U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., founding co-chair and board president of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and co-chair of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, today said she is deeply troubled by a new Russian law banning adoptions of Russian children by American families. Last week, Sen. Landrieu led a bi-partisan, bi-cameral letter to President Vladimir Putin urging him not to sign the law. The letter stated that the law was overly broad and could have dire consequences for Russian children.
"Whatever issues our two governments may be facing, there is no reason to put vulnerable children in the middle of political posturing. Children should be raised by parents, not in orphanages, institutions or alone on the street. In an overheated moment, the Duma has prevented thousands of Russian children from finding permanent and supportive homes in America. I share President Putin's desire to provide all children in Russia with the wellbeing and safety they deserve, so I urge him to find a way administratively to at least allow the 46 cases that have a final adoption decree to be pursued. I will work with him and his administration to find a long term solution for the 700,000 unparented children in Russia.
Adoption, both domestic and international, is an important child protection tool and an integral part of child welfare best practices around the world, along with prevention of abandonment and family reunification. In fact, the U.S. has just released a National Action Plan for Children in Adversity which places a renewed focus on the importance of every child having a family and seeks to ensure that all children grow up within protective family care and free from violence. While some of our citizens will be directly affected by this law, it is not so much an injury to the U.S., it's an injury to Russia's own children," Sen. Landrieu said.