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European Court Rules Against Russian Adoption Ban

Forty five American families were in the process of adopting children from Russia between 2010 and 2012. They had followed the proper channels, completed the appropriate paperwork and were in various stages of adoption when the Russian government banned all adoptions of Russian children to American families. Many of the children had serious medical problems, including developmental disorders, downs syndrome, and other disorders requiring special treatment.

Just yesterday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Russia for banning citizens of the United States from adopting Russian children. The courts decision was unanimous including a Russian voting member. The court ordered Moscow to pay each American couple or individual $3,200 in damages.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law banning the adoptions in 2012 and some saw it as retaliation against the United States who made legislation geared toward corrupt Russian leaders. Moscow said the ban was placed to protect the rights of Russian children after several cases of mistreatment by American parents came to light. The Russian government felt it would be better if Russian children were adopted in their own country. In a statement, Russian ministry says it will appeal the ruling, saying the laws banning the adoptions by Americans were in accordance with Russian constitution and international laws.
As reported by Russian news agency, Tass: The speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, Valentina Matvienko, said Moscow is willing to open talks with the United States. She went on to say that Russia is ready for dialogue and would like to hear the United States offer a guarantee to the welfare of Russian adoptees. “The ban is not a goal in itself and the fate of children is the most important thing,”she said.

The European court said the ban was not in accordance with the government’s goals, “given that it had been retroactive, indiscriminate and was applied irrespective of the status of proceedings or the individual circumstances.”
Also noted was an agreement in 2012 between the United States and Russia, guaranteeing against mistreatment and allowing international adoption only after exhausting all possibilities of a Russian family adopting the child.

USA Today