Russian children accounted for about 10 percent of all adoptions by U.S. families abroad. Last year, 748 Russian children found new homes in the U.S. But this year, Russia banned American citizens from adopting its orphaned children by passing the Dima Yakovlev law, named after a Russian boy who died soon after adoption in America.
The law, however, was not a humanitarian response – it was a political reaction to the Magnitsky bill passed by the U.S. Congress last year, which introduced targeted sanctions against top Russian officials involved in human rights violations.
Ukraine, on the other hand, is inching towards easing adoptions by foreigners. Earlier this year, the president asked parliament to ratify the 1993 Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption. If ratified, the convention will help bring the process in-line with international practice.