CHICAGO (CBS) — A recent law signed in the U.S. deems Russia as a human rights violator, which caused an uproar in Moscow.

Now Russian lawmakers are firing back, but child welfare activists say children are the ones being hurt in this diplomatic dust-up.

CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli explains.

Peter Alosio is about to turn four and is still learning his ABC’s.

That’s because up until four months ago he was living in a Russian orphanage after his family gave him up. But the Alosio’s from the Northwest Side came to the rescue.

“Who’s gonna take him,” said Jeffrey Alosio. “He’s going to be in an orphanage for life. That’s ridiculous.”

So after spending $50,000 and traveling to Russia four times, the Alosio’s brought Peter home for good.

On the plane ride home from Russia, Jeffrey Alosio thought “That we saved a soul.”

The Alosio’s are so pleased they wanted to try and give Peter a Russian brother or sister. But now, Russia’s parliament has voted to ban U.S. adoptions of Russian children.

Lynn Wtterberg helped the Alosio’s get Peter through her agency Adoption Ark. She says Wednesday’s vote victimizes thousands of children.

“They are definitely using children as pawns,” said Wetterberg.

Kathy Alosio agrees, and now says she and her husband will look elsewhere for Peter’s brother or sister.

But she says as sad as that is, she knows her family is lucky because they have Peter, whereas many other families who were in the middle of the process now will likely have to say goodbye to their children forever.

“And now they’re going to be told Sorry you can’t have em.,” said Kathy Alosio.

Russian lawmakers say banning U.S. adoptions will protect kids and encourage more Russians to adopt Russian children.

Watch & Listen LIVE