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State Duma drafting bill totally banning adoptions of RF children by foreigners

January 11, 2013, 12:00 UTC+3

If the amendments are approved, only adoptive parents from France and Italy will give the chance to Russian children to get to Europe

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The story of an appeal of a 14-year old orphan from Chelyabinsk Maxim Kargapoltsev to Russian President Vladimir Putin with the request to allow a US family to adopt him has got a continuation. On Thursday, the leadership of the Chelyabinsk boarding school where Maxim lives said that the teenager has not sent any letter and representatives of the United Russia party said that there was no boy at all. Meanwhile, the State Duma lower house of parliament is drafting a bill completely banning foreign adoptions.

On Wednesday, the New Region-Chelyabinsk web portal said that an orphan from Chelyabinsk, Maxim Kargapoltsev, 14, who has a genetic disease, wrote a letter to the President of the Russian Federation and the State Duma members, the Novye Izvestia newspaper writes. The teenager asked the head of state to allow him to immigrate to the United States where a foster family is waiting for him. The teenager said that he trusts completely his potential adoptive parents, because he has communicated with them for seven years. Maxim has visited the United States, and Americans who agreed to be his foster parents, have visited Russia. In 2012, the foreigners filed an application for the adoption, but soon the “Dima Yakovlev law,” forbidding Americans to take children from Russia, came into force.

The story of the orphan from Chelyabinsk who has health problems has evoked strong emotions in many South Urals residents, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily writes. Only the lack of specific references to the texts of the letters was strange in the media reports. Soon, this “misunderstanding” was explained. Director of the boarding school Denis Matsko claims that his pupil did not write any letters either to the president or the parliamentarians. According to him, the related reports are just a “canard” invented by journalists in order to cause a stir around the hot topic. “The truth of the story is that the American family really wants to adopt Maxim,” said Denis Matsko. “In November, the Wallen couple was denied the right to adopt him because of improperly executed documents. But the “anti-Magnitsky law” has nothing to do with it.”

RF president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian-American agreement on adoptions will be valid until 2014. RF Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Kommersant daily that the control over the children from Russia who have already been taken to American families will be continued, but the ban on the adoptions has taken effect. The RF presidential administration officials stressed that due to the political conflict the agreement has lost its meaning and will be n effect for both parties only formally. “We first went the length of conscious breaking the agreement. Therefore, for political reasons we will not be monitoring the condition of adopted children with the instrument from which we have refused ourselves,” a source in the RF presidential administration told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, according to the RBC Daily, member of United Russia Yevgeny Fyodorov has prepared amendments to the RF Family Code, which will prohibit citizens of the countries with which the RF has not signed relevant international agreements to adopt Russian children. If the amendments are approved, only adoptive parents from France and Italy will give the chance to Russian children to get to Europe – Russia has signed the agreements with the two countries. In two weeks, the bill will be ready for submission to the RF parliament, but the lawyers are currently trying to find out a way to get around these agreements in order to completely ban foreign adoptions.

The bill, which is being worked out by the parliamentarian also contains norms suggesting that the right to make a decision on a foreign adoption should be given to regional governors. Certainly, the court will have the last word, but the documents will be taken there only after consultation with the regional head or his deputy. At present, only the permission of a regional guardianship and custodianship agency is required for a foreign adoption.

So far, the new text of the law bans only adoptions by nationals of the countries with which Russia has not signed the related adoption agreements. Among them is Spain, where Russian children have been taken most often after the United States. About 900 children are annually adopted by Spanish families. The lawyers are currently looking for a way to get around the international agreements as well, in order to completely prevent foreign adoptions, said the lawmaker.

Just six weeks ago, Fyodorov’s proposals did not find understanding even among his colleagues in United Russia, the newspaper noted. However, the view of the lawmaker’s colleagues is likely to change now, because only a month ago they signed the ‘Dima Yakovlev law.’










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