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U.S. Criticizes Russia’s ‘Politically Motivated’ Adoption Ban

The U.S. criticized Russia’s ban on adoptions of Russian children by Americans and expressed concern that adoptions now underway may be halted.

“The Russian government’s politically motivated decision will reduce adoption possibilities for children who are now under institutional care,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in an e-mailed statement today. “We regret that the Russian government has taken this step rather than seek to implement the bilateral adoption agreement that entered into force in November.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed a law barring U.S. adoptions of Russian children in retaliation for American human-rights sanctions over the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. The measure goes into effect Jan. 1.

“We are further concerned about statements that adoptions already underway may be stopped and hope that the Russian government would 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,” Ventrell said.

The law also restricts foreign support for Russian civil society groups.

Those limitations “on Russian civil society’s ability to work with American partners will also make it more difficult for Russian and American non-governmental organizations to cooperate in areas as diverse as human rights advocacy, open government, and electoral transparency,” Ventrell said.

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