Federation Council ratifies Russian-U.S. adoption agreement

The Russian Federation Council ratified a Russian-U.S. agreement on cooperation regarding adoption at its last meeting in the 2012 spring and summer session on Wednesday.

The document was signed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Washington on July 13, 2011. Russia had called for drafting and signing such an agreement following a series of incidents involving Russian children adopted by U.S. families.

The document regulates procedures for adoption and establishes a mechanism to control the conditions in which adopted children live and are raised. The agreement stipulates that the transfer of a child to another state for adoption can be considered only if it is impossible to find a suitable family for him or her in his native country. The agreement also stipulates that candidates to adopt a child must undergo socio-psychological training. A child from Russia can be adopted through a specially authorized organization, and the agreement determines powers of such organizations.

The document also regulates the coordination of measures in readopting a child by another family and their return to their native country between the two countries' executive bodies. It also determines the procedure of granting new citizenship to an adopted child or retaining the citizenship of their native country.

The agreement names the Russian Education and Science Ministry and the U.S. Department of State as the bodies responsible for coordination of all activities in the area of intercountry adoptions.

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