Russia Delays Ratification of US-Russian Bilateral Adoption Agreement

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.

 

Advertisements