Politics of shame
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Every child deserves a loving, supportive family. This, one of the most inalienable of all human rights, has been maliciously disregarded in the cascade of wrongs currently spilling from Russia's recent ban on American couples adopting Russian orphans ("Putin signs bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children," Tribune, Dec. 28).

First, the ban is an ill-advised attempt at retribution against the United States for its law punishing Russian individuals for human rights abuses. Second, many of these would-be adoptive children are afflicted with significant disabilities and face a bleak future in Russia, where such children are frequently shunned.

American families looking to adopt disabled Russian children, like the Bonner family from Utah, find themselves in the vortex of a political firestorm that ignores the most critical issue: the best interests of the children.

In their callous choice to save face rather than benefit children, President Vladimir Putin and Russia are indulging in the politics of shame.

Sam Rasmussen

Salt Lake City