MOSCOW, May 3 (RIA Novosti) - The Kremlin said on Friday it doubted the veracity of a letter published on the internet, said to have been sent to President Vladimir Putin by a group of doctors, asking him to allow adoptions of Russian children which have already started to go ahead, in spite of a new law banning adoptions of Russian children by Americans.
The letter, published on social networking sites and dated April 12, is apparently countersigned by dozens of doctors including leading child psychologists. The authors say it is unreasonable to stop the adoptions in cases where foster children have already met their would-be parents, as they would feel they have once again lost their parents, causing them further psychological damage.
Russia passed the so-called "Dima Yakovlev" law in January 2013, banning adoption of Russian children by American parents. Dima Yakovlev was a Russian boy adopted by an American family who died in July 2008 after his father, Miles Harrison, left him in a locked car, causing Dima to die of heat exhaustion.
The law was seen by many as Russian retaliation for the passage of the so-called Magnitsky Act in the US, which imposed sanctions on Russian officials said by the US to have been implicated in the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison in 2009.
"He (Putin) knows nothing about this letter, as its source is a social network," said Presidential press spokesman Dmitry Peskov. "So therefore we cannot judge its authenticity," he told Russian radio.
The group of doctors later affirmed to RIA Novosti that they had indeed sent the letter, but suggested it may not yet have been received by Putin’s administration.
The letter was published on the Democrator.ru portal, said Elena Morozova, director of the Unforgotten Children family support service.
“According to the conditions of ‘Democtrator’, if a letter gets more than 50,000 signatures, then it is bound to pass that letter on to all concerned. But for some reason they have refused to pass on this letter. We have over 170,000 signatures, in spite of which the letter has not been passed on,” she said.
Democrator.ru has not yet commented to RIA Novosti.
Morozova said the writers had not yet tried to send the letter directly to the presidential administration as they “did not have the possibility to do so.”
“The letter mainly refers to those children who are already acquainted with their potential foster parents and those sick children who cannot get adequate treatment here,” said Elena Dozortseva, manager of the child psychological laboratory at the Serbsky National Research Center. “We asked for them to be adopted,” she added.
(Updated at 11:05 p.m. with last six paragraphs and affirmation by doctors that letter was sent).