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Russian adoption law affects local families

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Russia is playing politics with people, little people. The new bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children hurts American families as well as children already in the adoption process.

It's a frustrating move that one Wilmington woman has seen before.

"Unfortunately that's a fact of life. That's the way it is, and we had to deal with governments and foreign countries all the time," adoption agency director Janice Bergeron said. "I can't even tell you how many countries we've gone to and tried to help the children there and politics are always involved."

Bergeron and her husband already had a family when they were drawn to adoption by television.

"This show in Romania on '20/20' showed children, orphanages absolutely in horrendous conditions, and my husband and I both felt so blessed to have the children we had, we just needed to go take one of these children and give them a better life," Bergeron said

And once in the process Bergeron could see so much more needed to be done for the children.

"Once we saw that orphanage and saw the children that desperately need homes, we had to adopt a child and then help other families to adopt children," Bergeron said. That experience led her and her husband to start Children at Heart adoption agency.

"Don't give up because something has happened in Russia," Bergeron said. "The fact that when it is over you have a beautiful child in your home that has a loving family for the rest of his or her life."

Bergeron reminds parents that while the Russian move is frustrating, there are children who need good homes, waiting in countries around the world.

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