The adoption of Russian children by foreign families should become a “rare exception,” prime minister and president-elect Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
“We should try to ensure that most [Russian] children find their families here in Russia,” Putin told a government meeting in Moscow. “Foreign adoptions should become a rare exception, a last resort.”
The issue of foreign adoptions has become controversial in recent years following several incidents involving the mistreatment of Russian children in the United States. Russia is one of the largest sources of adoptions for U.S. families, accounting for about 10 percent of foreign adoptions.
The countries signed a bilateral adoption agreement in July last year which stipulates psychological testing of the adoptive parents and allows only accredited agencies to organize adoptions. The document is yet to be ratified by Russia’s parliament.
During the Wednesday meeting, Putin criticized foreign child adoption firms for what he described as a “lack of cooperation” with Russian authorities in monitoring the situation with adopted children.
Relevant government bodies should promptly react to any cases of mistreatment of such children, he said, adding that children whose rights have been seriously violated should be given to other families or returned to Russia.