Russia to ban American adoptions; Minnesota has most of any state

Children are getting caught up in political tensions between Russia and the U.S.
Children are getting caught up in political tensions between Russia and the U.S.
Pictured: Moscow Orphanage

Minnesota parents could be hit hard by a new law in Russia banning American adoptions.

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The Land of 10,000 Lakes is the leading state for Russian adoptions, WCCO reports, with more than 60,000 Russian children adopted into Minnesota in the past two decades.

As the New York Times reports, the Russian bill, which President Vladimir Putin said he'll sign into law, is in retaliation for an American law sanctioning Russians accused of human rights violations:

The ban is set to take effect on Tuesday, and some senior officials in Moscow said they expected it to have the immediate effect of blocking the departure of 46 children whose adoptions by American parents were nearly completed. Adoption agency officials in the United States who work regularly with Russian orphanages said they expected the number of families immediately affected by the ban to be far larger, about 200 to 250 who have already identified a child that they plan to adopt...

[Russian lawmakers said their country], which has more than 650,000 children living without parental supervision, should take care of them on its own... [but child] welfare advocates have mocked this sort of rhetoric, noting that more than 80,000 children were identified as in need of supervision in 2011 and that the country had been unable to find homes for the vast majority of 120,000 children eligible for adoption...

The focus on adopted children also showed the Russian government as largely vexed in trying to find a reciprocal response to the new American human rights law. Russians, especially wealthy ones, travel often to the United States and own property there, but Americans travel in relatively small numbers to Russia and typically do not maintain financial assets here.

According to the Times, more than 45,000 Russian children have been adopted by American parents since 1999, including roughly 1,000 last year. In 2011, just over 10,000 Russian children were adopted in total, so Americans were on the receiving end of about one-tenth.

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