MOSCOW, September 14 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Foreign Ministry has sharply criticized the US authorities for lacking efforts to protect the rights of foreign-born children adopted by US foster parents, including at least 26 adoptees from Russia.
Reuters reported earlier this week that some US foster parents, who regretted adopting children from abroad, were using social networks to find new homes for their adoptees in a practice known as “private re-homing.”
The practice involves informal custody transfers to bypass the monitoring by child welfare officials and exposes enormous potential for abuse and exploitation of the adopted children, an 18-month investigation by Reuters reporters concluded.
“We are calling on the US authorities to pay close attention to this information and conduct an appropriate investigation into the facts of gross violation of children's rights that have been uncovered,” the ministry’s point man for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov, said in a statement Friday.
“We believe that the matter is not about individual cases but a serious systemic problem showing that children's rights in the US are not protected properly,” Dolgov said.
The Russian official also urged authorized US official bodies to clarify the fate of 26 Russian children “who have fallen victim to the US Internet-exchange of adoptees.”
The instances of American families allegedly abusing their adopted Russian children have strained relations between the two countries and, in part, prompted Russia to adopt the so-called Dima Yakovlev Law – a broad legislative act targeting US officials suspected of human rights violations but also banning all adoptions of Russian children by US citizens.