Moscow, Oct 23 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has called for a ban on foreign foster families, including those from the US, adopting Russian children.
“Do not believe the myths and hysterical warnings of those who try to convince us that foreign adoptions must not be banned because that would leave Russian orphans without a future – these are all lies,” Astakhov said.
Addressing Russian lawmakers Monday at hearings on human rights problems in the US, he said adoption was a lucrative business which brings in about $1.5 billion a year.
“Those who spin us tales about the happy lives that Russian children have in America, and their bright future there, are either involved in this business or are simply unscrupulous,” Astakhov said.
Adoptions have become a thorny issue in US-Russia relations following a series of scandals, including the uproar surrounding a seven-year-old boy who was sent back to Russia unaccompanied in 2010 by a US-based adoptive mother.
Russian officials claim at least 19 Russian children have died following abuse by American foster parents since adoption of Russian children by Americans began in the early 1990s.