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Foreign Parents for Russian Children
November 11, 2006 16:58

There are no orphan homes in Western Europe and the USA - there are queues for abandoned children. Will it be harder or easier for foreigners to adopt a Russian child since custody regulations in Russia have changed?

The rules concerning activity of foreign organizations dealing with children adoption have recently been amended which caused a confrontation of opinions: some consider the new regulations more liberal, others claim it’s nothing but toughened demands.

In particular, from now on organizations do not have to annually reregister in the Ministry of education and science of the Russian Federation. Adoption agencies have expressed their content with the easement of bureaucratic procedures as before they had to go through a long time consuming paper work to get the annual reregistration. According to the new disposition accreditations are counted valid for 5 years.

 On the other hand, the new demands embrace stiffened control over qualification of foreign adoption organizations along with thorough tracing of further fate of adopted children. The latter is based on the capturing the headlines cases of violence towards Russian children in foreign step-families and even murders. Amendments to the federal adoption law were developed after the murder of Victoria Bazhenova in July 2005, committed by her step-mother, the US citizen. Peggy Sew was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years of prison.

To protect adopted orphans Russian authorities have introduced a range of measures. For instance, foreign organizations will have to present commendatory letters composed by the government of the country they are working in. Moreover, only organizations dealing with children adoption minimum 5 years will be accepted to working in Russia. To get Russian accreditation it will also be necessary to specify the range of services the agency presents and their cost. Every company willing to start dealing with Russian children adoption will first have to open an official representation in Russia, at that only non-commercial organizations or governmental structures are allowed to work in the country. Nowadays there are 90 foreign adoption organizations operating on the territory of Russia which help more than 10 thousand children find families annually. The majority of adoptive parents are the US and European citizens, however, after several attempts to impose order in this sphere the number of adopted children have decreased twice.

 According to the Family Code of the Russian Federation adoption of Russian children by foreign citizens is accepted only in cases when a child is refused to be adopted by Russian families, which explains the fact that most children brought abroad have congenital diseases and, as a rule, it is developed countries where such children can get proper medical care. At the same time, the country a child can potentially live in isn’t the main point as every case of adoption is particularly individual. Apparently amendments to the law are essential to liquidate the existent problems and what really matters is to not let the things go worse for those who need governmental protection and care.


Translation: Lavrentyeva Natalya

Tags: Russian laws     

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