Russia has completed its final vote on December 26 on a bill that would prevent Americans from adopting Russian children. The final bill passed the State Duma in a resounding 420-7 vote today.
Before the ban was enacted, U.S. adoptions accounted for about 1,000 Russian adoptions from Russian orphanages annually.
The measure stems from several high profile U.S. adoptions ending in public relations nightmares. One such high profile case came in April 2010, when an adoptive U.S. mother sent back a 7-year-old boy to Russia by himself with nothing more than a note. The mother, Torry Hansen, was later ordered to pay child support for the boy in the amount of $150,000 after a judge charged her with abandoning the child. The order was also thought to be an olive branch for mending strained adoption relations in Russia.
Since 2003, there have been seven cases of adoptive U.S. parents violently murdering the Russian children they adopted, ranging in ages of 14-months to 8-years-old. The grisly outcomes of these adoptions caused outrage among Russian citizens who felt the parents weren’t vetted enough.
But the U.S. government and some Russian diplomat dissenters of the bill claim that the ban is more about sending the U.S. government a signal that Russia wants the U.S. to butt out of their foreign affairs. Over the last few years, the Russian government has acted outside of U.S. recommendations, defying U.S. pleas to stop arming what they contend are terrorist organizations. Many believe the adoption ban was meant to send a message to the U.S. that the country will continue to act in their own best interest, using trade to benefit their country outside of U.S. requests and interests.