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Law Banning Foreign Adoptions Presented to Russian Parliament

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Lawmakers from a region of Siberia have presented a draft bill to the lower house of the state parliament that would ban foreigners from adopting Russian children.

MOSCOW, December 3 (RIA Novosti) – Lawmakers from a region of Siberia have presented a draft bill to the lower house of the state parliament that would ban foreigners from adopting Russian children.

Deputies from the Kemerovo Region legislative assembly said Tuesday in a note attached to the bill that the legislation was a remedy to what they described as a rise in cases of Russian children being mistreated after being adopted by families abroad.

The proposal is reminiscent of federal legislation approved in 2012 that banned adoptions of Russian children by US families. The Dima Yakovlev law was named after a Russian toddler who died of heatstroke after his US adoptive father accidentally left him in a parked car for nine hours in 2008.
Kemerovo lawmakers said that foreign nationals related to the child being put up for adoption would be exempt from the ban under their proposed rules. The law would also exclude the former Soviet countries that make up the Commonwealth of Independent States from the ban.

The deputies said many adoptees experienced trouble adapting to life in foreign families.

“When they end up in another country, as a rule, [the child] doesn’t know the language, traditions and culture, they don’t receive warmth and care,” the lawmakers’ note said.

The legislative assembly of the coal-mining region set a precedent by approving similar measures at a local level in September.

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Lawmakers cited popular support for their proposals.

A survey by the VTsIOM polling agency showed in March that 64 percent of Russians questioned were in favor of banning foreigners from adopting local children. That marked an increase from 53 percent who supported such a proposal only two months earlier.

The ban on US adoptions of Russian children sparked international outcry, with critics – including Russia-born adoptees who have found happiness with families in the US – saying the law would deny thousands of orphans the chance of finding a family.

The adoption rate within Russia is low compared to the number of couples abroad willing to adopt, especially disabled children.

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