Russian Mail Order Brides

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the spread of the Internet have led to a plethora of Internet marriage agencies springing up. Some of these agencies specialize in providing a service - Russian mail order brides. Though arranged marriages are an age-old concept, mail order brides come with an element of risk. The bride is isolated in a new foreign country, usually unable to speak the native language, and is often more vulnerable to abuse. The groom also faces the risk that his new foreign wife is just using him for acquiring a much sought after permanent residency status and money.

In the last decade, mail order brides have become a part of the American lexicon. Western men contact Russian women on the Internet and after selecting a prospective bride, either get married by proxy or marry immediately upon the bride's arrival in her new home.

The process of finding a Russian mail-order bride is relatively simple but not necessarily inexpensive. It is believed that there are over 600 agencies on the Internet that provide "introduction services" or matchmaking with Russian women.

A few mail-order agencies claim that they have a certain criteria for selecting women. The women are screened for any criminal background. Most importantly, they must be at least 18 years old. Once an agency has been selected, the prospective groom has several options depending on the agency. Some agencies post photographs of the ladies. The groom is charged for the address of the ladies and for additional services such as letter translations. Prices for providing addresses of prospective brides range from $10 to $15. Many agencies provide a catalog for a fee of $120. It is estimated that 50,000 to 60,000 catalogs are sold annually Grooms are then allowed to correspond or call the ladies of their choice in order to learn more about them.

The next step of the process is for the groom to meet prospective brides. A majority of agencies offer special tours of Russia for around $3000 -$5000. This could include a round-trip fare and a fortnight?s stay at a hotel along with interviews with the prospective brides.

As simple as it sounds, it is a daunting task for both the bride and groom. Cultural differences alone can be frustrating. Many Russian women find it very difficult to communicate in English. Some of them may also have children from previous marriages. The advantage for a groom is that he is blessed with a family but on the other hand, he has to deal with a bride that has been uprooted from her country.

Such marriages are becoming increasingly common in the US. Many social organizations are conducting a study on the developments post marriage. It is imperative to study these cross-cultural marriages to evaluate the success of the concept.

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