MILTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- As of Jan. 1, American will no longer be allowed to adopt Russian Children.
The law, signed into effect Friday by Russian President Vladimir Putin, is in response to a law signed by President Obama that freezes the American assets of people believed to be human rights violators in Russia.
Becky Morrone and Jamie Smith are both from Milton. The two families adopted their now 8-year-old girls from Russia.
They are among a large network in the Tri-State that has children from Russia.
Both traveled there twice and waited several months to bring their little girls home. Both women say the law is political retaliation and believe it's devastating.
"The irony of it is, look at the human rights that are being violated, look at the children that are being left behind who won't get homes," Morrone said.
Katarina Smith swims and plays baseball. Karleigh Morrone plays the piano, does gymnastics, and enjoys going to church on Wednesday nights. Both mothers know their girls' talents may have never surfaced had they not been adopted by loving families.
"I think she would be sitting in the orphanage, no attention. Not thriving, not having a future, Jamie Smith said. "Here she has anything the world holds for her."
While going through the adoption process, parents first have a chance to meet their child before they return to take them home to America. It's estimated there are 46 families who have started the process but are now left hanging in the balance -- and may not ever take that child they believed to be theirs home.
"The people that are in the process of the adoption and it's been stopped -- I just can't imagine what they are going through because they already met the children," Becky Morrone said.
"They were supposed to pick their children up right after Christmas; they've been told don't come, your adoption has now been cancelled. That is sad," Jamie Smith said.
Both women are hopeful the restrictions will be eased on the adoptions already started.