Astakhov wants U.S. Department of State to provide info on adopted Russian children within six months

Russian children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Education Minister Dmitry Livanov to file an inquiry with the U.S. Department of State on Russian children adopted by Americans.

"We are preparing an address to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Education Minister Dmitry Livanov asking them to request information on all children who were adopted to the U.S. in the past twenty years," Astakhov said in an interview with Interfax on Monday.

Astakhov said it may take the U.S. Department of State three to six months to collect the information.

"We need to understand the situation these children are in, whether they are living a fine life or have been placed in establishments for sick children or mental institutions or prisons. The Department of State said they are ready to work with us in this direction," Astakhov said.

Astakhov also said he intends to initiate the close of the establishment called Ranch for Kids, whose officials barred him and Russian embassy officials during an approved inspection visit.

"I believe we should still go to the ranch for an inspection tentatively in October. If this is not done, we will still be seeking its closure. It's an unclear organization. We believe they have no right to work with children without a special status and license," Astakhov said.

The cruel treatment of Russian boy Daniil Kruchin by his adoptive parents is now being investigated and the Russian consulate is working with the investigators, he said.

Astakhov believes the issue of Daniil Kruchin's return to Russia is currently not on the agenda. "We need to understand how the child has adapted to life in America. We can't return all children. The issue of return is raised in extreme cases," he said.

The issue of the status of another five Russian children, who went to the U.S. on culture exchange and treatment programs in 2003-2004 and stayed there, is currently being resolved, Astakhov said.

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