WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to help Rhode Island families impacted by a new Russian law banning Americans from adopting Russian children, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today met with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak and urged Russia to reverse this law. Reed also requested that the Russian government ensure all pending adoptions can be completed. While the Russian adoption ban is not effective until 2014, Senator Reed is concerned that hundreds of families that have already begun the complex adoption process will be left in limbo.
“I appreciate Ambassador Kislyak taking the time to meet with us and hear our concerns. We don’t want to see innocent children used as pawns in political disagreements. I strongly urge the Russian government to do what is in the best interest of these children and reverse this ban and allow these kids to join their prospective families,” said Reed.
In June 2012, Russia’s parliament voted 244-96-2 to ratify a long-awaited agreement with the United States regulating the adoption of Russian children by Americans. But in December of 2012, Congress passed a trade bill that included an unrelated provision regarding a Russian court case. Senator Reed opposed the bill.
Soon thereafter, on December 28, 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. Russian officials previously claimed the bill Putin signed would take effect this year. However, the adoption agreement signed by both countries in June must run until January 2014 because it states the agreement must remain active for one year after either of the parties chooses to end it.
“The international adoption process can take years, with families making multiple overseas trips and complying with all the appropriate rules,” stated Reed. “I strongly urge Russia to reverse the U.S. adoption ban and also ensure all pending adoptions that have begun the process can be completed.”
On January 1, 2013, Reed supported a bipartisan resolution condemning President Putin’s ban on the adoptions of Russian children by American families, which unanimously passed the U.S. Senate.
Earlier this month, thousands of Russians protesting the anti-orphan U.S. adoption ban defied freezing weather to march through central Moscow in a rally organizers dubbed the “March Against Scoundrels.”
According to adoption experts, about 25 Russian adoption cases by American families have moved forward since the adoption ban was passed, which is a fraction of the estimated 1,000 case files that are currently pending.