Russia, U.S. to review adoption policies
The U.S. State Department will send a delegation of high-level officials to visit Moscow for consultations after Russia threatened to freeze adoptions for U.S. families, the U.S. Embassy in Russia said Monday.
Russia threatened Friday to suspend all such adoptions after a seven-year-old boy adopted by a Tennessee woman was sent alone on a flight back to Moscow with a note saying he was violent and had severe psychological problems. The case has caused outrage in Russia.
The delegation will discuss a possible agreement or bilateral understanding to ensure the well-being of Russian children adopted by families in the United States, U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle said in a statement Monday.
"Many thousands of Russian children have been adopted by American families, and we hope that children here who are unable to find a family in Russia to adopt them can continue to have this chance," Beyrle said.
A freeze could affect hundreds of U.S. families. Last year, nearly 1,600 Russian children were adopted in the United States, according to the National Council for Adoption, a U.S. adoption advocacy non-profit group.
Placing children inside Russia remains difficult. More than 740,000 children in Russia are without parental custody, according to UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund.