Putin Says He Will Sign Anti-US Adoptions Bill

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says he will sign a controversial bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children.

Putin told a televised meeting on Thursday that he "doesn't see any reasons" against the bill and said that he "intends to sign it" into law. The president said U.S. authorities deny access to adopted Russian children and lets Americans suspected of violence towards Russian adoptees go unpunished.

Critics say that the bill will deprive many Russian orphans of an opportunity to get a family.

The Russian parliament has voted for the bill, which is part of a larger measure by lawmakers retaliating against a recently signed U.S. law calling for sanctions against Russians deemed guilty of human rights violations.

UNICEF estimates that there are about 740,000 children without parental custody in Russia.


MOSCOW (AP) -- A spokesman says Russia's president will be deciding in the next couple of weeks whether to sign a measure that would ban Americans from adopting Russian children.

President Vladimir Putin has called it a legitimate response to a new U.S. law calling for sanctions against Russians who are found to be human rights violators.

But Russian activists have spoken against the bill that won final approval in parliament today, saying it victimizes children by depriving them of the chance to escape Russian orphanages.

According to UNICEF, there are about 740,000 children without parental custody in Russia. More than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted in the United States in the past 20 years.

The bill is named in honor of a Russian toddler who was adopted by Americans and then died in 2008 after his father left him in a car in broiling heat for hours. Russian lawmakers argued that they'd be protecting children and encouraging adoptions inside Russia if they banned adoptions to the U.S.

A Russian children's rights ombudsman says 46 children who were about to be adopted by U.S. citizens will stay in Russia if the bill is signed, even though there have already been court rulings in some of those cases authorizing the adoptions.

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