Russian president enacts ban on adoptions by U.S. parents

In a rather shocking news story, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law last month effectively banning American citizens from adopting Russian children. This new law, experts say, is more than likely a form of retaliation for a recently enacted U.S. law designed to penalize Russia for its human rights abuses.

While the bill will undoubtedly create more tension in the already chilly diplomatic relationship between America and Russia, it will also deal a painful blow to many American families already engaged in the complicated, expensive and emotionally challenging adoption process.

Typically, American families trying to adopt children from Russia face a long, arduous process that can cost upwards of $50,000. This includes multiple international trips and other bureaucratic hoops through which to jump.

Americans adopted roughly 1,000 Russian orphans in 2011, a small percentage of the nearly 120,000 children otherwise eligible for adoption.

U.S. officials have decried the move and asked the Russian government to leave orphaned children out of the political process. It is reported that the Obama administration is currently trying to decide how strongly to react to the international adoption law.

This is largely because Russia plays a vital role in several of the United States’ international interests, including those in Afghanistan and Iran. However, the two nations have also clashed on various issues, including the ongoing conflict in Syria.

It is worth noting that Putin also indicated that he would sign a resolution changing the procedures used by his country to help needy children get the proper care.

“[I also intend to sign] a presidential decree changing the procedure of helping orphaned children, children left without parental care, and especially children who are in a disadvantageous situation due to their health problems,” he said.

Stay tuned for updates 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 New York Times, “Putin signs bill that bars U.S. adoptions, upending families,” David Herszenhorn and Erik Eckholm, Dec. 27, 2012