U.S. family in limbo after Russia adoption ban

(CBS News) Two years ago, Kim and Robert Summers decided to adopt from Russia. It took nearly 18 months, but last July, the couple was matched with a 15-month-old boy.

Kim says when she saw his picture for the first time, "I knew that this was the child I was meant to parent ... And I took one look at this little ginger boy, and I fell in love with him."

Kim Summers and the Russian child she and her husband had planned to adopt.
Kim Summers and the Russian child she and her husband had planned to adopt.
Family Photo

The Summers began filling their New Jersey home with baby clothes, a crib and even a stroller. They traveled to his orphanage in Russia twice to bond with him, and they gave him a name: Preston Mackey Summers.

"He's a wonderful young boy who needs love and attention," Robert says.

Like 1,500 other American families, the Summers worry that the law banning Americans from adopting Russian children could prevent them from bringing a child home.

Putin signs bill barring adoptions of Russian children by Americans
Russian parliament votes to ban U.S. adoption
Russia gives initial approval to measure banning Americans from adopting Russian children

The law is widely seen as retaliation for a new American law banning Russians accused of human rights violations from entering the United States.

Robert and Kim Summers.
Robert and Kim Summers.
CBS News

The Summers are hoping politics won't stop them from becoming parents. On their last trip to see their child, the Summers told him they would soon take him home.

"I said to him, 'Mommy and Daddy will see you in four weeks, and you're gonna come home with us, and we're gonna be a forever family,'" Kim says.

"Those dreams are sort of shattered," said Robert, weeping. "And I cannot put into words how my wife and I feel right now. ... We ask President Putin, please, consider alternate means, but don't let these children suffer. Please. That's all we ask."

President Vladimir Putin says he signed the ban because he believes Russians should take care of their own children. The U.S. State Department is urging Russia to allow children like Preston who have already met and bonded with their future parents to be allowed to join their American families.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.