July 13, 2011...The following is an Adoption Alert from the State Department:

 
Secretary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Sign Adoption Agreement
Adoption Alert: Russia

The Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security announced today, July 13, 2011, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signed a bilateral adoptions agreement that will strengthen procedural safeguards in adoptions between our countries.
 
This Agreement will provide additional safeguards to better protect the welfare and interests of children and all parties involved in intercountry adoptions. Under the Agreement, only adoption agencies authorized by the Russian government will be able to operate in Russia and provide services in adoptions covered by the Agreement, except in the case of an adoption of a child by his or her relatives. This will largely eliminate independent adoptions from Russia and create a better defined framework for intercountry adoptions between the United States and Russia. The Agreement also includes provisions designed to improve post-adoption reporting and monitoring and to ensure that prospective adoptive parents receive more complete information about adoptive children’s social and medical histories and anticipated needs.
 
The United States is committed to working with the Russian Federation on implementing the provisions laid forth in this Agreement as soon as it enters into force.
 
The Department of State will publish criteria, procedures, and clear guidance related to the Agreement on adoption.state.gov prior to the Agreement’s entry into force.
 
For additional FAQs on the agreement, please visit http://adoption.state.gov.
 
 

 

November 1, 2010...

Ambassador Jacobs, special advisor for children's issues, on international adoption issues....

Interviewer: Well, what’s the status right now of adoptions from Russia?

AMBASSADOR JACOBS: In Russia, they’re proceeding....

Full interview here

 

December 15, 2010....The following statement was issued as part of the on-going U.S. - Russia Bilateral Talks on International Adoption.  The fifth round of talks commensed in Washington DC Dec. 1- 3:

Read News Update Here

 

June 2010....The following statement was issued as part of the U.S. - Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission established during the June, 2010 meetings between U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev:

Joint Statement by the Presidents of the United States of America and the Russian Federation concerning Intercountry Adoption


We are convinced that all children have the right to grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. Many children throughout the world are deprived of this natural right.
Every year, tens of thousands of children find loving parents through adoptions, including international adoptions. We honor those who have the generosity to welcome adopted children, in particular from other countries, into their families.
However, tragic incidents involving children adopted between our countries caused by the adoptive parents underscore the importance of ensuring reliable protections for the rights, safety, and well-being of adopted children. We are committed to doing everything in our power to achieve this.


In this regard, we have come to the conclusion that it is necessary to conclude a legally binding bilateral agreement on cooperation in the field of intercountry adoption. At our direction, experts from the United States and Russia have already been actively working on a draft, and they have informed us that they have made considerable progress in fulfilling this difficult task.
We will work together so that entry into force of this agreement as soon as possible would create an even stronger legal basis for adoption in the interests of children and families of both our countries.
###

 

For more info, go to:

http://www.state.gov/p/eur/ci/rs/usrussiabilat/index.htm

 

Bi-Lateral Talks on INter-country Adoption - Second round of talks

We received the following info regarding the meetings

June 18, 2010

A U.S. interagency team met with its Russian counterpart in Washington, D.C. June 14 – 17 for the third round of discussions about an adoption agreement. This most recent round of negotiations ended after four days of positive and productive talks that reflected the continuing commitment of both sides to the common goal of increasing safeguards for adoption between Russia and the United States. The U.S. delegation was led by the Managing Director of the State Department Office of Overseas Citizen Services, and also included representatives from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the State Department Office of the Legal Adviser, and the Bureaus of the Consular and European Affairs. The Russian side was led by the Ministry of Education and Science's Director of Government and Children's Welfare.

There has been no official change in the status of on-going intercountry adoptions originating from Russia, but prospective adoptive parents should be aware that in some parts of Russia, adoptions may continue to be slowed down or delayed.

If you have completed an adoption in Russia and have an immigrant visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow:

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow is continuing to schedule and issue immigrant visas for adopted children using normal processing procedures. Contact the Embassy at MoscowConsularR@state.gov to schedule an appointment. Please also stay in close touch with your adoption service provider.

If you have a court appointment to finalize your child's adoption in Russia:

Many adoption cases are continuing to move forward in the courts. We have heard of cases in which a court appointment has been postponed. If your court appointment is postponed by the court, please provide this information to us by email at RussiaAdoption@state.gov and MoscowConsularR@state.gov.

Neither the Department of State and nor the U.S. Embassy have the authority to intervene with the Russian courts on any individual case and cannot provide a letter for use in the courts. Adoption service providers and/or legal representatives in Russia may be able to make inquiries about your case on your behalf with Russian courts.

If you do not yet have a court date to finalize an adoption in Russia, but are in the process of adopting from Russia:

Please stay in close contact with your adoption service provider, and check the adoption.state.gov website regularly for current information about intercountry adoption from Russia.

The Department of State's Office of Children's Issues has established a special e-mail box for inquiries or comments about adoptions from Russia. Prospective adoptive parents and others with concerns about adoptions from Russia may send their questions to RussiaAdoption@state.gov. Prospective adoptive parents may also provide complete contact information for themselves, including full address, phone number, and e-mail information, the name of their adoption service provider (if available) and details about the child they are planning to adopt.

For more info, go to: 

 http://adoption.state.gov/news/russia.html

Joint Statement

Issued by Russia and U.S.

 FRUA Received the following information from the U.S. State department.

 

May 13, 2010

Joint Statement Issued by Russia and U.S.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia issued the following joint U.S.-Russian statement today, May 13, 2010.

On May 12-13, U.S.-Russian consultation on adoption were held in Moscow. 

Generally, we very positively assess the atmosphere of the talks. In the course of a substantial dialogue we’ve managed to move forward on a wide range of complicated issues,’ says Alina Levitskaya, Director, Department of State Policy on Upbringing, Supplementary Education and Social Protection of Children, Russian Ministry of Education and Science.

Both teams are committed to reach an agreement to increase safeguards for intercountry adoption between Russian and the U.S.’ adds Mary Ellen Hickey, the head of American delegation, Managing Director, Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. State Department.

The participants of the meeting shared their views on existing difficulties in intercountry adoption and the way to resolve them. The discussions were detailed and concerned specific issues including domestic laws and international obligations of both countries.

In particular, the delegations acknowledged that any agreement being discussed would be legally binding. Each country will define its competent bodies responsible for coordinating bilateral cooperation in adoption.

Among other things, we discussed the role of authorized adoption agencies, and the possibility of further regulating their activities.

During the talks the participants reached broad understanding on overall goals and principles and discussed how to proceed toward those goals.

The delegations also agreed to exchange their revised drafts as soon as possible.  

Due to the significant number of issues under discussion and the mutual commitment to resolve them as soon as possible, the consultations will continue on May 14.

Further, the U.S Dept of State, Office of Children’s Issues issued the following announcement today, May 13:
 
A U.S. interagency team held meetings to discuss an adoption agreement with their Russian counterparts on May 12.  The meetings are ongoing and will continue on May 13.  The initial talks were positive, productive and conducted in a spirit of cooperation.  Both sides are interested in taking steps to increase the safeguards for adopted children.  The discussions were technical in nature because they involve domestic laws of two countries.  There is still important work to be done and this continues to be a high priority for both governments.

It is our understanding that there has been no change in the status of on-going inter-country adoptions originating from Russia.  Many thousands of Russian children, who were not adopted by Russian families, have found loving, safe and permanent homes in the United States through inter-country adoption.  We are pleased to be discussing with the Russian government a future approach to ensure intercountry adoptions continue.

 

Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that in some parts of Russia, adoptions continue to be slowed down or delayed.   


If you have completed an adoption in Russia and have an immigrant visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow:  
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow is continuing to schedule and issue immigrant visas for adopted children using normal processing procedures.  Contact the Embassy at MoscowConsularR@state.gov to schedule an appointment.  Please also stay in close touch with your adoption service provider.   
 
If you have a court appointment to finalize your child’s adoption in Russia:  
Many adoption cases are continuing to move forward in the courts.  We have heard of cases in which a court appointment has been postponed.  If your court appointment is postponed by the court, please provide this information to us by email at RussiaAdoption@state.gov  and MoscowConsularR@state.gov  Neither the Department of State nor the U.S. Embassy have the authority to intervene with the Russian courts on any individual case and cannot provide a letter for use in the courts.  Adoption service providers and/or legal representatives in Russia may be able to make inquiries about your case on your behalf with Russian courts. 

If you do not yet have a court date to finalize an adoption in Russia, but are in the process of adopting from Russia:   
Please stay in close contact with your adoption service provider, and check the
adoption.state.gov website regularly for current information about intercountry adoption from Russia.  

The Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues has established a special e-mail box for inquiries or comments about adoptions from Russia.  Prospective adoptive parents and others with concerns about adoptions from Russia may send their questions to RussiaAdoption@state.gov .  Prospective adoptive parents may also provide complete contact information for themselves, including full address, phone number, and e-mail information, the name of their adoption service provider (if available) and details about the child they are planning to adopt.

 

This announcement can also be viewed on their website at http://adoption.state.gov/news/russia.html.

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