Kremlin Human Rights Council head demands ban on Russian children's adoption by foreigners

The chairman of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council, Mikhail Fedotov, has proposed banning all adoptions of Russian children by foreigners, but demanded that civilized conditions for adopting orphans by Russian citizens be created.

"Many members of the council think that the international adoption institution itself is a disgrace for Russia," Fedotov told Interfax on Thursday.

"In our opinion, we need to scrap it. But, at the same time, it is necessary to create normal conditions for our citizens willing to adopt Russian orphans. Children should find families - no matter foster or adoptive families. Orphanages are a shameful legacy," he said. 

"But the council members think that a possible ban on international adoption should not be tied to the U.S. Magnitsky Act. These two things have nothing to do with each other. A very strange and ethically unacceptable situation could emerge, if, let's presume, the American Congress decided to repeal the Magnitsky Act tomorrow. Would we have to allow Americans to adopt our orphans in response? It would mean that the issue of children's adoption is a bargaining chip in interstate conflicts," Fedotov said.

A bill retaliating against the U.S. Magnitsky Act was passed by the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia's parliament, in the second reading on Wednesday. Among other measures, the document proposes banning all adoptions of Russian children by U.S. families.

The Magnitsky Act allows the U.S. authorities to deny visas and freeze assets of Russian officials accused by Washington of involvement in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail in 2009.

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