The relationship between the United States and Russia has always been—well—cold. For over fifty years, the United States and Russia (the Soviet Union) played a perpetual game of “my army is bigger than your army” until the Soviet Union’s downfall in the 1990s. But Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, seems to think the Cold War is still going on and is singling out American families by denying them the right to adopt children from Russia in response to a law we passed.

At the beginning of the year, Vladimir Putin signed the bill, Dima Yakovlev, that will prevent American families from adopting Russian children after the United States passed a bill which sanctions Russian officials whom American officials believe are guilty of corruption.

This is extremely disheartening, and is done out of bitterness towards the United States and is not in the best interest of the Russian people. Over the past two decades, the United States has adopted over 60,000 children from Russia, which is greatest amount than any other country. And, according to UNICEF, with 740,000 children not in parental custody and 140,000 available for adoption, there is a large need for these children to be brought into homes.

The law is even valid for families that are already in the process of adopting children from Russia. People that were months away from obtaining a child are now dealing with the shock of not being able to obtain custody of the child.

We have always known Putin was an oppressive and terrible leader. But this goes into another realm of belligerence for the President of Russia. The man is now denying children the ability to receive American homes.

While protests have ensued, it is unlikely that Putin will back down. Even more horrifying, the Kremlin, Russia’s legislative body, suggests that adoption bans be extended worldwide.

Doesn’t Putin realize the Cold War is over? Maybe, but Putin doesn’t seem to care. At the expense of innocent and poor Russian children, he is willing to do anything he can to hurt and slap America across the face. We have had our battles, we have had our controversies, but this is too far. Putin needs to swallow his pride and grant orphaned and other children available for adoption a better life that they cannot experience in Russia.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Parkway School District.