Russian child rights ombudsman urges foreign adoption freeze

© RIA Novosti. Grigoriy Sysoev
10:00 26/01/2011

Russia’s children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has called for a halt to adoptions of the country’s children by foreign families until bilateral agreements to regulate adoptions are signed.
The move comes after a U.S. woman told a talk show last month that she raised her seven-year-old Russian adopted son by pouring ice cold water over him and forcing him to rinse his mouth out with hot pepper sauce. 

“International adoptions between Russia and the United States have been in place for 16 years, but there has been no official bilateral agreement yet,” Astakhov said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily on Wednesday.

“It has been quite a revelation to me that children are being shipped out of Russia in their dozens, without any agreements… I say that such agreements should be signed not only with the United States, but also with the UK, France, Germany and other countries,” he went on.
“Until those agreements are reached, it is necessary to halt adoptions,” he added.
Astakhov said 17 Russian children have died in the United States as a result of abuse.
Last year, a U.S. woman sent an eight-year-old adopted boy back to Russia unaccompanied. He was carrying a note from his adoptive mother saying she did not want him as he was “psychotic.”