN'S Lindsey Fry spoke to the Stephenson family in Greenville with two adopted girls from Russia. They say Russia's ban on adoption to Americans is devastating news.

Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a bill saying Americans are no longer allowed to adopt Russian children as of January 1st. The Stephensons adopted 2 sisters from Russia in 2005, Milena and Natasha. The sisters were 12 and 8 at the time and now are 19 and 15 years old. They are heartbroken for their friends back at the Russian orphanage who they say may now never be adopted.

"I don't know how the Russian government can do this. It breaks my heart. There are a lot of children who have their hopes up and they will never have family unless they change the law," said Natasha Stephenson who was adopted from Russia.

The Stephensons say they are staying optimistic that someday the law will change and allow American families to adopt from Russia again.

As for those who are still trying to adopt, the Stephensons encourage them to stay strong and persistent.

American families have led in overseas adoptions of Russian kids, with more than 60 thousand children in the last 20 years.