MOSCOW, June 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s lower house of parliament has given its final approval for a bill to ban adoptions of Russian children by same-sex couples abroad.
The bill, unanimously passed by the State Duma in its third and final reading, would also disallow unmarried foreigners from adopting if they live in the more than a dozen countries where same-sex marriage is legal.
In order to become law, the bill must also be approved by the upper house of parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin. But both steps are likely to be mere formalities. Putin earlier declared his support for the ban.
The bill is a continuation of a recent clampdown on homosexuals by the Russian government. Earlier this month, lawmakers passed legislation introducing steep fines for the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations” toward minors.
That legislation's vague wording may enable individuals to be implicated for even telling children that gay people exist.
But the new bill also increases a cash allowance for Russians adopting children with disabilities, from 13,000 rubles to 100,000 ($3,000), and introduces age restrictions on single people adopting children.
Late last year, Russia banned Americans from adopting Russian children, in what was seen as a tit-for-tat response to US legislation seeking to impose economic and visa sanctions on Russians accused of human rights violations.
Critics of the ban were outraged that hundreds of orphans who could have been adopted by Americans would now be left stranded in the country’s aging orphanage system.