World Bulletin / News Desk
The US Senate has unanimously approved a resolution condemning a new Russian law banning US citizens from adopting Russian children and calling on President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership to reconsider the measure on humanitarian grounds.
In its resolution, approved in a vote late Tuesday, the Senate affirmed that all children deserve to live in a permanent, protective family and said it valued a “long tradition” of the US and Russian governments working together to find homes for children who have been deprived of their parents.
The Senate also said it “disapproves of the Russia law ending inter-country adoptions of Russian children by United States citizens because it primarily harms vulnerable and voiceless children” and “strongly urges the Russia Government to reconsider the law on humanitarian grounds, in consideration of the well-being of parentless Russian children awaiting a loving and permanent family.”
The Senate resolution noted that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates there are 740,000 children living in Russia without parental care. It also cited data from the Russian Ministry of Science and Education affirming that 110,000 children live in state institutions in Russia.
"Whatever issues our two governments may be facing, there is no political reason to put vulnerable children in the middle of political posturing," said US Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who authored the resolution and serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about foster care and international adoption issues.
"Children should be raised by parents, not in orphanages, institutions or alone on the street," she said.
The Russian ban on adoptions by US citizens was signed in response to the Magnitsky Act, an American law signed by President Obama in December which calls for sanctions on individual Russian citizens deemed by the United States to have violated human rights.
Critics say the Magnitsky Act, which targeted Russians alone, was discriminatory, superfluous and intentionally unfriendly. The measure infuriated Russian lawmakers, who consequently responded by passing their own human rights legislation aimed specifically at US citizens, including the adoption ban.
The back-and-forth political shouting match has left hundreds of Americans who were already in the process of adopting Russian children – many specific sets of American parents and Russian children had already been paired– in limbo.
It is not clear whether those families will be allowed to complete the adoption process and bring the children to their new homes in America.
“As a grandparent of an internationally adopted child, I know that this new law is against the interests of the Russian people, in particular Russian children,” said Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, who also serves as Co-Chair for CCAI.
“It is nothing more than a political play against the United States that ultimately leads to greater hardships and more suffering for Russian children who will now be denied a loving family,” he said.
Bipartisan agreement faces up-hill battle to secure enough support in Congress
New report says online sales will more than double in a decade, with Amazon leading the way
Turkish diplomatic official says Presidency of Religious Affairs' relief activities reached thousands of Nigerians in 2017
Second reshuffle in 12 months sees currency fall 0.5 pct against US dollar
Iran has three main crossings with northern Iraq’s Kurdish region
40 Somalis injured in Saturday's truck bomb attack in Mogadishu were airlifted to Turkey for medical treatment on Monday
Afghan-born US citizen faces separate charges in shootout with police, attempted bombing of military charity race
Trump's threat to ditch the landmark 2015 agreement, which saw Tehran dramatically scale back its nuclear ambitions in return for an end to punishing sanctions, has sparked a chorus of foreign support for the pact.
Turkish airstrikes kill 8 PKK terrorists in Zap region of northern Iraq, according to Turkish military
Thousands flee northern city after Peshmerga fighters retreat before Iraqi army advance, local sources report
Polish envoy to Ankara says that Turkey has always been an 'important partner'
Alexis Tsipras tipped to emphasise Greece’s geopolitical role during Washington visit that has caught many by surprise
Government forces entered the district center this morning
Pro-independence associations call for protests Tuesday against decision to jail the two leaders
Turkish military launches jets, drones after soldiers martyred in ambush in Zap region