Joint Council has learned the following from the U.S. Department of State. The Russian Ministry of Education has confirmed that foreign adoption service providers are subject to the new NGO law. (Previously it was thought that adoption agencies would be expt but now we have learned that is not the case). This means the following:
- Agencies that are already accredited under the old rules will be allowed to operate until their accreditation expires.
- Agencies seeking new accreditation or renewal (including the large number we know are scheduled for re-accreditation on May 17) will be prohibited from operating until they both register with the Ministry of Justice under the new NGO law and receive accreditation from Ministry of Education once implementing procedures are in place. We do not know exactly when the implementing procedures will be in place but the timeframe of June/ July has been mentioned.
- NGO registration, once implemented, will likely add thirty days to the accreditation process.
- The emembassy was assured that adopting parents who have already submitted applications to Russian authorities will be allowed to complete their adoptions independently if their agency loses accreditation.
If you are in the process of adopting from Russia we recommend that you stay in contact with your agency. In the report we received it was stressed that prospective families with adoptions in process could continue or complete their adoptions. If your agency will lose its accreditation before your adoption is complete you can continue the process independently.
Joint Council will continue to follow this issue closely and will update our site as we learn of new developments.