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Russia’s Controversial Anti-US Adoption Bill

According to the anti US adoption bill signed by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, American citizens will be barred from adopting children from Russia. This law is likely to affect several US citizens who are looking forward to adopt children from Russia. According to the US Department of State, US citizens have adopted more than 1,000 children from Russia, in 2011 and reports also state that most US citizens adopt children from China, Ethiopia and Russia.

This anti-adoption bill also invalidates the adoption agreement signed in November, that protects the adoptive parents and children from Russia and from the United States. This anti-US adoption bill was approved by the Federation Council and President Putin said that he has signed this bill as wants to change the process of helping orphaned children and children with special needs. This bill signed by President Putin, is seen by many as a revenge for the Magnitsky Act, signed by President Obama. This Magnitsky Act bars the human rights abusers in Russia from traveling to the United States and it also imposes financial restrictions on such offenders.

Russian lawmakers who support this bill say that the US citizens who adopt children from Russia are abusive and that around 19 children adopted by US families have died since 1990. Nevertheless, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and several other groups have requested the Russian government to reject this anti-US adoption bill. Hugh Williamson from Human Rights Watch, said that this bill would prevent the desperate orphaned children from finding loving permanent homes. John Dalhuisen, program director of Amnesty International, said that this bill that is a revenge for the Magnitsky Act, must be rejected.

Russian officials, have also said that adoptions that are in process and the new adoptions, will be halted after the law comes into effect on 1st January, 2013 and this law is likely to prevent the nongovernmental organizations in Russia from receiving financial aid from the United States. However, the Obama administration will respond to this adoption ban, sooner.

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