Russian Adoption Training

The Office of Child Development Leads the Way in Russian Adoption Training

In the summer of 2012 the Russian government announced new regulations to adopt a child from Russia. Those regulations specified that new adoptive parents must complete at least 30 (and in some parts of Russia up to 80) hours of face-to-face training with an expert in the child development topics that were specified as part of the new regulation.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development was uniquely qualified to respond quickly to the Russian Federation’s new mandate. Because of their expertise in all topics of child development and their 20+ years of experience working with people in Russia on intervention projects in the Russian orphanages, they were able to assemble a team of qualified experts to train the adoption agency staff who would be the parents’ trainers immediately.

On September 10th 2012, ten days after the new regulation went into effect, the Office of Child Development began their first workshop to train adoption agency staff in the new Russian requirements. Experts across a variety of child development and adoption related fields partnered to facilitate the trainings in the required topics. During that intensive three-day session all the pertinent topics were covered and a test of completion was administered to assure that the appropriate knowledge was transferred. On September 12th, 34 newly trained Adoption agency staff left the training session ready to train the parents who would soon adopt a child from Russia.

On October 17th, 2012, the Office of Child Development held a second workshop for 9 adoption agency staff members. After the same intense three day training they were tested and became Russian Adoption Trainers as well bringing the total number of qualified trainers to 43.

The Office of Child Development also created a test for the parents to take that would confirm their knowledge of the topics that the Russian Federation Officials require. Each parent is issued a certificate and the necessary documents to present to the Russian Judge assigned to their adoption case.

As of November 6, 2012, 111 parents have been successfully trained. The Office of Child Development is proud to have made that possible. Their ability to respond quickly by providing knowledge and expertise to train the Trainers and come full circle by testing the parents has enabled and will enable many children to be removed from institutions and be placed in caring, new homes in America. This effort will continue, with testing for parents and yearly training for Adoption Agency Trainers.

Read the Office's comments on the Russian Adoption Ban.