23 December 2013, 22:08

Russia to enter child adoption agreements with UK, Israel – children’s rights Ombudsman

Russia to enter child adoption agreements with UK, Israel – children’s rights Ombudsman

Russia is about to sign bilateral child adoption agreements with the UK and Israel says children’s rights Ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov. A similar agreement with Spain is also in the pipeline and it has already bwen given the green light from the Spanish Cabinet.

An agreement with Ireland however, at least as proposed by Irish officials during recent Moscow talks, will have to wait until Russia makes sure that this agreement cannot be used by Americans, many of whom have Irish passports, to import Russian orphans to the United States.

The Kremlin’s children’s rights Ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov, spoke in a newspaper interview on Monday, the first anniversary of Russia’s Dima Yakovlev Act, named after a Russian-born orphan who died at the hands of his American adoptive parents. The Act put American adoptions of Russian orphans on indefinite hold.

Mr Astakhov said that many other foreign adoptions have been affected as well. He pointed out, however, that adoption agreements with Italy and France operate quite well.

His interview is to be published by Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Tuesday.

Dima Yakovlev law raises awareness of Russian orphans' ordeal in US - Russian MP

Russia's MP Alexei Pushkov of the Duma’s foreign affairs committee has suggested that the US has been forced to take notice of abuse and other acts of violence that have been perpetrated against Russian orphans on its soil only after Moscow passed the so-called "Dima Yakovlev" law, Voice of Russia’s correspondent Ksenia Melnikova says.

The legislation was named after Dima, a Russian-born toddler, who was left by his US foster parents in a hot car in the summer months and died from overheating.

"The law laid bare a very serious problem, which was a lack of concern that US authorities had about the lives of Russian children in the US. Only after the adoption of this law did the US Secretary of State raise the issue with the Department and tasked it with collecting and sharing information," Pushkov underscored.

The MP said that at the end of the day the law was clearly worth the effort, despite a barrage of criticism in Western media that followed its endorsement in January 2013.

"Before the Dima Yakovlev law, our requests [for information] were waved off as optional," the lawmaker said.

Court rules adoption of Maxim Kuzmin’s brother by US couple illegal

The Pskov Regional Court has ruled illegal and cancelled the adoption by a US couple of Kirill Kuzmin, the brother of Maxim Kuzmin who died after being adopted by the Texas-based Shatto family.

The court ruled to restore the boy’s initial data in his birth certificate and to place him in the care of the Pskov child protection authorities pending further decisions.

The court ruled to place the child under the guardianship authority of the Pskov region in order to decide the boy's future.

On February 18, 2013, it was reported that Maxim Kuzmin, who was adopted into the United States from the Pechora orphanage along with his brother Kirill in 2012, died in what his foster parents claimed was an accident. Kirill remains with his adoptive family in the US.

The Pskov region social protection department filed a lawsuit against U.S. citizens Alan and Laura Shatto on June 26. According to the court ruling, employees of the regional orphanage and the prosecutor's office of the Pskov region were held as third parties in the case.

The Shatto couple did not appear in court, though they have been informed of the necessity to do so. Their reasons for  not apearing in court are unknown.

At the request of the prosecutor's office the case was heard behind closed doors due to the fact that information discussed during the hering related in particular to adoption and medical confidentiality.

Voice of Russia, TASS, Interfax

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