WITH NEGOTIATIONS TO LIFT RUSSIAN ADOPTION BAN SEEMINGLY STALLED, SCHUMER URGES RUSSIAN OFFICIALS TO ALLOW THE HUNDREDS OF PARENTS WHO HAD ALREADY STARTED ADOPTION PROCESS BEFORE BAN WENT INTO EFFECT TO BRING CHILDREN TO U.S.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Meredith Kelly

February 17, 2013 202-360-8132

WITH NEGOTIATIONS TO LIFT RUSSIAN ADOPTION BAN SEEMINGLY STALLED, SCHUMER URGES RUSSIAN OFFICIALS TO ALLOW THE HUNDREDS OF PARENTS WHO HAD ALREADY STARTED ADOPTION PROCESS BEFORE BAN WENT INTO EFFECT TO BRING CHILDREN TO U.S.

Nearly 1,000 Adoption Cases Involving Russian Children Remain Open; Nearly 350 Cases Involve Parents Who Have Already Traveled To Russia, Met With Child and Developed Emotional Connection

With Negotiations To Resolve The Issue Over the Long Term Seemingly Stalled, Schumer Asks Russian Officials To Allow Adoption Proceedings That Were Started Before The Ban Went In To Place To Move Forward

Law Gives Russian Officials And Court The Ability To Allow Pending Adoptions To Go Through

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on Russian officials to allow those American families who have already begun the process of adopting a Russian child, to finish. In December, Russia signed into law legislation that bans the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. Schumer stood alongside New Yorkers who have begun the work of adopting a Russian child, and said that while the two countries are negotiating lifting the ban for the long term, at the very least families who have already started the process should be allowed to finish. The legislation allows Russian government officials and courts to allow pending adoptions to be completed.

“Allowing adoptions that have already begun to go forward is the best thing to do for both the families and the children,” said Schumer. “Our two countries need to work out a long term solution to ease this ban, but in the short term, we need to ensure a way that these parents, who have already met and formed a real connection with their children, can bring them back to the United States.”

On December 28, 2012, President Vladimir Putin signed into law Federal Law no. 272-FZ, which went into effect on January 1, 2013. It bans the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens, bars adoption service providers from assisting U.S. citizens in adopting Russian children, and requires termination of the U.S. – Russia adoption agreement.

On January 22nd, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Supreme Court issued a letter to courts clarifying that adoption cases in which court decisions involving U.S. citizen parents were made. The letter explained that these children could be transferred to the custody of their adoptive parents. Russian adoptions are overseen by regional courts with varying policies and therefore, often make different decisions for U.S. parents with no set criteria.

Since the ban, only 25 cases have been completed and 884 cases remain open and are various stages of the adoption process. There are 337 cases in which the parents have already met with their adoptive child in Russia and there are 56 cases in which the parents have already been matched with a child, however, the parents have not yet met with the child in Russia.

Schumer today called on President Putin to allow the American families who currently have pending Russian adoptions to be able to finish the process. Schumer pointed to the emotional connection that these parents have already developed with Russian children they intend to adopt as well as the finances these parents have already invested. Schumer explained that including visas and travel, adopting a Russian child can cost upwards of $50,000. Schumer has been advocating on behalf of these parents since the ban took place. Schumer wrote to Russian Ambassador of the U.S., Sergey I. Kislyak and asked him to do everything he could to urge President Putin and members of the Duma to reconsider this law.

Bazzo 02/18/13

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