Child adoptions ban wrong response to U.S. Magnitsky bill - Russian Public Chamber member

A member of Russia's Public Chamber has slammed the U.S. draft Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, but branded an initiative in the Russian parliament to retaliate with a ban on the adoption of Russian children by Americans as "competing with the United States in stupidity and idiocy."

"We shouldn't start competing with the United States in stupidity and idiocy," Olga Kostina, who heads the Chamber's commission on childhood and family policy, told Interfax on Monday.

Russia's response to the Magnitsky bill should stay within the realm of politics, she argued. "If we are talking about a political response to a political act, the methods should be chosen from what would be a sensitive arsenal for the U.S. establishment," she said.

"The Russian response to the Magnitsky Act shouldn't be damaging to ordinary people and children, it should be damaging to the pseudo-politicians who thought it up. It seems to me that the Russian Federation would be well-advised, for example, to compile lists of those who support 'Orange' revolutions," Kostina said.

She said 19 adopted Russian children have died in the United States over the past 20 years. "The majority [of killers] have been punished, but, under the laws of some of the states, some of them, including the killer of Dima Yakovlev, have been able to evade punishment," Kostina said.

"At the same time, more than 50,000 children who were adopted from Russia live successfully and happily in the United States; moreover, we have seen an example of girls who won at the Paralympics this year and who were disabled children adopted in Russia," she said.

"For this reason, by declaring all U.S. citizens who want to adopt a child and who haven't yet killed anyone to be vampires, murderers and butchers, we would, in a sense, play by the rules of the United States with its Magnitsky Act," Kostina said.

There is one more source of abuse of Russian adopted children in the United States, according to Kostina.

"The problem of some of our orphans being adopted by strange, objectionable people, often for money, has a second aspect to it: it means that employees at our specialized agencies sell such children," she said.

"Once we are talking about adoptions and about bringing this situation under control, not only in regard to U.S. citizens but also in regard to nationals of other foreign countries, we should urgently revise the powers of the authorities that are responsible for giving permission for the foreign adoption of a child to ensure tighter and stricter control," Kostina said.

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