Russian parliament votes to ban U.S. adoption

(CBS News) Russia's parliament unanimously voted in favor of a measure banning adoptions of Russian children by American on Wednesday. The vote comes after years of increasingly strict adoption laws in Russia and is widely seen as a retaliation against a new U.S. law that punishes Russians accused of human rights violations.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed support for the ban and has previously called it a legitimate response to the new U.S. law. Despite voicing his support, Putin -- who will now sign or turn down the measure --stopped short of confirming that he would sign it into law.

According to the U.S. State Department, nearly 6,000 Russian children were adopted by U.S. families in 2004. In 2012, that number dropped to less than 1,000 children.

UNICEF estimates that there are more than 700,000 orphaned or abandoned children in Russia. Over the last 20 years, Americans adopted more than 60,000 Russian children.

Laurie Goldheim, an attorney with the American Association of Adoption attorneys, told CBS News' John Blackstone that the law will affect many American families, as well as thousands of Russian children.

"Every child deserves a permanent home. They didn't ask to be in this situation," Goldheim said. "And we are doing our best to find permanent homes for all of these children."

Last week in Moscow there were rare public protests against the law, however a new poll shows 56 percent of Russians support the ban.

In the U.S., one Chicago family who adopted a daughter from Siberia in 2010 and are looking to adopt again, shared their message for the Russian people with CBS News: "We want to provide a home to just at least one boy from Russia. We have a home. We have a loving family. We're hoping that all this can move forward and this will be the last Christmas he's alone," Courtney Fong told Blackstone.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

The Newsroom