1 February 2013, 17:42

Russians back extra support for orphans

Russians back extra support for orphans

A majority of Russians have backed President Putin’s initiatives on extra support for orphans and parents adopting children, a survey by the VTSIOM pollster said Friday.

A decree to this effect was part of the Dima Yakovlev package signed by Putin in late 2012. The plan would let orphans stay with their would-be parents in Russia where their wellbeing could be easily monitored.

Some 92% of the respondents have approved Putin’s initiative to raise benefits for children with disabilities while 90% liked the idea of higher wages for staff taking care of orphans. The law offers dozens of provisions to support children without parents and some are already taking effect. In late January, A Just Russia party proposed a bill on tax relief for Russian adoptive parents, says A Just Russia MP Mikhail Serdyuk.

"It can take the government up to three months to consider a bill but taking into account Putin’s initiatives, the bill could already come into force in the second half of the year."

The government has recently approved a draft law increasing support budgets seven times up to 100,000 rubles for would-be parents of disabled children, siblings and kids over 7.

The government also plans to reorganize orphanages. Children’s Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov proposed maximum capacity of 30 kids but some MPs said that not the number of kids but environment in orphanage matter.

Karina Abramova from In-Difference charity praised Astakhov’s initiative.

"We have lots of orphanages that house 120 or 150 kids where they badly lack attention and care."

Reorganization is only one step towards tackling the issue as ideally kids should have a proper family and home. Russians have already decided that this home should be in Russia as over 50% approved the Dima Yakovlev bill banning overseas adoptions.

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