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Health & Family

In late October, Charles and Elisabeth Smith from Phoenix traveled to Borodino, Russia, to meet their prospective son, Malcom (not his real name), a 5-year-old with cerebral palsy. “This little boy just tugged at our heart strings,” says Elisabeth. “It was not a rational response, but even when I saw his picture, he looked like my child. When I got to hold him and talk to him and be with him, it was a good fit.”

After accepting his referral from the orphanage, just one step in the long adoption process the Smiths started in March, they anticipated taking Malcolm home a couple months after the New Year.

That family reunion is now in flux.

On Friday, Russia President Vladimir Putin signed into law a ban that would cease adoption of Russian children by American families.

The ban, called the Dima Yakovlev Law, throws families like the Smiths and…

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