MOSCOW, December 6 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev praised a law banning adoptions by Americans on Friday, claiming it had prompted more Russians to adopt, even though 95 children affected by the legislation remain without a family.
In the first nine months of this year 5,000 more children were adopted by Russians than in the same period last year, Medvedev said during an interview with Russian TV channels broadcast Friday. He did not give the total figure.
“It means that certain moral mechanisms have been enacted.” Medvedev said. "Our task was to attract people’s attention."
The so-called “Dima Yakovlev law” banning US adoptions was named after a Russian boy aged 21 months who died of heatstroke in July 2008, after his American adoptive father left him in the back of his car for nine hours.
The ban sparked an outcry in Russia and abroad, with critics saying the law denied thousands of children the chance of finding a family.
According to Medvedev, 259 children whose adoptions by their prospective American families were cut short by the ban at different stages of the bureaucratic process, had to stay in Russian orphanage facilities. While most of them have subsequently been adopted by Russians, 95 are still orphans, he said.
The database of those awaiting adoption lists about 109,000 children, according to an official Education Ministry website.