Russia to consider US adoption ban

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s parliament is preparing to debate a measure that would ban adoption of Russian children by Americans, raising the stakes in a dispute with Washington over human rights legislation.

The proposal comes after President Barack Obama signed into law last week a bill that imposes sanctions on Russians deemed to be connected with human rights abuses.

A retaliatory measure that passed its first reading in the Russian Duma last week calls for establishing a blacklist of Americans judged to have violated the human rights of Russians. Officials said that would include those who abuse children adopted from Russia.

But an amendment to be considered in Wednesday’s second reading calls for an outright ban on adoptions of Russian children by Americans.

Russians have bristled at reports about the abuse of adopted Russian children. After long delay, an agreement on regulating adoptions was ratified by the Duma in July. The agreement was aimed at addressing concerns galvanized by the scandal over an American woman who in 2010 sent back a 7-year-old Russian boy she had adopted, saying he had behavioral problems and she didn’t want him anymore.

But lawmaker Elena Afanasiyeva, a co-author of the proposed new amendment, said the new adoption deal has not eliminated serious problems, especially the poor U.S. communications with Russian authorities about cases of abuse by adoptive parents. “Frequently, they hear about it from the mass media,” she told the state news agency ITAR-Tass.

Afanasiyeva also called sentences for abusive adoptive parents in the United States too light and said they were inconsistent from state to state.

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