Adoption: children’s rights in the light of the Yakovlev law

posted 15 Jan 2017, 12:46 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 15 Jan 2017, 12:47 ]
26 December 2016 


Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the president of the Russian Federation, has announced that the ban on US citizens adopting Russian orphans "is wholly justified" and that "there have not been any changes in the President’s attitude on this (issue)".

"There is no discussion about this at all at present," Peskov said on 21 December 2016. At the same time, he admitted that "various options may be being discussed at some level, but at the highest level there are no changes in attitude," reports the website.

Earlier the same day, the Russian Federation’s Children’s Ombudsperson, Anna Kuznetsova, announced that the situation regarding the ban on US citizens adopting [Russian] orphans "will depend on the position of the new US administration". She stated that Russia was open to dialogue about this, but that everything depended on the American side.

In mid-November, Kuznetsova had said there was a current tendency "towards a renewal" of dialogue between Russian and American officials concerning a change in the "Dima Yakovlev law" [which bans US citizens from adopting children in Russia]. She commented that this renewal of dialogue had become possible after Donald Trump’s election in early November as president of the United States. However, she did not say whether this renewal of dialogue might lead to a change in the Yakovlev law.

The Russian Federation Ministry for Foreign Affairs refuted the suggestion of a possible change to the Yakovlev law, stating that there were no grounds for doing so, and that the reasons which had prompted Russian legislators to pass this law "remain in force".

The introduction of the ban on adoption by US citizens gave rise to sharp public criticism in the Russian Federation. Many experts consider it a "cynical attempt to deal with political conflict with the West, at the expense of orphans". Spokespeople for the authorities deny this, explaining that the ban was introduced "solely in the interest of orphans".

Translated by Suzanne Eade Roberts