Russia: Data Bank Temporary Suspension Confirmed

12/10/2004

Below please find a notice from the embassy in Moscow. It addresses the current suspension of data base releases. We have heard from several of agencies and families experiencing this problem and understand the hardship placed on families to continue to wait, especially around this time of year. Joint Council will continue to maintain contact with the State Department and emembassy and will let you know of any new developments.

EMBASSY STATENT ON ADOPTION ISSUES

The U.S. emembassy in Moscow has learned from Russian Ministry of Education officials that the Minister of Education has directed that, by the end of December, an accreditation commission be formed comprised of representatives from the Ministries of Education, Justice, Internal Affairs, Health and Social Development. In addition, during the first week of January, governmental offices will be closed for the holidays. This reorganization and the holiday closures may mean that adoption agencies that are renewing their accreditations or applying for accreditation for the first time will not receive consideration by the new accreditation commission until it is formed and functioning sometime after mid-January.

At the same time, for reasons that rain unclear, the Russian government has again temporarily stopped issuing letters of release for orphans on the federal data bank.

For this reason, adoption agencies should discourage parents from coming to Russia to complete adoption proceedings before the required release letters are available.

While we recognize the inconvenience and possible hardship this reorganization, the prolonged holidays, and temporary suspension of release letters may cause some adopting parents and adoption agencies, we do not believe that U.S. government interference in this process at this time would be appropriate or productive. The U.S. embassy in Moscow will continue to monitor the situation and apprise the adoption community of any significant developments.

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