Saturday, December 22, 2012
PEAR’s Statement on Russia’s Potential Ban of Intercountry Adoption by United States Citizens
On December 21, 2012, Russia’s legislature overwhelming supported the proposed Federal Law No 186614-6, also known as the Dima Yakovlev Law, which includes dissolving the current Bi-lateral Agreement on Adoption and bans the adoption of Russian children by US Citizens. The proposed Russian law contains other provisions that bar travel and the running of NGOs by US citizens. Dima Yakovlev Law was written in retaliatory response to the U.S. passage of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which imposes sanctions against Russian officials perceived by the U.S. to be guilty of human rights violations in Russia.
We at PEAR are deeply concerned with the manipulation of children’s issues as a retaliatory weapon and wish to express our opposition to such practices. We understand the Russian government’s concern with the past death and abuse cases by American adoptive parents, and agree that much more should be done to vet adoption agencies, adoptive parents, and post-placement issues. However, the U.S. and Russian governments, with the assistance of numerous children’s rights and adoption advocacy organizations, spent years carefully crafting a bi-lateral agreement to expressly address those concerns and prevent further instances. This agreement was approved by both governments and came into force on November 1 of this year. The Dima Yakovlev Law is not a response to Russia’s concerns over the safety of its children--it is the misuse of a highly emotional children’s issue in attempt to manipulate the U.S. government.
At this point, the Dima Yakovlev Law will become the law of Russia upon the approval of the Federation Council and the signature of President Vladimir Putin. We call on both the Federal Council and President Putin to withhold approval and remove all adoption related provisions. Children should not be used as political pawns.
We suggest that U.S. citizens wishing to advocate for the continuation of adoption from Russia contact the Russian Embassy in Washington DC with your concerns as well your U.S. representatives and senators. In addition, you may wish to participate in a petition, authored by a U.S. citizen adopted from Russia, supporting the continuation of adoptions. That petition, entitled Voice of the Child, can be found here: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/voice-of-the-child.html.
Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.