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Russian Region First to Pass Ban on All Foreign Adoptions

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Lawmakers in a Siberian coal-mining region on Wednesday passed the country’s first-ever ban on all adoptions of local children by foreigners.

MOSCOW, September 25 (RIA Novosti) – Lawmakers in a Siberian coal-mining region on Wednesday passed the country’s first-ever ban on all adoptions of local children by foreigners.

The legislative assembly of southwestern Siberia’s Kemerovo Region passed the law unanimously, citing concerns for child welfare. The law requires the governor’s approval to go into force.

Children who move abroad face huge linguistic, cultural and religious barriers that drive them “into a corner” and hinder development, said Galina Solovyeva, head of the regional parliament’s education committee, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

The abuse of adoptees is also a risk, she said, noting “regular” media reports of children mistreated by their adoptive parents.

“On US and European social networks there are groups of users who exchange and sell children adopted from Russia,” Solovyeva said, concluding that adoptions of Russian children should only be allowed domestically.

Foreigners this year have adopted 77 children from the Kemerovo Region, according to local government figures. There were about 6,500 orphans in the region at the beginning of the year.

Russia’s federal government banned adoptions by Americans in late 2012 in the so-called Dima Yakovlev law, named after a Russian toddler who died of heatstroke after his American adoptive father left him in a parked car for nine hours in 2008.

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