U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Mary Landrieu (La.) joined more than 70 of their House and Senate colleagues and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA) in sending letters to both Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama urging reversal of the law banning adoptions of Russian children by Americans families, while prioritizing the completion of pending adoption cases.
In the letter to President Putin today, the lawmakers wrote, "As you know, we are concerned with the entirety of the law but we hope that you agree that it is in the best interests of the hundreds of children who have already met and bonded with a U.S. family to permit their adoption cases to proceed to conclusion The matched children believed they were soon going to become part of a safe, loving and permanent family. Children everywhere deserve the love and support that only a family can provide. The U.S. families matched with these children already love them like their own and have invested a great deal of time and resources in pursuit of a final adoption. We appeal to you to look beyond politics and see the people this law most directly affects."
In a separate letter sent today to President Obama, the lawmakers wrote, "We ask you, as a father and a man who cares deeply about the well-being of children, to make this issue a priority in our bilateral relationship with Russia in your personal dealings with President Putin, and to instruct our nation's diplomats to raise it with Russian officials at all levels of government."
On January 1, 2013, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution introduced by Blunt and Landrieu strongly condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin's ban on the adoptions of Russian children by Americans families. The resolution also urges the Russian government to reconsider the law and prioritize the processing of Russian orphans already matched with adoptive American families.
Putin's outrageous ban came explicitly in response to Congress's decision to hold Russian officials responsible for the illegal imprisonment and murder of Russian attorney Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. The human rights provision was included as part of the Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) bill in December 2012, which Blunt strongly supported.