News / Europe

Russians Protest Ban on Adoptions by American Parents

People march during a protest against Russia's new law banning Americans from adopting Russian children in Moscow, January 13, 2013.
People march during a protest against Russia's new law banning Americans from adopting Russian children in Moscow, January 13, 2013.
James Brooke
During the Christmas holidays, Russia's President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill banning adoptions of Russian children by American parents.  Russia’s legislature overwhelmingly passed the law, retaliating for a new U.S. law that blocks Russian officials accused of corruption and  human rights violations from obtaining American visas or bank accounts.

With Russia’s long New Year’s break over, Russians responded Sunday to the adoption ban with the largest protest rally in Moscow since President Putin’s inauguration last May.

This time they braved freezing temperatures, tough new laws against protests, and a heavy police presence, complete with low-flying helicopters.  Police say 9,000 people turned out - about two protesters for every policeman.  Opposition activists said they counted 24,000 people passing through police metal detectors.

Job-search specialist Andrei Kazakevich was in one of the two long, parallel columns that walked in light snow up Moscow’s boulevard ring.  "I think It is crazy," he said of the new law. "I think it is ridiculous, outrageous.  It is hurting our children."

Anastasia, aged 17, came with her father, Yuri, and her two little brothers - both adopted.  She spoke as marchers derided Russia's Duma with shouts of "Shame!"  "I think that in every American family they will be in better situation and atmosphere than in Russian houses where there are orphans," she said.

Protests were also held Sunday in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinaburg and Omsk.

Last month, all but one of Russia’s political parties voted in a single bloc for the law in the Duma.  On Sunday, the Moscow protest appeared to be composed largely of independent voters.  Many marchers identified themselves as parents or grandparents.
 
Katia, a 39-year-old mother of a son, walked carrying a homemade sign.  It criticized the government "for taking revenge on children." 

“I am here against this bad, cannibalistic law,” she said.  She  added she is distressed the legislation was introduced by one of the few women in the Duma, Yekaterina Lakhova.

As the march started, Lakhova told a Moscow radio station she was surprised to see so many people turn out in support of what she called, "baby selling" to the United States.  She said in two decades Russia had lost 100,000 children to the United States.  American officials put the number of adoptions at 60,000.

As the debate turns increasingly to Russia's aging population, little mention is made of statistics that Russian women terminate more than one million pregnancies annually through induced abortions.

Independent city councilman Maxim Motin spoke as a police helicopter hovered overhead. He said the Duma reacted harshly out of fear European Union countries will pass similar laws, banning visas and bank accounts for Russian officials suspected of corruption and human rights violations.  

The American law was adopted in response to Russia’s inaction after the death three years ago in a Moscow prison of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer for an American hedge fund.

Anna Glukhova, the 40-year-old mother of a daughter, came with her husband.  She said: "I think that is very bad to defend murderers of Magnitsky with our orphaned children."

Russia has 120,000 children awaiting adoption.  For years, the process has been blocked by bureaucracy.  Now it is blocked by nationalism.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
January 13, 2013 9:18 PM
It’ good that in the FSB-run country still are many thousands people concerned with better future for all being born in Russia. In 12 years in dying-out country the regime has done nothing to about 1 mln of orphans and abandoned children. Now the regime uses them as a human shield to cover its exposure in Magnitsky murder and their threat to their millions $ amassed in foreign banks. The people participated in the peaceful protests were intimidated by excessive police presence and demonstration of brutal force. Russians know too well how lawless is Putin’s police.

by: Kate SD from: San Diego
January 13, 2013 3:20 PM
the number is actually over 720,000 orphans in Russia - not 120,000

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More