Local Impact of the Russia Adoption Controversy

FRESNO, Calif. Nine-year-old Sasha Nesterchuk is an orphan from the Ukraine. He and 15-year-old Maksym Vorokov are on what's called a "hosting trip" where American family's host Eastern European orphans for several weeks in hopes of eventually adopting. That's how Deanna Camacho of Clovis ended up adopting nine-year-old Mason .

Deanna Camacho says, "Adoption was not something we considered until these children came three years ago, and it's changed our lives forever. And if the finances were available we would probably go through the process again tomorrow."

Adoptive families invest roughly 30,000 dollars to bring just one child to the United States from Russia or the Ukraine. Laurel Boylan of "God's Waiting Children Adoption Services" in Clovis says if Russia suspends all U.S. adoptions it could have a ripple effect among other eastern European countries. Hundreds of American families, including many here in the Valley, could find themselves in emotional and financial limbo.

Laurel Boylan says, "I actually have one family who has hosted children with us before who is in the process of a Russian adoption -- trying to adopt four children --they're pretty devastated, they're scared."

It's not just the families who would be devastated. According to UNICIF, there are currently 740,000 orphans in Russia and more than 75,000 thousand in the Ukraine.

Mason Camacho hopes his Ukranian friends like Sasha and Maksym will someday have a home like he does.

Mason Camacho says, "I'm glad that I came here. I have a good family and good friends and a good teacher. I'm just glad to be in America."

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