Prompting international outrage, President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Friday that bans Americans from adopting Russian children. The new law takes effect on January 1 and even the Obama administration is outraged by it.
The new law is stopping the in-process adoptions of 52 Russian children by American families, according to Russia’s child rights commissioner, Pavel Astakhov.
Reuters has more information on the new law Putin signed.
The law, whose text was issued by the Kremlin, will also outlaw some non-governmental organizations that receive U.S. funding and impose a visa ban and asset freeze on Americans accused of violating the rights of Russians abroad.
Pro-Kremlin lawmakers initially drafted the bill to mirror the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which bars entry to Russians accused of involvement in the death in custody of anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and other alleged rights abuses.
The restrictions on adoptions and non-profit groups were added to the legislation later, going beyond a tit-for-tat move and escalating a dispute with Washington at a time when ties are also strained by issues such as the Syrian crisis.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the Magnitsky Act had “seriously undermined” the “reset” — the moniker for the effort U.S. President Barack Obama launched early in his first term to improve relations between the former Cold War foes.
Putin has backed the hawkish response with a mix of public appeals to patriotism, saying Russia should care for its own children, and belligerent denunciations of what he says is the U.S. desire to impose its will on the world.
Seeking to dampen criticism of the move, Putin also signed a decree ordering an improvement in care for orphans.
Critics of the Russian legislation say Putin has held the welfare of children trapped in an crowded and troubled orphanage system hostage to political maneuvering.
Before signing the law, pro-life Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida condemned the measure. In a statement LifeNews received, he said:
“I’m deeply concerned by President Putin’s announcement that he will sign the ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans, and urge the Obama Administration to forcefully condemn this action. Over the last decade, tens of thousands of loving American couples have adopted Russian orphans, providing unconditional love, support and a quality of life otherwise unimaginable in Russia’s crowded orphanages. In addition to helping thousands of families, these international adoptions have brought our two nations’ people closer together and served as a symbol of our growing friendship. Now, President Putin’s adoption ban will not just deprive thousands of Russian orphans of a better life, but will cast further doubt on his commitment to human rights. The Obama Administration should make clear that we will not tolerate orphaned children being treated like political pawns.”
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The Obama State Department condemned the signing of the law as well, according to Politico.
The U.S. State Department says it “deeply regrets” that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law barring U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children.
“American families have adopted over 60,000 Russian children over the past 20 years, and the vast majority of these children are now thriving thanks to their parents’ loving support,” spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in a statement. “The Russian government’s politically motivated decision will reduce adoption possibilities for children who are now under institutional care.”