Russia, U.S. verifying databases of adopted children

Russia and the United States will continue the compilation and verification of databases of children adopted by U.S. families from Russia, Pavel Astakhov, a Russian children's rights ombudsman, said at a news conference at the Russian Embassy in Washington.

"At the present moment, a procedure has been started to verify the number and lists of children who have left Russia and have been put on the consular register in the past 20 years since 1991," the ombudsman's press service quoted him as saying.

Astakhov said that, according to his information, over 49,000 children have left Russia over this time, and only some 37,500 of them have been put on the consular register, he said.

"The State Department has expressed its full willingness to share information on these children and their parents with us in principle, but it also asked us to reciprocally share information that we possess," he said.

Washington has provided Moscow with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement information, according to which over 61,000 children from Russia have entered the U.S. with IH-3 and IH-4 visas over this time, he said.

"Verification is needed. The Russian Education and Science Ministry will do this work with the State Department," he said.

The news conference at the Russian Embassy in Washington was held to sum up outcomes of consultations on June 25 and 26 between the Russian delegation, which included Astakhov and Foreign Ministry human rights commissioner Konstantin Dolgov, and officials from the U.S. State Department, Justice Department, prosecution and immigration services.

The participants in the consultations, in particular, discussed issues related to the children adopted from Russia by U.S. families.

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