Inspections carried out in 45 of Russia's regions indicate that in the past two years, international adoptions have significantly outnumbered domestic ones.
The checks have also exposed numerous law violations by administrators who are supposed to ensure Russian couples are given preference over foreigners seeking to adopt in the country.
Government agencies responsible for the children in question are not always provided with orphans' details on time and information on measures taken to get a child adopted by a Russian family are often either not reported at all or falsified.
Evidence found in the course of the inspections suggests that the decreasing number of Russian adoptions is also due to various social problems, such as low income and poor housing conditions of potential adoptive parents, lack of government incentives, and health disorders and anti-social behavior of some children up for adoption.
As a result, children in foster care tend to outnumber adopted children by an increasingly wide margin. As many as 80,443 orphans have been taken by foster parents in Russia in the past twelve months, while only about 7,000 have been adopted during the same period.
Deputy Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky has instructed Education and Science Minister Andrei Fursenko to take urgent measures to deal with child adoption legislation abuse.