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Adoption of Russian children is profitable business

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  • Adoption of Russian children is profitable business

    Adoption of Russian children is profitable business
    November 16, 2004 Posted: 09:07 Moscow time (05:07 GMT)

    MOSCOW - Adoption of Russian children by foreigners has turned out to be a
    profitable business recently, Russian Deputy General Prosecutor Vladimir
    Kolesnikov declared at the round table meeting Laws on Adoption: Practices and
    Ways to Improve Them, which was held in the Russian State Duma yesterday.

    According to him, the Russian General Prosecutor's Office is receiving
    complaints filed by foreigners that they are requested to pay enormous amounts
    of money so as to adopt a Russian child.

    “Despite the fact that adoption is free of charge in Russia, foreigners are
    sometimes requested to pay up to $50,000 to adopt a child; this process is
    developing into a business,” Mr. Kolesnikov pointed out. According to him, it
    is necessary to solve this problem by signing bilateral international
    agreements on providing help in civil and domestic proceedings. In addition,
    Mr. Kolesnikov is sure that it is necessary to control child welfare agencies.

    Moreover, Mr. Kolesnikov expressed his discontent about how Russian child
    welfare agencies work. “The General Prosecutor's Office shares the Duma’s
    concerns about the level of homelessness among children as well as an increase
    in the number of orphans and draws attention to the inefficiency of the work of
    child welfare agencies,” Mr. Kolesnikov underlined. According to the Deputy
    General Prosecutor, the measures that are being taken are not enough to change
    the situation.

    In particular, the work of separate state agencies and officials negatively
    affects the accommodation and adoption of orphans. “Requirements of the
    Family Code concerning identifying children who become orphans are generally
    not met,” Mr. Kolesnikov stressed. In some regions, there is no information
    exchange between regional and federal databases, and as a result, many children
    cannot be adopted.

    “Child welfare agencies do not take the necessary measures to have children
    adopted by Russian families; it has become known that certain child welfare
    agencies’ have mercenary motives while allowing Russian children to be
    adopted by foreigners,” Mr. Kolesnikov said. According to him, all these
    violations resulted in the fact that in 2003, the number of adoptions of
    Russian children made by foreigners exceeded that made by Russians for the
    first time.

    Practices and statistics show that the adoption of orphans “has been
    orientated towards foreigners” over the past few years. In particular, more
    than 45,000 children have been taken abroad for adoption over the past 10
    years. This process was the most dynamic in the years 2001 to 2003. This data
    was presented by Nikolay Pershutkin, the Deputy head for the Public Security
    Service of the Russian Interior Ministry.

    “The absence of clear legal requirements in this sphere impedes controlling
    this process as it is required by the situation and the interests of adopted
    Russian children,” the representative of the Interior Ministry reported. In
    particular, according to him, among the most vexing problems is “independent
    adoption,” when a considerable number of Russian children are taken abroad by
    so-called “independent adopters,” whose legal status corresponds to the
    rights of Russian citizens. As such, simplified procedures for registration of
    parental rights apply to them.

    “Last year, 2,500 children were taken abroad to this category of foreigners
    and nobody knows the fate of a majority of them,” Mr. Pershutkin added.
    According to him, law enforcement agencies need tough legal regulations to
    control these activities and to impede these unlawful actions.

    Meanwhile, the number of Russian children adopted by foreigners has increased
    by 5 times over the past 10 years, Yekaterina Lyakhova, the Chairwoman of the
    Duma Committee on Women, Family and Young People, declared.

    Foreigners adopted 5,500 children in 1998 and about 8,000 children in 2003.
    This figure will reach 10,000 this year, Lyakhova said having underlined that
    primarily healthy children were leaving Russia. The proportion of disabled
    children taken abroad for adoption amounts to about 2.5 percent.

    Under the guise of adoption, the real trade of children is hidden. Citizens of
    the USA, Canada and Italy adopt children very often, Lyakhova said. She also
    stressed that foreigners were given priority over Russian citizens when
    adoption issues were settled.

    A good friend will come and bail you out of jail . . . but, a true friend will
    be sitting next to you saying, "**** . . . that was fun!"
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