Russia won't implement adoption ban until next year
MOSCOW — The Kremlin announced suddenly on Thursday that a new law banning adoptions by Americans would not go into effect for a year, as criticism of the measure galvanizes the flagging opposition here.
The move brings new hope to Americans whose efforts to adopt Russian children were cut short by enactment of the law in late December, but it is not clear what practical effect the delay will have. A protest against the law is planned for Sunday in Moscow.
A bilateral adoption agreement between Russia and the United States that was reached just last year remains in force, Dmitri Peskov, the main Kremlin spokesman, told the RIA Novosti news agency on Thursday. He pointed out that the agreement requires 12 months' notice for either side to withdraw. Russia, he said, delivered that notice to the U.S. Embassy on Jan. 1, although until now it has been portrayed as an immediate cancelation.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States did not yet know what the announcement means for adoptions already in progress. “We are very hopeful that in the spirit of the original agreement and out of humanitarian concern that we will be able to work through those cases that have been begun,” she said.
As Russians return from their long New Year's break, it has become clear that the adoption issue has struck a deep chord here and energized a dispirited opposition. The law was intended as a snub to the United States, but many here say its primary victims are Russian orphans.
Evidence of the nasty and manipulative nature of the debate over adoption flared up Thursday in Chelyabinsk, in Russia's Ural Mountains, when a news website reported that a 14-year-old orphan, Maxim Kargapoltsev, had written President Vladimir Putin asking to be allowed to join his new family, Mil and Dianna Wallen, in Woodstock, Va.
The Web post brought stinging denunciations from supporters of the adoption ban, who called it a provocation. Yekaterina Lakhova, one of the sponsors of the ban in parliament, called it an “attack against Russia.”
As it turns out, there probably was no letter. Maxim had told a website reporter in December that he wished he could leave for his new home, and the site apparently decided to crank the story up a bit. That's according to the director of the orphanage where Maxim lives and a local reporter, Inna Kumeiko, who met with Maxim on Thursday morning.
Maxim couldn't be reached from Moscow, but he made clear in a social media post Wednesday night that's exactly how he feels.
“I am very sorry,” he wrote, “that the law will not let me have a very good family in the future, the family that I have known and loved and whom I have become attached to.
“I like my motherland, but I would like to have a family in the U.S.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Israel admits shelling U.N. school, denies strike intentional
- U.S. claims images prove Russia firing into Ukraine
- Costa Concordia completes final voyage
- Venezuela says ex-general sought by U.S. to be freed in Aruba
- Ebola claims Liberian doctor; American physician stable
- Islamic militants destroy historic mosque in Mosul
- Chinese lunar rover not dead yet
- Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges
- Gaza sides agree to lull, but truce efforts stall
- U.S.: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine
- Afghan ballot recount paused as candidate disagree over criteria to scrap ballots