Americans Now Banned From Adopting Russian Kids
With 60K US adoptions over 20 years, critics say children will be real losers
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2012 6:48 AM CST
Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children, ostensibly to protect them from abuse. But critics say Russian officials are playing politics with children.   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Presidential Press Service, Alexei Nikolsky)

(Newser) As expected, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a controversial new bill banning US citizens from adopting Russian children, reports Reuters. In addition to the adoption ban, the Russian law, set to take effect Jan. 1, could close some Russian NGOs that receive US funding and bans Americans accused of violating Russians' rights abroad from obtaining visas. The measure is widely considered retaliation for the Magnitsky Act, an American bill signed into law earlier this month that puts restrictions on Russians deemed to be human-rights violators.

But with 740,000 children in Russia lacking parental care and only 7,416 kids adopted by Russians themselves last year, critics say the children will be the ones to suffer. Americans have adopted some 60,000 Russian children over the last 20 years, leading one Russian journalist to call Moscow's response "cannibalistic," reports the Washington Post. Right now there are 46 pending adoptions that will be immediately blocked by the legislation. "It's really unbearable," said one parent who was on the verge of adopting a four-year-old boy with special needs, according to the USA Today. The Ohio couple visited him several times and left photo albums. Now, "we feel like we're failing the child. ... It's hard to imagine how crushed he's going to be."

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Showing 3 of 31 comments
Dec 28, 2012 4:37 PM CST
I think this falls into the category of cutting off your nose to spite your face, Mr. Putin.
Dec 28, 2012 4:25 PM CST
The crux of this matter, not addressed by newser article is human rights abuse and Putin poking his finger in the American eye. "The Magnitsky Act, an American bill signed into law earlier this month that puts restrictions on Russians deemed to be human-rights violators." This stemmed from the late Sergei Magnitsky, as the victim of retribution from the same police investigators and Interior Ministry officials he had accused of stealing $230 million from the state through fraudulent tax documents -- the very same crimes with which he was then wrongfully charged. Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer for the Hermitage Capital fund, was arrested in 2008 on suspicion of tax evasion by the same Interior Ministry officials he accused of using false tax documents to steal $230 million from the state. He was held in pre-trial detention for almost a year, was tortured, was refused treatment for pancreatitis and was beaten to death in 2009. The Kremlin's own human rights council said Magnitsky was probably beaten to death. Prison doctor Dmitry Kratov, the only person to face trial in the case, was acquitted today. Putin protects the police and officials involved whom will never be charged with Magnitsky's murder. However, in an unprecedented move, Russia is trying Magnitsky posthumously for 'fraud', despite protests from his family and the lawyers that it is unconstitutional to try a dead man. A preliminary hearing is scheduled next month. Read more:
Dec 28, 2012 12:31 PM CST
Putin needs to be removed...permanently.