Rromani (Gypsy) kids in Russia?
Hello,
Has anyone here adopted or heard of Rromani (Gypsy) children from Russian orphanages? I'm Romani and am looking to adopt, but I've heard it's very hard to find such a child in Russia.
Thanks!
My sister-in-law adopted a gypsy girl two years ago. She was 6 at the time and is absolutely beautiful! She was in Ivanavo.

Apparently, the other children made fun of her because of her dark hair and skin tone. She was extremely irritated when she would begin to get darker during the summer, so her parents had to bathe her in sunblock so we would not tan. I think she is outgrowing that a little though.

I have no idea how common it is, but I would think that you could ask your agency if you could request a Romani child.
Thanks! That's good to know. It just seems that even if you request a Romani child, it's anyone's guess how long you'll have to wait...
Our child is Romani. I am not sure if there are some areas where the population is more prevelant than others, but I understand that it is very difficult to place these children with adoptive families because of the stigma of gypsy. Our son is beautiful and precious and super smart and he is the most wonderful person in our lives.

You can request a child with Romani (Gypsy) heritage.

Melissa
Thanks ! Happy
Right now, we're actually trying to do a domestic-ish adoption in my home country, but I'm worried about it and so from time to time I look into other (much more expensive!) options. If anyone here would be willing to give me the name of an agency that placed a Romani child, that would be great. It's not urgent or anything, just if anyone feels like rooting for their agency Happy
my katya (age 3), who i brought home 4/04, is gypsy (as stated on her birth certificate). she is from northern novgorod area. not the stereotypical dark hair. she is blonde, hazel eyes, light skin. very pretty. she had been turned down by another family. maybe because she was gypsy. from what i saw, gypsy meant poor peasant. i've never heard the word romani.
Romani or Roma is the heritage. Gypsy is the slang and to many is derogatory. I don't think that most of the US understands the derogatory nature of the word or what it represents to others.
I'm pretty sure that if it says "cigan(ka)" on her birth certificate in Russian, it can only refer to "Gypsy" - i.e., Romani -- ethnicity. There are various loose uses of the word Gypsy/gypsy in some languages, but the Russian system of identification is organized around "nationalities," or ethnic groups. They would not use the term metaphorically. Whereas most Roma around the world are dark-skinned, there is a significant number of light-skinned people among us, and Russia has one of the highest proportions of light-skinned Roma (a great resource on Russian Roma, by the way, that addresses some of these issues, is Alaina Lemon's Between Two Fires: Gypsy Performance and Romani Memory from Pushkin to Postsocialism). As for the ethnonym, Roma is what we call ourselves in the Romani language, and Gypsy/cigan/Gitano/Zigeuner/etc. is what non-Roma tend to call us. But your daughter is almost certainly of Romani descent.
Just to add my two cents to the question of whether using "Gypsy" is derogatory...some Roma, mostly activists, are in fact offended by the term. I personally far prefer being called Romani because of the confusing and dubious associations with stereotyped and undifferentiated "Gypsies" or "gypsies." (It gets confusing, though, because the term Rom/Roma comes from the Romani language: Rom is one male person, Romni is a female, Roma is the plural noun, and Romani is one form of the adjective -- non-Romani-speakers very understandably have a hard time keeping all these words straight Happy I don't really find the word "Gypsy" derogatory as long as the intention is friendly, although I wish people would always capitalize the word if they're going to use it (few people would write "jewish" with a lower-case j) so that it clearly stands for an ethnic group and not a lifestyle. So that's where I stand Smile
P.S. I realize that the equivalent of "Gypsy" is not capitalized in Russian, and that it's also a different thing when people write messages all in lower-case letters.
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