Russia Bans Gay Adoptions, Promotes Traditional Family Values

Russia revealed that it was banning same-sex couples from adopting children due its violation of the country's Family Code.

The ban will not likely go into effect until later this year, but it will be added as a requirement to prospective adoptive parents such as meeting income requirements and having a clean criminal history.

Putin said in April that a French law allowing same-sex marriage went against traditional Russian values and revealed the government's insistence on preventing gay couples abroad from adopting Russian children.

An amendment restricting foreign adoptions to traditional family structures will be submitted to parliament in its autumn session by the government, said Alexei Levchenko, a spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets.

The new law banning adoptions is part of a larger bill that the Russian government is implementing in response to the Magnitsky Act that was passed late last year by the U.S.

The Magnitsky Act, signed by President Barack Obama on Dec. 14, places U.S. travel and financial restrictions on human rights abusers in Russia. The act is named after Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered Russian corruption and was beaten to death in a Russian prison in 2009.

Just last year, the U.S. and Russia had negotiated a new inter-country adoption agreement aimed at protecting Russian children adopted by Americans. The new agreement was in response to the deaths of 19 Russian adoptees in the United States since the 1990s and a 2010 incident in which an American woman sent her 7-year-old adopted son back to Russia alone on a one-way flight.

About 60,000 Russian orphans have been adopted by American families over the past 20 years, making it second only to China in the number of inter-country adoptions to the United States.

In a Dec. 21 press statement, Micael McFaul, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, said the new law "will needlessly remove the path to families for hundreds of Russian children each year. The welfare of children is simply too important to be linked to others issues in our bilateral relationship."

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