Russian President Putin Signs US Adoption Ban

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill today that bans Americans from adopting Russian children. The law was designed as retaliation for a new U.S. act that sanctions Russian officials accused of human rights violations from traveling to the United States and owning real estate or other assets here. But what does one have to do with the other? Banning adoptions from Russia to the US has already made a huge impact on families even before the law goes in to effect on January 1.

According to Reuters, Washington has called the law misguided and said it ties the fate of children to “unrelated political considerations.” Fifty-two children were already in the process of being adopted to American families. Many aspiring parents had traveled back and forth to Russia, preparing their homes for a new member of the family. Now all that has changed. The children will remain in Russia, child’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov has said.

After China and Central America, Russia was one of the top countries where American families adopted from. In 2010, 1,082 Russian adoptions took place and about 1,000 in 2011. Nearly 650,000 children are considered orphans in Russia. Some were rejected by their parents or taken from dysfunctional homes. Of the 650,000 children, 110,000 lived in state institutions in 2011, according to the Ministry of Science and Education. Many suffer from illnesses and are in desperate need of medical care.

More Russian children were adopted by Americans than from any other country. With overcrowded orphanages and hospitals… what will become of these children now?

Image Courtesy of Jeff Swinger, The Cincinnati Enquirer

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