News / Europe

Russia’s Upper House Approves US Adoption Ban

A demonstrator holds a poster reading
A demonstrator holds a poster reading "We are for Dima Yakovlev Bill" outside the Federation Council. The bill is named in honor of Dima Yakovlev, a Russian toddler who was adopted by Americans and then died in 2008 after his father left him in a car in broiling heat for hours, December 26, 2012.
Russia’s upper house of parliament has passed an amendment that would ban Americans from adopting Russian children. The measure still has to be signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin before it becomes law.

All 143 members of Russia’s Federation Council voted in support of the Dima Yakovlev bill that has sparked criticism from the United States and Russian activists.

Yakovlev was a Russian toddler who was adopted by an American couple in 2008. The boy later died when his father left him in a sweltering car for hours. The father was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Russian retaliation

The bill is part of a larger measure created by Russian lawmakers in response to the United States Congress’ passage of the so-called Magnitsky Act. The act bars entry and freezes the assets of Russian citizens accused of violating human rights. The act was named after Sergei Magnitsky a lawyer who allegedly uncovered massive fraud by Russian officials. Magnitsky died in jail pending corruption charges.

Ruslan Gattarov, a member of the Russian upper house, said the Russian response was a necessary one. He said the bill is an undoubtedly emotional response to the Magnitsky Act that violates many international norms. He said the upper house’s response to the act is adequate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also has called the bill an adequate response to the Magnitsky Act. Putin says that Americans have not been taking care of the Russian children they adopt, going on to say that many have been killed after being adopted by Americans.

More than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by Americans since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Twenty of those children died after being adopted.

Russian upper house member Andrei Klishas said those facts are not acceptable and that Moscow had to take action. He said the measure also includes a ban on organizations that assist in the adoption of children from Russia to the United States, claiming the ban would not allow such organizations to operate in Russia.

Expressing doubt

There are, however, some Russian officials who are against the measure, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said it is a bad idea.

Many Russian children who have been adopted by Americans have severe disabilities. Many analysts and activists say that Russia does not have the infrastructure or facilities to take care of these children and that adoptions by American’s should not be banned.

Calls to several agencies who assist Americans in the adoption process of Russian children were not returned.

According to UNICEF [United Nation's Children's Fund], more than 700,000 children do not have parents in Russia. If Putin signs the bill into law, 46 children about to be adopted by Americans would remain in Russia.

Russian news agencies report Putin is expected to consider the law within the next two weeks.

You May Like

Russian Help on Iran Less Promising on Syria, Ukraine

US-Russian collaboration to secure a deal on Iran's nuclear program has raised hopes of closer cooperation on other world issues More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

US-Ethiopia Relationship Strong, But Complicated

While Ethiopia serves as a valuable security ally and a bulwark against terrorism - the U.S., is a major aid donor and economic stimulator More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
December 28, 2012 4:40 PM
One of the most silliest moves the Russians have ever made. A slap back at the west for penalizing themselves? They are just making things worse for themselves. The world looks at Russia as making a childlike response to the Human Rights issues. Dumb move Russia, you look even more pathetic by choosing this choice. Using the children as human shields technically. How about for all the kids that end up not fed or not cared for get blamed on the Russian Government now? Stupid move around the world, and at home in Russia. If Putin thinks his move was a slap to Washington, he's totally wrong, this will only hurt Russia even more. The Russians need a new president, Putin just doesn't cut it. He doesn't represent the hearts and souls of the Russian people at all.

by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
December 26, 2012 9:18 PM
The atmosphere in which the law was passes is an international disgrace http://www.kommersant.ru/doc-y/2099055 as there was no discussion but the unanimous coldblooded retaliation for the “Magnitsky” law. The billionaire-senators viewed immoral all international adoption of Russian orphans. Nevertheless the senators don’t know and wish to know what to do with 700.000 defenseless children dumped in state orphanages when just a small proportion of healthy (!) orphans may be adopted in Russia with none of crippled orphans.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backersi
X
Michael Bowman
July 26, 2015 8:44 PM
Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Underground Streetcar Station In Washington, DC, to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Rise in HIV Infections Worries Ugandan Officials

Uganda had the third-highest number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa last year, reversing its reputation for successfully tackling the epidemic in the 1990s. Although the percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS is still half of what it was in the 1980s, the increase in new infections is worrying to health workers. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs