Medvedev wants revised adoption procedures to be realistic

Accelerated procedures for adopting orphaned children, to be drawn up in compliance with a presidential decree, must be realistic and realizable, said Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

"Again, the decree sets a rigid timeframe for drawing up a document on accelerated procedures. But as we work on the proposals for accelerating the procedure for adoptions and for placing children with foster families, we must ensure that the procedure be realistic and realizable," Medvedev told his deputies.

The problem of orphaned children must be dealt with "in principle" in Russia, he said.

The adoption problem has caused "a colossal public resonance" which remains high, we must admit, Medvedev said, adding that opinions vary, but all - the opponents and supporters of some laws - agree that the problem needs to be resolved in this country.

"This includes the work to create conditions for placing children with foster families, and also the environment at children's homes and orphanages," Medvedev said.

A presidential decree on the protection of orphaned and parentless children took effect on January 1 2013. It lists measures to support those who have decided to adopt children or to start taking care of orphaned children.

"The problem must be tackled in its entirety, and cover orphanages and adoptions, as well," Medvedev said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said says that more than 128,000 orphans in Russia need a family, but only 18,000 families are ready to adopt a child.

"Our databank contains personal data of more than 128,000 orphans. These children need a family," she said.

In all, Russia has over 654,000 orphans, but families take care of the majority of them one way or another.

Some 105,000 out of 128,000 orphans who need a family stay at orphanages while others are studying at vocational schools and living at dormitories.

"We have 18,000 families in the country who are ready to adopt a child. They are at different stages of the adoption process," the vice-premier said.

Decisions to cut the period of adoption and custody procedures are important, she said, adding that the directives given by the presidential decree would be fulfilled.

"At the same time, a separate program endorsed by our trustee council on Dec. 18 launched re-appraisal of all children at orphanages. The trustees insist that diagnoses (of the children) require revision and updating and methods of care for children should be chosen on the basis of individual development and education needs," the vice-premier said.

She hopes that the work will help switch to new forms of education of orphans.

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