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Russia, U.S. discuss treaty on child adoption

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Russia's Science and Education Ministry is in talks with the United States on a bilateral treaty to specify the responsibilities of U.S. parents who adopt Russian children, the minister said on Tuesday.
MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Science and Education Ministry is in talks with the United States on a bilateral treaty to specify the responsibilities of U.S. parents who adopt Russian children, the minister said on Tuesday.

The treaty, if signed, would oblige U.S. parents to show more responsibility when raising adopted Russian children. Russia has already concluded a similar treaty with Italy.

"The United States has for the first time shown its interest by requesting documents on this bilateral treaty," Andrei Fursenko said. "They are ready to study it."

The lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has asked Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to speed up the process of concluding bilateral international treaties on child adoption following the death of 18-month-old Dima Yakovlev, who was adopted by a U.S. couple.

The boy died on July 8, 2008, when his adoptive father, Miles Harrison, left the boy shut in his car for nine hours during 50-degree Celsius (122-degree Fahrenheit) heat.

The minister also said that Russia should as soon as possible ratify the Hague Adoption Convention, which it signed on September 7, 2000.

"We think that the convention should be ratified - it poses no threat to our children, on the contrary, it defends their rights to a greater extent," Fursenko said.

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