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Half of US-sought Russian orphans find families in Russia, abroad - ombudsman

January 16, 2014, 17:21 UTC+3 16
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© Anastasia Osipova

MOSCOW, January 16. /Itar-Tass/. The number of Russian orphans who were left unattended after a Russian law banned American families from adopting them, almost halved as they found homes with families in Russia and abroad, Russian children rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said on Thursday.

A total of 259 Russian children, who were sought by US families for adoptions, remained in orphanages last year after Russia passed the so-called "Dima Yakovlev law" banning Americans from adopting Russian kids. The law was passed in December of 2012 and entered into force the following month.

“As of now, 125 children were adopted by Russian and foreign families,” Astakhov said, adding that 59 of them were adopted in Russia, 64 went to foreign families, while two children reunited with their natural parents.

The ombudsman also said that 55 more children are currently in the process of being adopted, with 12 of them going to Russian and 43 to foreign families, except those in the United States.

The “Dima Yakovlev law" was named after a Russian boy, who died of a heatstroke at the age of 21 months after his US adoptive father left him in the back seat of his car for nine hours in July of 2008.

Russia passed the law following numerous cases of abuse of adopted Russian children in the United States, including cases of sexual abuse and murder. One of the cases that provoked a public outcry in Russia took place in 2010 after a US mother put her 7-year-old adopted Russian son on a plane and sent him off alone to Moscow. The woman left a note with the boy saying that she simply did not need him anymore.

Last month the Russian Investigative Committee launched a criminal inquiry into alleged human trafficking of adopted Russian children in the United States. According to various media reports last autumn, adopted Russian children were traded via Internet’s underground networks by US parents, who no longer wanted them.

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