The Russian Adoption Ban Might Not Last

russianadoptionYou have probably heard about Russia recently outlawing the practice of US families adopting Russian children. Most families who are looking to adopt children know about the law. There is nothing good that can be said about the law as there are hundreds of thousands of orphans in Russia. Many American families would love to adopt one or more of these orphans. The law is bad for Russian children and American families.

Russia claims that the reason for the new law is that Russian children were being abused in the United States and that Russian authorities were powerless to do anything about it. It is true that over the years there have been some high profile cases of mistreatment and that Russia could not intervene. Of course, Russian authorities do not have jurisdiction in the United States, and US authorities are more than capable of properly dealing with abuse cases.

Many people do not believe that was Russia’s reason for enacting the new law. Instead, they believe that the law is simply payback for a new US law that bars Russians who have been accused of human rights violations from entering the United States. If that is the case, then we should expect to see the adoption law modified when tensions over the other issues between the two governments simmer down. In fact, we might already be seeing that. Some Russian legislators are already discussing the possibility of allowing mixed-US families to adopt Russian children. These are families where one parent is from the US and the other is Russian. It’s not much, but it is a start. It should give families some hope that this new law in Russia is not permanent and that adopting Russian children will again be possible someday.


Tana Benner
Tana Benner is an adoption attorney with Columbia Family Law Group. Her practice is focused in the area of family law and she has particular interests in adoption and helping children and victims of domestic violence.