Russia signs tougher adoption deal with U.S.

MOSCOW Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:23pm EDT

Russia's new President Vladimir Putin (front) speaks during a reception, dedicated to the start of his term as Russia's new President, with his wife Lyudmila (R) and former President Dmitry Medvedev seen in the background, at the Kremlin in Moscow, May 7, 2012. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool

Russia's new President Vladimir Putin (front) speaks during a reception, dedicated to the start of his term as Russia's new President, with his wife Lyudmila (R) and former President Dmitry Medvedev seen in the background, at the Kremlin in Moscow, May 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin has ratified a new agreement with the United States that tightens up rules for U.S. citizens adopting Russian children, his office said on Monday, after a spate of abuse cases that have outraged public opinion in Russia.

More than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by foreigners, mostly Americans, since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, a touchy subject with the Russian authorities who favor domestic adoption.

"Not every international adoption ends happily," the office of Pavel Astakhov, Russia's Children's Rights Commissioner, said in a statement. "According to official data only, 19 Russian children died at the hands of U.S. citizens over the last 10 years."

Several high-profile cases in which Russian-born children have died in the United States after abuse by their new parents have generated headlines in Russia and been condemned by Russian politicians.

In 2010, a U.S. woman abandoned her adopted son and put him on a plane alone back to Russia.

Under the new agreement, foreign adoptions will be subject to stricter control by authorized agencies, and adopting families will be more thoroughly vetted and monitored.

The office of the Children's Rights Commissioner said it would also seek information on all Russian-born children adopted in the United States.

In 2009, U.S. parents adopted 1,585 children from Russia, down from a peak of 5,863 in 2004.

Separately, Putin also signed another bilateral agreement with Washington easing visa restrictions, his press office said on Monday.

That agreement will allow tourists and business travelers from the United States and Russia to receive multiple entry visas with longer validity periods, the U.S. embassy in Moscow said.

(Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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Comments (3)
imright12 wrote:
Why are Americans adopting Russians when there are so many children in America who need to be adopted!? Why aren’t all the anti-choice kooks adopting unwanted children in America? Oh yeah that’s right, they only care about children until they’re born.

Jul 30, 2012 5:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Try adopting in the states and you will find out that Russias laws are still more friendly the adopting family than ours. Our adoption from Russia took a lot of effort but the process is still smooth and predictable. In some parts of the United States adopting a child of a different color than yourself will put you and the child up for a lot of trouble from bigoted people (closely related to people who call those who don’t agree with them kooks) and who wants to put their family through that?

Jul 30, 2012 6:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Yesyes wrote:
While I believe that Putin’s reasons for doing this have more to do with reversing Russia’s population decline than anything else, at the same time I for one am glad that he did it. Russia has for so long been like a wholesale baby store for people completely unfit to be parents (not criticising the many decent adoptive parents out there) and the rules have needed tightening for a long time. Adoption may be a difficult process, but so is pregnancy. If the rules are stricter and the adoption process more arduous, then hopefully it will discourage those kinds of people who treat a child as something they can just throw away or beat to death if they find being a parent is too difficult. Once you’ve made that decision to raise a child as your own, then that child is your number one priority until your dying day.

Jul 30, 2012 10:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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