Saturday, March 30, 2013

Putin orders ban on adoptions by LGBT foreign couples

Russian President Vladimir Putin  (RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi)

(RT) The Russian president has opposed the adoption of Russian orphans by LGBT foreign couples, and has instructed the government and the Supreme Court to prepare changes to existing law before July 1.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order will most likely be fulfilled by the Ministry of Education and Science, which is currently dealing with issues concerning orphans and adoptions, Izvestia daily reported.

The ministry has not yet commented on the news, saying that Putin’s instructions had not yet reached their office.

Tensions over the issue arose in mid-February, after the French National Assembly voted to legalize adoptions by same-sex couples. At the time, the Russian plenipotentiary for children’s rights Pavel Astakhov said he would do everything to ensure that Russian orphans are only adopted by heterosexual families.

In mid-February, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that it planned to verify the possible “psychological damage” inflicted on Russian orphan Yegor Shabatalov, who was adopted by a US woman who lived in a same-sex marriage with another US citizen, but concealed her relationship from Russian authorities when she filed the adoption request. Two years after adopting the Russian boy, the couple split and started a legal dispute over parental rights.

The head of the ‘All-Russian Parents’ Assembly’ movement, Nadezhda Khramova, told Izvestia that a total ban of foreign adoptions would be a smarter move, as “it is technically difficult to verify the adoptive parents’ sexual orientation and their legal status can be marriage of convenience.” Khramova and her NGO previously organized mass events in support of the ‘Dima Yakovlev Bill,’ which banned US citizens from adopting Russian children.

The main sponsor of the Dima Yakovlev Bill, MP Yekaterina Lakhova, earlier drew public attention to the French adoptions, claiming that only traditional families can offer their children a proper upbringing. Lakhova noted, however, that introducing new regulations could be a lengthy process, and that no one should expect the ban to immediately come into effect.

The Russian Family Code does not allow same-sex marriage, making adoption by same sex-couples impossible. Adoption by unmarried individuals is allowed; authorities do not require future parents to present proof of their sexual orientation.


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