KIEV, February 23 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s Ministry of Social Policy has initiated a probe into living conditions and health of Ukrainian children adopted by foreigners in a wake of a recent spat between Russia and the United States over alleged abuse of Russian adoptees by US foster parents.
“We sent a letter to the [Ukrainian] Foreign Ministry with a request to conduct an investigation into living conditions and health of children adopted by foreign citizens,” Social Policy Minister Natalia Korolevskaya said on Friday.
“We must have reliable information about every child who has been registered in Ukrainian consulates and diplomatic missions around the world,” the minister said.
According to Korolevskaya, foreigners adopted 806 Ukrainian children in 2012.
In line with the current legislation, foster parents must file a report on adoptee’s conditions once a year during the first three years of adoption (and later – once every three years until adopted children turn 18).
“Unfortunately, some countries register low reporting rates,” Korolevskaya said. “For instance, only 30 percent of foster families in the United States provide these reports.”
The Ukrainian move comes as Moscow and Washington continue a fierce battle over Russian children adopted by US foster parents.
Moscow banned US citizens from adopting Russian children last month, in what some call a retaliatory measure against a US law imposing sanctions on Russian officials allegedly involved in human rights abuses, though a bilateral adoption agreement between the two countries remains in place until next year.
Russia has said the ban is necessary to protect its children, citing numerous cases of abuse and neglect by US parents that have resulted in the deaths of at least 19 Russian adoptees since the early 1990s.
The tensions erupted again this week, with news that a 3-year-old boy adopted from Russia last year had died in Texas last month and led to unconfirmed reports that outraged many in Russia.
Russia vowed on Thursday to bring to trial American citizens it alleges have evaded punishment for “serious crimes” against Russian adoptees.