Russia: Fear of Shut Down

12/02/2004

Many families have contacted Joint Council regarding the adoption process in Russia fearing that a shut down is forthcoming. This fear has been generated by frequent foreign press reports citing Russia’s desire for a bi-lateral agreement with the United States. While the idea of a bi-lateral agreement has been raised by Yekaterina Lyakhova, the Chairwoman of the Duma Committee on Women, Family and Young People, there have been no concrete steps towards implementing such a requirement.

On November 15, 2004 a group of individuals, including Yekaterina Lyakhova met for a round-table discussion on the laws of adoption within the Russian State Duma. There were discussions about various strategies that would seek to curtail the activity of unlicensed facilitators and ways in which national adoptions could be increased. However, there was no plan identified that would seek to shutdown international adoption.

Several agencies are also concerned about the re-accreditation process in Russia. Following the administrative restructuring of the Ministry of Education last year, no person or committee has been tasked with issuing formal re-accreditations. Some agencies were granted extensions however many regions are not recognizing those extensions; thus agencies have been forced to suspend their adoption programs until the re-accreditation process is once again up and running. Joint Council has asked the Department of State to communicate directly with the Ministry of Education and Science on this issue. We hope that there will be a quick resolution.

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