Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) and a group of bipartisan members met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to press the Russian government on its recent ban of all adoptions of Russian children by American families. The ban went into effect on January 1, 2013, preventing hundreds of families in various stages of adoption from completing the process.
"This adoption ban has been heartbreaking for so many American families, including families in my District who were on the verge of opening up their homes to Russian children just before the ban," said Roskam. "I and my colleagues pushed the Russian Ambassador to at least let current adoption cases go through where the families have met and bonded with the child. In the absence of rejecting the ban entirely, the Russian government should at least allow these children's adoptions to be completed."
The Russian Adoption ban was enacted shortly after the U.S. passed the Magnitsky Act, which imposes U.S. travel and financial restrictions on human rights abusers in Russia. Roskam has signed letters to both President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the adoption ban and is a cosponsor of H.Res 24, expressing House of Representatives' deep disappointment in the Russian decision.
"It is unfortunate that in making a political statement against the United States, the Russian government is essentially abandoning thousands of Russian orphans that have little hope of adoption in their home country," said Roskam. "I will continue to fight for the families, and work with our Department of State to resolve the issue so that families can bring the children they have met and bonded with home."
Click here to read the bipartisan letter to President Obama on the adoption ban, and here to read the bipartisan letter sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Text of H.Res 24 can be viewed here.