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More than half of Russians want foreign adoption ban to stay in place — poll

February 06, 11:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW

As many as 71% of respondents support the law, according to the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. As many as 54% of Russians do not want the so-called Dima Yakovlev law, barring US citizens from adopting Russian children, to be lifted, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center said in a statement.

"A total of 54% of our fellow citizens are strongly against the abolishment of the law, even provided that the US and other foreign countries guarantee the adopted children’s safety," the statement reads. However, 41% of those polled want the ban to be removed.

As many as 71% of respondents support the law while the number of those opposing it has grown to reach 25% which is the highest rate to date (compared to 20% in 2014 and 14% in January 2015). As for adoption within the country, 30% of those surveyed say they could adopt a child (compared to 21% in 2015). Meanwhile, only two percent of the poll’s participants said they had already adopted children. At the same time, the number of adoptive parents among the respondents’ friends and family members has been growing: in October 2015, 26% of Russians said they knew someone who had adopted a child while in early 2017 the number of such respondents reached 35%.

"Each year, the number of those who express readiness to help orphans and mull over the possibility to adopt children has been increasing, as well as the number of those who take practical steps in this direction. The positive trend is the result of the measures taken by the government which provides social benefits to the families adopting children and annually increases child benefits," chief of the national pollster’s special programs department Yelena Mikhailova said.

The poll was conducted by phone on January 28-29, 2017, among 1,200 respondents. The results have margins of sampling error of a maximum 3.5 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

Dima Yakovlev Law

In December 2012, a law on sanctions for individuals violating human rights of Russian citizens was adopted in Russia which introduced sanctions against US citizens involved in violations of the human rights of Russian citizens and banned US citizens from adopting children from Russia. The law was named after Dima Yakovlev, an 18-month Russian infant who died after his adoptive US family left him locked in a vehicle in 2008.

On January 17, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that the Dima Yakovlev Law violates Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights and ordered Russia to pay 3,000 euros in compensation to each of the plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit. Moscow will file an appeal against the ECHR ruling within three months, the Russian justice ministry said.

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