Agreement regulating adoption of Russian children by US parents now in effect

There has long been tension between the United States and Russia over issues related to the adoption of Russian children by U.S. parents. This tension came to a head two years ago, when a U.S. woman decided she could no longer deal with her adopted seven-year-old son anymore, and sent him back to Russia on a plane all by himself with nothing more than a note pinned to his jacket.

Now, the U.S. and Russia have reached an agreement, which they hope will solve many of the problems. The agreement, which is now officially in effect, is meant to create what the State Department calls an “ethical and transparent adoption process.”

One change the agreement makes is that parents who are adopting a child who is not a relative must arrange the adoption through accredited international adoption service providers.

Starting in the spring of 2013, U.S. parents seeking to adopt a Russian child must also be pre-approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which will determine if the child is eligible to come to the U.S. and if the parents are able to handle any specials needs that the child may have.

The agreement will also provide prospective adoptive parents from the U.S. with more information than they would have had before about the children they are considering adopting.

The director of Happy Families International Center, a U.S. organization that handles adoptions of Russian children, recently said that the new agreement will “definitely benefit the children and…the families as well, because it will be [a] deeper screening process.”

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.


WNYC, “US-Russia agreement on adoptions takes effect in November,” Mirela Iverac, Oct. 21, 2012