The Russian-American bilateral adoption agreement has been passed by the lower house of the Russian legislature, which is called the Duma.
Now, it goes for further review and debate in the upper house, which is called the Federation Council. The Federation Council does not reconvene until September of 2012.
Note that many laws are never even considered by the Federation Council. Also note that if any change enters the agreement, it must be sent back to the United States for approval.
If and when the agreement is cleared by the Federation Council, it must then be signed by President Putin.
Given controversies over issues such as the Ranch for Kids and photo listings of kids, it is not clear the remaining ratification steps will proceed quickly. Pay close attention to the fact that it took almost a year to the day to get it to the first step.
The final step is for the US and Russia to get together and try to work out how the agreement will be implemented. If it is true the Russians want powers of inspection of children and retroactive effect, this could be a while in coming.
What follows below is a very intelligent commentary about the status of the ratification of the bilateral adoption agreement between the US and Russia-in contrast, of course, to propaganda from agencies who are now wary of their status in Russia due to apparent illegal dealings with Reece’s Rainbow, specifically the apparent illegal acquisition and distribution of photographs and medical files of children.
There are indications that about 6 licensed agencies have participated in these activities. It seems unlikely that Russia will rush to ratify an agreement in which these agencies continue to play any role whatsoever in Russian adoptions.
It stands to reason that the Duma may well demand that the “Reece’s Rainbow” agencies be banned or that the US enact-and enforce-strict laws against photo listing children from countries where the practice is illegal.
As discussed here, the US-Russian bilateral agreement’s ratification appears to be delayed, indefinitely, in the Russian Duma.
May, 23, 2012. U.S.-Russian Bilateral Adoption Agreement: Is No News Good News? The United States and Russia signed a bilateral agreement on international adoption last July. The Russian Duma (Parliament) needs to ratify the agreement before it can go into effect. As newly inaugurated President Vladmir Putin has now appointed his new cabinet, the Duma could consider this agreement as it gets down to business. But given Putin’s prior opposition to international adoption and the politics of U.S. -Russian relations in this U.S. presidential election year, we are not confident that the Duma will rapidly consider the agreement. Moreover, any changes demanded by the Duma to the agreement would have to be negotiated thereafter with the U.S. government.
Have a look. In January of 2012, EAC heard “rumors” that the Russian-US bilateral adoption agreement would be taken up in February.
This did not happen.
But take note of the comment about independent adoption. It is in the best interests of EAC and other members of the Russian adoption agency “cartel” for this to end. Why? It means more business for them, and, as the power of their cartel increases, so too does their ability to raise prices.
The truth of the matter is that the Russian Duma has deferred consideration of the agreement indefinitely. The agreement, now nearly a year old, will undoubtedly require modification. Secretary of State Clinton, featured prominently in EAC’s advertising, will not be Secretary of State even if Barack Obama is re-elected. Changes to the agreement would have to be negotiated with either a second Obama administration or an incoming Romney administration.
The earliest, then, that changes could be considered would be early 2013.
Recently, “licensed” Russian adoption agencies have had some serious problems. It appears that a number of them, such as About a Child (AAC), Christian World Adoption (CWA), Hand in Hand, Homestudy and Placement Services (HAPS), and The Small World Foundation of Missouri (SWAF) have come under some level of scrutiny. The motivation for this scrutiny appears to be the illegal use of photographs and medical records of children in Russian orphanages in conjunction with the Reece’s Rainbow organization.
It seems unrealistic to assume that Russia would “accept” agencies who have been involved in illegal activities there.
In any case, Margaret Cole’s prediction about the ratification date of the agreement is worth nothing more than a laugh now. One hopes that she did not rush to buy Facebook stock at $37.00 a share, thinking she had made the proverbial “killing” in the stock market.
The Russian parliament (Duma) has decided to defer the ratification of the bilateral adoption agreement indefinitely. The agreement, Russian bill 45441-6 was signed in July of 2011.
Various reports indicated that it might be ratified at some point in 2012, but this seems very unlikely.
The Russian government is disappointed by lack of US action to prosecute abusers of children adopted from Russia. Ready examples come in the form of a horrific tale of death by immolation of a child in Nebraska and “intolerable” delays in the Cherokee, Georgia trial of accused child rapist, Michael Grismore.
As a result, the Russian government is pushing for broader powers to inspect Russian children in their adoptive US homes and possibly return children to Russia based on these inspections. Also, the Russian government has called for the extradition of those both accused and convicted of abusing children adopted from Russia.
The Russian government has noted that the agreement, as drafted will almost certainly require modifications before it could be ratified. Such modifications, will require the assent of the United States. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not believe that the possibility of such assent even exist until after the US Presidential election in November 2012 and the formation of a new government in 2013.
In the interim, various Russian officials have called for a freeze on adoptions in order to apply pressure to the United States. There is a growing perception that the US components of the agreement were designed to favor certain adoption agencies. Some of these agencies are engaged in practices antithetical to the objectives of the Russian government. The Russian government, realizes that its partner in the agreement, the Department of State, lacks enforcement authority over US based agencies and therefore seeks to apply pressure to instill a modicum of self policing among said agencies.
Take a look at this.
If you didn’t know better, you might think it was an official announcement about the Russian adoption agreement.
But it is nothing more than advertising for Margaret Cole and her adoption agency, EAC (European Adoption Consultants).
All of the links and phone numbers go to EAC or another EAC website.
Do not forget, EAC is a nonprofit. There are restrictions on what nonprofits can do when it comes to lobbying. Did Margaret Cole and EAC lobby for this agreement? After all, if they are able to “knock out” other agencies, then they could raise their prices (they are already expensive).
But the agreement has NOT yet been ratified. It is not clear when it will be ratified, or, when ratified, what form it will take.
Cole and EAC did, however, waste no time reserving domain names and putting up these sites.
Can they be trusted?
The U.S. is still dragging its feet in efforts to organize timely assistance to the Russian children who have suffered at the hands of American foster parents. This was reported by Russia’s ombudsman for children’s rights Pavel Astakhov, who was on an official visit to America in mid-February.
According to him, Washington has not yet assembled comprehensive data on the number of Russian children adopted by U.S. citizens, or all cases of violations of their rights. However, according to Astakhov, the State Department is making an effort to rectify the situation.
The Ombudsman noted that work on ratification of a bilateral agreement on adoptions will be accelerated only in the event of clearly-defined implementation guarantees. The agreement was signed in 2011. It provides for special training of foster parents and providing regular updates on the wellbeing of Russian children in the United States.