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© RIA Novosti. Iliya Pitalev

Russian parliament passes anti-US adoption law

by David Burghardt at 26/12/2012 14:56

The Russian upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, has passed the "Dima Yakovlev Law," which prohibits Americans from adopting Russian children.

The bill was passed by 143 senators, with no one voting against or abstentions.

The controversial bill was passed by the country's lower house, the State Duma, last week. Now that the bill has been passed by the upper house, it will go to President Vladimir Putin to be signed into law. Putin has two weeks to consider the bill before signing it; however, he has already stated that he backs the legislative initiative and if signed immediately, then the bill could come in to effect as early as January 1, 2013.

The ban is part of Russia’s response to the US Magnitsky Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama earlier this month. The act introduces sanctions against Russian officials suspected of human rights abuses and is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a whistleblowing lawyer who died in a Moscow pre-trial detention center in 2009.

The adoption ban law is named after a two-year-old Russian boy, Dima Yakovlev (Chase Harrison), who died in 2008 after being left in a car by his adoptive US national father. The father was later acquitted of manslaughter.

Yakovlev was one of 19 Russian children to have died at the hands of their US adoptive parents since 1999, according to Russian officials. Some 45,000 Russian children have been adopted by US citizens in that time, according to the US State Department.



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