Putin Evades Answering If He Supports The Ban on Americans
Adopting in Russia - Consider Ukrainian Adoption
The news about Russia potentially banning adoptions by American
families goes from bad to worse. The last reading of the bill is
on Friday. If passed, it will go before Putin to sign. Let's hope
for the sake of tens of thousands of orphaned Russian children,
that this bill does not pass.
ByELLEN BARRYandDAVID M. HERSZENHORNof the New York Times
Published: December 20, 2012
Mr. Putin said he would have to read the text of the amendment
before making a final decision, and noted that most American
adoptive parents are "honest and decent people."
However, he lashed out angrily at American officials, saying they
had allowed child abuse to go unpunished and blockedRussia's
efforts to monitor adjudication of such cases.
"This is about the attitude of American officials in situations
involving the violation of children's rights," he said, after a
Russian journalist criticized the proposed ban. "Do you consider
this normal? You like this? What are you, a sadomasochist? There
is no need to humiliate the country! We do not forbid adoption by
foreigners in general. There are other countries besides the
Mr. Putin criticized a law signed byPresident Obamalast week that
seeks to punish Russian citizens who are accused of violating
human rights and which served as the spur for the proposed
adoption ban. He said the American initiative had been put
forward by officials reluctant to part with cold-war-era
"They just cannot do without it," he said. "They are trying to
stay in the past. This is very bad, and it poisons our
He went on to question Americans' moral authority to challenge
Russia's human rights record. The American law, the so-called
Magnitsky Act, is named for Sergei L. Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer
who was arrested after trying to expose a huge government tax
fraud and later died in prison, in 2009.
"What are our partners in the United States worried about? About
human rights in our prisons?" Mr. Putin said. "But they
themselves have many problems. They hold people in their prisons
for years before they accused of any crime. They have legalized
torture inside their own country. They would have eaten us alive
a long time ago if we had something similar in our country!"
If Mr. Putin allows the adoption bill to go forward, it will be
the most forceful anti-American action of his new term, undoing
abilateral agreement on international adoptionsthat was ratified
just this year and crushing the aspirations of thousands of
Americans hoping to adopt Russian orphans. In an unusual split
within the government, senior officials had spoken out against
the ban, including some, like the foreign minister, Sergey V.
Lavrov, who are harsh critics of United States policy.
The bill still faces two more legislative votes, and even before
he decides to sign or veto it, Mr. Putin is likely to have huge
sway over the bill's final form when it emerges from Parliament.
The State Department said it would not speculate about what the
final bill might look like but a spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland,
took note of prior cooperation.
"We have worked hard with Russia to address past problems through
our new adoption agreement, which the Duma has approved," Ms.
Nuland said. "Each year, thousands of children find loving,
nurturing homes through intercountry adoptions, and the lives of
thousands of American families have been enriched by welcoming
Russian orphans into their homes." Russian officials, including
Mr. Putin, have promised a forceful response to the Magnitsky
Act, which requires the administration to assemble a list of
Russian citizens accused of abusing human rights, including
officials involved in Mr. Magnitsky's case, and to bar them from
traveling to the United States and from owning real estate or
other assets there.
But they have struggled to find a response that seems reciprocal
and proportional, turning to the idea of punishing Americans
linked to adjudication of abuse cases involving children adopted
fromRussia. The Russian bill was initially written to impose
sanctions on American judges believed to have treated such cases
leniently. It was named after Dmitri Yakovlev, a toddler who died
of heatstroke in Virginia in July 2008 after his adoptive father
left him in a car for nine hours.
Mr. Putin did not give a precise timeline for his decision.
Experts on international adoption said uncertainty could prove
nearly as damaging as a ban because it would discourage potential
adoptive parents from considering children in Russia out of fear
that they would invest time, money and emotion only to find their
plans blocked by a policy change.
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If you or someone you love would like to expand your family,
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sibling for an existing child or discover an alternative for
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adoption, Adoption Services International can help.
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Free Presentation: International Adoption From Ukraine
Tuesday, February 12, 6:00-9:00 PM
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Thursday, March 14, 6:00-8:00 PM
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