Pondering the politicization of intercountry adoption: Russia's ban on American "forever families"
This Article explores and assesses the Russian discontinuance of inter-country adoptions to the United States. Part I describes the history of Russia-U.S. adoptions, up to and including the 2012 Adoption Ban. Part II sets forth international laws and principles relevant to Russia’s adoption laws and practices. Part III assesses Russia’s ban on adoptions to America, in light of domestic and international law and politics. It is argued that the Adoption Ban undoubtedly represents a largely politically-motivated response to the Magnitsky Act, and in this, it mirrors the politicization of inter-country adoption, generally. Russia has the prerogative to strive to meet her children’s best interests domestically, without resorting to inter-country adoption – there is no duty to partake in inter-country adoption – but the American-targeted Adoption Ban is a disproportionate and cumbersome means of achieving this. This subordination of the best interests of the child to state-centric political considerations is problematic, in terms of the short-term interests of Russian children currently in need of families. The Article concludes with recommendations for Russia’s child welfare system moving forward.
Keywords: Inter-country adoption; Russian law; United States Law; Child welfare
Research Type: Journal Article