Russian Parliament Bans Adoptions by Americans

Dima Yakovlev Act vs. Magnitsky Act 

(c) photo:

The Upper House of Russia’s Parliament voted unanimously on a measure that would ban the adoption of Russian children by American families. In the Parliament 420 voted for, and only 7 members against the bill. Called the “Dima Yakovlev Act”, it was named after a Russian orphan who had been adopted by an American family and died of heatstroke when his parents had forgotten the boy in a parked car. The case had been widely reported in Russia and sparked tremendous outrage. According to a survey, 56 percent of Russians are for the new law, banning U.S. adoption, oftentimes because they think U.S. parents are violent and cruel towards their adopted children

Adoption laws in Russia had already been very strict. In 2004 it was estimated that 6,000 Russian children were adopted by US families. This number has dropped to only around 1,000 children in 2012. More than 60,000 children have been adopted by US families over the past 20 years and according to UNICEF there are 740,000 abandoned or orphaned children in Russia.

After the vote of the Parliament the new measure now has to be signed into law by President Putin. It is likely that Putin will sign the new bill. (Update from Dec. 28, 2012: Putin signed Dima Yakovlev Act) He had called the measure an “legitimate response” to a recently signed U.S. law that calls for sanctions against human rights violations in Russia. This U.S law was dubbed the “Magnitsky Act”, after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year old who died in a Russian detention centre in 2009. He had exposed a multimillion dollar fraud of officers of Russia’s Interior Ministry and was therefore awaiting trial.

Author: Laura Hien
Best regards
und viele Grüße aus Charlotte
Reinhard von Hennigs