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Same-sex family from Moscow with two adopted children seeks asylum in US — lawyer

According to the lawyer, there is a big risk that the kids would be taken away from the men in Russia

MOSCOW, September 26. /TASS/. A Russian same-sex couple who adopted two children has triggered criminal proceedings against social workers in Moscow, this subsequently drove the pair and their kids to flee to the US in pursuit of political asylum, attorney Maxim Olenichev told TASS.

"An application from Andrey Vaganov and Evgeny Erofeev for political asylum has been submitted to US authorities. It has been accepted for consideration, but so far there has been no answer, it is still being processed," he said.

Olenichev noted that since the petition was filed for asylum, the two men and their adopted kids are under the protection of the US government. "The family is living in the US, the children are enrolled in a school and are trying to adapt to their new conditions in order to start a normal life, because in Moscow it would have been quite difficult for them after what has happened," he noted.

According to the lawyer, there is a big risk that the kids would be taken away from them in Russia. "At the very least it will be questioned. Most likely, in order to guarantee the children’s safety, they decided to leave after summer vacation in order to start a new life," he concluded.

In July, the Investigative Committee pressed negligence charges against social workers in Moscow, who gave the children to the same-sex couple for adoption. According to the investigation, since 2010 the two men who were living together have been raising two young adopted boys. Consequently, the department noted that this promotes abnormal relationships, distorted ideas about family values in children, endangers their health, as well as their moral and spiritual development. The investigation believes that social workers did not respond appropriately to protect the minors from information that causes harm.

According to Head of Agora International Human Rights Organization Pavel Chikov, this is the first time this type of criminal case has been pursued in Russia.