Left out in the cold: Russian official demands full ban on US adoptions

Published: 29 February, 2012, 22:09

Russia’s children’s rights ombudsman has called for a full ban on US adoptions of Russian children. The move follows an American couple’s shocking decision to abandon baby twins on the cold streets of Saint Petersburg.

Children’s Right Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov demanded “the suspension of the issuance of documents on the adoption of Russian children by US citizens” until a bilateral agreement on child adoptions between Russia and the US is ratified


His strong words came after a Russian citizen holding a US passport abandoned her adopted children in Saint Petersburg this week.

According to reports, an unidentified man brought the children to a Saint Petersburg custodial organization on Monday with a note saying the kids’ “foster mother had given them up.”

A search warrant has been issued for the woman, who had concealed the fact that she was a US citizen married to a foreigner when she adopted the children.

“This US citizen’s immoral and illegal act is destroying the work done by the US to bring order to adoption issues. Unfortunately, the US is currently unable to protect children adopted in Russia,” Astakhov’s press service said, Interfax reports.

Saying the two children were adopted by an “absolutely immoral person,” Astakhov further went on to say that “people should lose their US citizenship over such actions.”

The latest outrage follows a stream of instances where adopted Russian children were mistreated at the hands of adoptive US parents.

In March 2010, an American couple was arrested for systematically torturing their three adopted daughters.

The same year, Russia suspended adoptions after a Tennessee woman put her unaccompanied 7 year-old adopted son on a flight back to Russia because she didn’t want him anymore.

Last July, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a bilateral agreement on child adoptions. The agreement will require psychological testing for the adoptive parents, and require them to adopt strictly through accredited adoption agencies.

However, the agreement is yet to be ratified by Russian lawmakers.

Earlier this month, the Russian Foreign ministry had also said the adoption of Russian children by US citizens should be put on hold until the bilateral agreement is ratified.The ministry’s statement followed the decision by a Pennsylvania court to give “an unreasonably soft sentence” to a woman convicted of viciously abusing her adopted daughter.