US reacts to new Russia adoption law

2012-12-28 22:01

Washington - The US on Friday expressed deep regret after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a tough anti-US adoption law, and said it hoped adoption cases already under way would not be affected.

"We deeply regret Russia's passage of a law ending inter-country adoptions between the United States and Russia," State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell said in a statement, decrying the move as "politically motivated".

The law - retaliation for a US law punishing Russian officials implicated in the 2009 prison death of the whistle-blowing attorney Sergei Magnitsky - will come into force on 1 January, the Kremlin announced.

The highly contentious measure is seen as the toughest piece of anti-US legislation during Putin's 13-year rule and has prompted objections not just from Russian activists but even some cabinet ministers in Moscow.

Veteran Republican senator John McCain called the legislation - which also bans Russian NGOs that have members with US citizenship or financing from the US - "shameful and appalling".

Prospective parents

The law could leave in limbo the fate of dozens of Russian children awaiting adoption by prospective American parents. It effectively bans them from leaving the country for their new lives.

Ventrell said Washington hopes Moscow will "allow those children who have already met and bonded with their future parents to finish the necessary legal procedures so that they can join their families".

The Russian law will also "make it more difficult for Russian and American non-governmental organisations to co-operate in areas as diverse as human rights advocacy, open government, and electoral transparency", Ventrell said.

"The United States remains committed to supporting the development of civil society and the democratic process around the world, including in Russia."

Over the past 20 years, US families have adopted more than 60 000 Russian children, Ventrell said, "and the vast majority of these children are now thriving thanks to their parents' loving support".

"The Russian government's politically motivated decision will reduce adoption possibilities for children who are now under institutional care," he said.

McCain said in a statement that any comparison between the Russian law and the US legislation punishing Russian officials implicated in Magnitsky's death was "utterly baseless", as the US measure targeted specific human rights offenders.

"I often wonder how much lower the Russian government under President Putin can stoop," McCain said.

"But to punish innocent babies and children over a political disagreement between our governments is a new low, even for Putin's Russia."

  • rlong1952 - 2012-12-28 22:24

    There are some scary things happening with Russia and China, I think the Cold War is about to restart.

  • david.g.fosse - 2012-12-28 22:33

    Bet the old Russian bride system is still thriving.

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-12-29 02:01

    Why dont Americans adopt one of the thousands of kids in orphanages and in need of a good home in their own country ? Why import them? Does not make sense. A fashion statement maybe? " Oh look what I got in Russia.You dont find these in the US you know ". Come on Americans,dont be such a bunch of star bangled spanners.

  • raghmat.cupido - 2012-12-29 04:48

    Why are America crying? So many children homeless around the globe? What about African chilren who are dying by the second daily? America is certainly no friend of Russia. I hope other countries will follow soon.

  • Shane Loxton - 2012-12-29 09:15

    19 deaths of previously adopted Russian children who were abused by their adoptive parents in the US, On CNN yesterday it was admitted by US social services that they do not keep track on Russian adopted kids, but they do on US adopted kids. This negligence on the US part and now they try shift the blame to a political reason! typical of our Government.

  • lourens.v.d.watt - 2012-12-29 10:09

    Aaahhhg. Just as I was about to adopt a 17 year old russian blond!

  • duncan.gill1 - 2012-12-29 13:36

    This is only the start of a new cold war between Russia and the US..not that the last one was ever least Russia will know where it stands going forward and Western Europe will have to decide where it stands..with a resurgent Russian economy or a broke,militaristic US!Obama is hereby credited with more responsibility regarding the downfall of the US.The US under his watch is an unreliable partner for any co-operation whatsoever.This will bode ill tidings for the Western world..the US has disappointed the entire Western world with it's self serving policies the sooner this defunct ex-world super power is stripped of its status and power,the better for the world!

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