More and more people – mostly from wealthy backgrounds - are adopting children. But in the Russian village of Kitezh, money is in short supply. Though the villagers may lack the luxuries most of us take for granted, they have managed to devise a pioneering type of adoption. Anyone who wishes to live in Kitezh - both those who want to adopt a child and those who themselves want to be adopted – has to go through a probation period. You have to earn the right to be called a mother, a father, a son or a daughter. Kitezh families prepare the orphans for real life. Children here are educated through work in the community. There are always volunteers in Kitezh, most of them are college students from the United States, England, Scotland and France. They are ready to do anything they are asked to help the community develop and prosper. Adoption is an important issue the world over. To the southwest of Moscow is a unique community for orphaned or abandoned kids known as Kitezh. Here, children can be adopted by several families. For both prospective foster children and parents, this self-sufficient community requires that they pass a trial period, after which they can be accepted as a member. Dmitri Morozov used to teach at a children’s camp for orphaned and abandoned kids, and later worked as a journalist. In 1993, however, he quit his job and founded Kitezh with the help of some friends. He has adopted several children himself. People from all over are concerned with the issue of adoption. Kitezh has many visitors and volunteers from around the world, including several college students from the United States or the U.K. Richard Brockbank is a 65 year-old carpenter from Scotland who came to Kitezh several years ago, and decided to stay. Though he hasn’t adopted any children, he teaches them carpentry skills. Kitezh tries to prepare the foster children there for adulthood by teaching them social and practical skills. Among their “graduates” are Sergey Zhuzavlyov, who returned to Kitezh to live after university, and Vasily Burdin, who is now in university and working at a prestigious law firm. Orion is an adoption community similar to Kitezh. Founded by psychologist Maria Shibaeva, it is meant to be not only a place for orphaned or abandoned children, but also a kind of research center. Here, people from around the world can study proper methods for raising children, both adopted and otherwise. Children here work, and are paid in a special currency which they use to buy food and other things in the camp. This teaches them skills such as work ethic and money management. Both the Kitezh and Orion adoption communities receive little government support, and therefore are highly dependent on sponsors and volunteers in order to provide for the orphaned or abandoned children there.

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