Russian parliament approves anti-adoption bill against the U.S.
December 26, 2012
Russia's parliament recently voted in favor of a bill that will ban Americans from adopting Russian children, according to The Associated Press. The bill now has to be signed by President Vladimir Putin or dismissed, and Putin has not alluded to which he will do.
The bill came about as a response to a new U.S. law that calls for sanctions against Russians who are considered human rights violators. Even though the lawmakers want the law enacted immediately, it does not seem likely. However, they are unsure what this means for the children who are in the process of being adopted by American families, according to the media outlet.
Even though the Russian lawmakers are for the bill, other top officials in Russia have been completely open about their disapproval, explaining that it will affect their relationship with the U.S. They also believe it goes against Russia's constitute and obligations with other countries, the news outlet reports.
According to UNICEF, there are approximately 740,000 children who do not have parental custody in Russia, and more than 60,000 have been adopted by U.S. citizens in the past 20 years. The Russian bill is named after Dima Yakovlev, a Russian toddler who died in 2008 after being left in his American dad's car in the heat for hours. The father was found not guilty, making Russian lawmakers argue that they are protecting their children by not allowing the adoptions.
This has already gotten in the way of some adoptions, 46 children who were in the process of being adopted will now stay in Russia. According to NBC News, John and Renee Thomas have been fighting to adopt Nikoly, who is the younger brother of their 7-year-old son, Jack, whom they adopted from Russia years prior. They have been waiting for Nikoly since they knew of his existence, and were expecting to get him in 2010. This new bill will only make it that much more difficult for the Thomases to get Nikoly.