Monday, April 16, 2007

Russian Licenses for US Adoption Agencies Expire

Source: Russia halts adoptions by Americans -

The last valid licenses of the approximately fifty U.S. adoption agencies working in Russia have now expired, and Russia currently is not accepting new license applications. In 2006, Russia was the third most common source of foreign adoptions in the US as Americans adopted more than 3700 Russian children.

The expiration of the agency licenses coincides with a Russian effort to overhaul its adoption laws. The changes are driven by two On one hand, notorious cases of neglect, abuse, and death of Russian children adopted into American families is one motivating factor for the restructuring. On the other hand, the changes are part of a broader movement to restructure the international adoption market. For example, the top two countries for American adoptions, China and Guatemala, are also updating their adoption regulations.

Observers attribute the current lapse in Russian licensing to bureaucratic delay and expect Russia to begin approving new licenses under revised guidelines in the coming months.


How should governments approach foreign adoption agencies? What types of guidelines or limitations should they enforce? How, if at all, should cross-border adoptions be treated differently than domestic adoptions?

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