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Some agencies are more hands-on. Encounters International's owner Natasha Spivack plays matchmaker to her clients, making her service more personal. For ten years Spivack has been matching American men with Russian women and her website boasts that she will find you a wife in a year or else her services will be free of charge--which may not be a bad thing, since EI's services start at $1,850. EI boasts of a 95% success rate. Spivack says "I guarantee the success to all my male clients provided that they are serious, motivated, positive and patient about the entire process. She describes her male clients as "35-50 years, educated, successful and open minded." She says that the men who seek to get a mail order bride are generally white, politically conservative and successful, both professionally and economically. A general perception seems to be that mail order brides are more submissive partners. A study by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service concludes, "The foreign woman is happy to be the homemaker and asks for nothing more than husband, home and family." A CBS news report after the announcement of the new legislation said the Chance for Love matchmaking service website stated this: "The Russian woman has not been exposed to the world of rampant feminism that asserts its rights in America. She is the weaker gender and knows it." No studies have been done to track abuse in these marriages, but women's groups are convinced that the problem is growing. Issues like language barriers and ignorance of their rights may play a role in women not seeking help in the appropriate places. Immigration advocates and women's groups are hoping the proposed bill can stop the problem before it begins. Legislation would have men go through security checks; right now only women are subject to checks before they can move to the U.S. Under the new bill, male clients would also have to answer questions about their marital history--and disclose any past abuse. While all of this may be coming a little too late for Anastasia Solovieva, the hope remains that another life can be saved. Despite her misfortune, many successful marriages have been, and will continue to be, arranged through international marriage brokers. After all, marriage, whether arranged or based on true love, is always a gamble.

Anniversary Lay-Out  

Anniversary Issue Lay-Out

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