Blind girl chides Putin over adoption ban

Moscow, Jan 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A teenaged girl who was born blind has become an overnight internet sensation in Russia after publicly appealing to President Vladimir Putin to repel the ban on foreign adoptions that he endorsed.

Natalya Pisarenko wrote an open letter to Putin that was posted in her blog Jan 6.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the letter will be considered by the president, though a social networking message is not a formal letter.

"Among the orphans, there are many disabled children who live a short life because of their congenital diseases and die at the age of 20 at best," Natalya wrote.

"Our families won't adopt children with grave congenital disorders; such children require modern healthcare facilities which are non-existent in Russia."

Natalya explained that her precise diagnosis was established by German doctors and she will soon undergo treatment in the US to restore her eyesight.

"For Russian doctors, I'm still a child with an unknown disease and incurable blindness," she said.

"Could you please surprise us with another wise decision of yours -- adopt five, 10 children with serious congenital diseases, and we will follow the suit," she added.

The girl openly waived her state-issued disability pension of about 7,500 rubles (about $250) per month in 2011, protesting against changes in the Russian legislation that cancelled free health resort treatment for people with disabilities.

A year later, she publicly complained of being given ordinary schoolbooks instead of books for the visually impaired.

The news came several days after a Russian news website provoked a furore after publishing what it claimed was an appeal from a Russian teenaged orphan whose adoption by a US family was prevented by a new law banning adoptions by Americans.

The 1obl.ru news portal in Chelyabinsk published a story claiming a boy in a local orphanage, 14-year-old Maxim Kargapoltsev, had appealed to Putin and State Duma law-makers asking them to let an American family complete his adoption.

Orphanage officials dismissed the report as false and said Kargapoltsev did not write any letter.

Putin signed a law in December banning adoptions of Russian children by American citizens. The law, passed within days by both Russia's houses of parliament, stopped all pending US adoptions as well as future ones.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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