News / Europe

Russia's Putin Intends to Sign Adoption Ban

Opposition activists hold posters reading
Opposition activists hold posters reading "Do not involve children in politics" and "Lawmakers, children are not your ownership" during a protest against a bill banning U.S. adoptions of Russian children in St. Petersburg, Russia, December 26, 2012.
VOA News
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he intends to sign a bill that bans Americans from adopting Russian children -- legislation that the U.S. calls "misguided."

In a televised meeting Thursday, Putin said he still does not see any reason why he should not sign the bill and he intends to sign it.

The Russian parliament gave final approval to the legislation Wednesday.  All that is needed is Putin's signature for it to become law.

The measure, named after a Russian toddler who died after his American father left him locked in a car for hours, is Russia's retaliation against U.S. passage of the Magnitsky Act.

The Magnitsky Act, which was signed by U.S. President Barack Obama this month, imposes a visa ban and financial sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights violations.  It is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian anti-corruption lawyer who died in jail in 2009, after alleging officials were involved in a multi-million-dollar tax scam.

In renewed criticism of the adoption bill, the State Department says the "welfare of children is simply too important to tie to the political aspects" of U.S.-Russian relations and it is "misguided to link the fate of children to unrelated political considerations."

The head of a Russian child advocacy group says he would tell President Putin to "veto" what he calls a "terrible" measure.

Right of the Child director Boris Altshuler told VOA Thursday that  Putin should advise parliament to seek another response to the Magnitsky Act, one that would not negatively affect children.

He said many Russian children who are eligible for adoption are languishing in overcrowded orphanages.

"In Russia, we have 100, 200, 400 kids [grouped together in orphanages]. It is so harmful for the development of the child," said Altshuler.

During a Thursday briefing in Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said parliament had "responded appropriately" in passing the ban.  He said the attitude of Russian society had been "reflected."

The State Department says more than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by Americans since 1992.

President Putin has called the adoption ban an adequate response to the Magnitsky Act.  He said Americans have not been taking care of the Russian children they adopt.

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by: Dahlia Vandoria from: Los Angeles, CA
December 27, 2012 9:53 AM
Putin's retribution may be a blessing in disguise. So many of those Russian children have terrific developmental problems due to fetal alcohol syndrome and drug damage. Alcoholism is rampant in Russia. Far too many young Russian woman become pregnant during their "partying years". The children they give up for adoption are born with severe problems and eventually grow up to be chronically mentally ill and handicapped.

by: dudd
December 27, 2012 9:09 AM
The advocate will now be promptly placed in jail.
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