Russia declines to stop American adoptions
Friday, May 7, 2010; 9:04 AM
MOSCOW -- Russia's parliament on Friday defeated a motion that would have prevented Americans from adopting Russian children.
The motion was put forward in reaction to the case of Artyom Savelyev, an 8-year-old Russian boy sent back to Moscow alone last month by his adoptive mother in Tennessee. The mother claimed the boy was violent and that the orphanage had lied about his condition. Russian physicians said they found no mental issues with the boy.
Savelyev' return led to calls for more control over foreign adoptions and a freeze on all adoptions to Americans until the United States signed a bilateral agreement allowing Russia to better monitor and control adoptions.
A motion to freeze all adoptions to the U.S. pending the signing of such an agreement fell 98 votes short Friday in the State Duma, the lower house.
After a month of conflicting signals, Education Minister Andrei Fursenko confirmed earlier this week that Russia had not suspended U.S. adoptions, which he said required legislation to be passed by parliament or a presidential act.
The dominant Kremlin-friendly party, United Russia, voted against Friday's motion, saying it did not make sense given Americans' willingness to discuss an agreement.
"If an agreement is not signed, we will be the first to submit a freeze bill to parliament," deputy Natalya Karpova said.
Some 1,800 Russian children were adopted in the United States last year, according to the Russian Education and Science Ministry.
U.S. citizens have adopted nearly 50,000 Russian children since the early 1990s, the ministry's Alina Levitskaya told the State Duma on Friday.