Adoption agreement between U.S. and Russia ratified

Over the past few years, Russian officials have become increasingly upset over allegations that some Russian children adopted by American parents were being subjected to abuse or worse.

Matters reached a boiling point back in 2010, when a Tennessee woman put her seven-year-old adopted son alone on a plane back to Russia with nothing more than a note pinned inside his pocket.

“This child is mentally unstable,” read the note to officials at the Russian Ministry of Education. “He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues/behaviors. I was lied to and misled by the Russian orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability and other issues.”

In light of this and other disturbing incidents, some Russian officials vowed to stop adoptions of Russian children by Americans altogether. However, the U.S. and Russia were able to work out an agreement in 2011 that addressed these abuse concerns while allowing international adoptions of Russian children to proceed.

In recent developments, the Russian Parliament ratified the agreement by a 244-96-2 vote earlier this month after a year spent sorting out the technicalities.

The agreement requires that all adoptions of Russian children must be performed through adoption agencies registered in Russia. These agencies in turn will keep track of what’s going on with the adopted children and send social workers to visit them.

Americans also gain from the agreement, which requires that prospective adoptive parents get better information about the medical and social histories of the children they’re considering adopting.

Interestingly, many of the children adopted by American parents come from Russia. In fact, in 2011, Russia ranked third in adoptions by American parents, behind only China and Ethiopia. Although Russian officials did not keep many records of adoptions prior to 1996, experts estimate that the total number of adopted children from Russia now living in the U.S. ranges from 60,000 to 100,000.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about adoption rights, child custody, visitation, or grandparents’ rights, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


The Star Tribune, “Russian parliament ratifies Russia-US adoption agreement,” Nataliya Vasilyeva, July 10, 2012

ABC News, “Russia considers suspending adoptions to U.S.” Feb. 12, 2011