Critics say it victimizes orphans by depriving them of an opportunity to escape often-dismal Russian orphanages. There are about 740,000 children without parental custody in Russia, according to UNICEF. More than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted in the United States in the past 20 years.
Astakhov also insisted that all adoptions would be halted once the bill is signed by Putin, but a senior lawmaker at the Federation Council insisted it cannot be enacted immediately.
Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Council’s foreign affairs committee, said that a bilateral Russian-U.S. agreement binds Russia to notify of a halt in adoptions 12 months in advance.