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Russia and the U.S. about to enter into next round of bilateral adoption talks

Russia and the United States are about to enter into their next round of talks aimed at drafting a bilateral adoption agreement in early December.

See Russia, U.S. to discuss child adoption deal Dec. 1-3

“There is reason to hope that the negotiations will help deal with the remaining issues and ensure the early signing of an agreement,” Alina Levitskaya, director of the ministry’s Child Education and Socialization Department, said.

However, in light of some of the past history of Russian children adopted by Americans some are still deeply concerned and favor placing a freeze on the adoptions until Russian childrens’ rights are guaranteed instead.

Russian Children’s Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has said he may push for a freeze on adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens if Russia and the United States fail to seal an adoption agreement by early 2011.

Also see Russia, US to hold another round of talks on adoption agt which goes into a bit more detail:

Director of the department of education and socialisation of children of the Education and Science Ministry Alina Levitskaya will head the Russian delegation at the talks. According to her, “There are reasons to hope that the talks will allow us to remove the remaining disputable questions and thus ensure the earliest signing of the agreement.”

The ministry’s pres service noted that the subject under discussion will be “a number of items of the draft agreement on which the Russian side voiced critical remarks.” In particular, according to Russian experts, “the procedures of the recognition of the decision on adoption in the receiving state, getting of the citizenship of this state by the adopted child, as well as the “organisation of monitoring over the cases of conversion of adopted children, should be specified.”

Meanwhile, both Russian and US negotiators have earlier repeatedly said that they have reached understanding on the main points of the document, and the draft agreement will be signed before the end of 2010.

All of these negotiations take place within the broader context of Russian children abused and murdered by their American adopters, (See Bastardette’s memoriam page, CASES: FOREVER FAMILY– FOREVER DEAD on her blog about the Russian children, NIKTO NE ZABYT — NICHTO NE ZABYTO/Nobody is forgotten. Nothing is forgotten) and the “return to sender” case of Artyom Savelyev.

As the ITAR-TASS article pointed out:

The Russia-United States bilateral talks on a draft agreement on adoption began this spring after an incident with 7-year-old Artyom Savelyev, who in early April was sent by his American grandmother by plane from Washington to Moscow alone with a letter to the Education Ministry requesting cancellation of the adoption. The boy’s foster mother Tory Hansen said that she no longer wanted to be parent for Artyom, because the boy is unbalanced, cruel, and he has a serious psychopathic behaviour problem. Then the Russian Foreign Ministry stated in connection with the incident that “the further adoption of children in Russia by US citizens would only be possible after the conclusion of the relevant Russian-American treaty.”

Russian officials say they want more control over US adoptions of Russian children and the living conditions those children face in the United States. “We have reached agreement on all principal issues and have seen willingness to sign such an agreement,” children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov told reporters after US and Russian officials met to discuss the pact. The draft agreement is expected to be approved, and the deal should be signed within the next two months, he said in May. The return to Russia of Artyom Savelyev, who is now 8, caused some officials to demand a freeze on foreign adoptions. Russia’s parliament, however, defeated a motion to suspend adoptions to the United States, the Associated Press reported.

Astakhov confirmed that adoptions to the US have not been “legally suspended” but said they are “effectively suspended” as Russian courts will not rule on adoption cases as long as there is uncertainly about the children’s safety in that country. Under Russian law, only a presidential act or legislation passed by the parliament can freeze foreign adoptions. The new deal will make it obligatory for adoption agencies as well as adoptive parents to report on their child’s health and living conditions, and to “open the door” for social workers to check the facts reported, Astakhov said.

Savelyev’s adoptive mother refused to allow a social worker into the house less than a month before the boy was dispatched back to Russia – a visit that could have prevented the boy’s misfortunes. Russia also has accepted a US proposal to allow adoptions only through US-accredited agencies, the ombudsman said. These agencies work in compliance with the Hague Adoption Convention, to which Russia, however, is not a signatory yet. “This will be an extra guarantee that random people and random organisations will not be involved in such an important and delicate matter as adoption of Russian children in the United States,” Astakhov said.

As for relying upon the Hague accreditation, as I’ve written repeatedly, such not only does not stop abuses, but has basically no enforcement protections due to the very nature of Council of Accreditation’s limitations.

It provides the a false sense of security, but little to no actual substance.

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