Congressman Bob Goodlatte released the following statement after signing a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin requesting that the Russian Federation allow completion of pending adoption cases involving Russian children who were matched with U.S. families prior to the enactment of a Russian law banning U.S. adoptions. He also signed a letter to President Obama requesting that he make this issue a priority in our bilateral relationship with Russia.
"I am deeply disturbed by President Putin's law banning U.S. adoptions," said Congressman Goodlatte. "Over the past two decades American families have welcomed more than 60,000 Russian children into their homes. By enacting this measure, the Russian government would choose to deprive these children of the promise of new lives, vast opportunities, and futures with loving families."
Goodlatte continued, "This ban impacts families across the nation, including the Sixth District. I have heard from the Wallen family in Shenandoah County and the Clay family in Bedford County who were both in the midst of adopting children from Russia only to learn that this ban placed the future of their adoptions in jeopardy. For families who have gone through this painstaking adoption process, this is devastating news. For the youngsters who saw the promise of a family and a better future, this law is a devastating blow. I urge President Putin to look beyond politics to the children this ban affects and immediately allow adoptions already in process to proceed."
President Putin signed the adoption ban into law on December 28, 2012. Current estimates from the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services indicate that there were several hundred active adoption cases involving Russian children matched with U.S. families prior to the recently enacted Russian ban.