Russia: Joint Statement Issued by Russia and U.S.

May 13, 2010

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia issued the following joint U.S.-Russian statement today, May 13, 2010.

On May 12-13, U.S.-Russian consultation on adoption were held in Moscow.

‘Generally, we very positively assess the atmosphere of the talks. In the course of a substantial dialogue we’ve managed to move forward on a wide range of complicated issues,’ says Alina Levitskaya, Director, Department of State Policy on Upbringing, Supplementary Education and Social Protection of Children, Russian Ministry of Education and Science.

‘Both teams are committed to reach an agreement to increase safeguards for intercountry adoption between Russian and the U.S.’ adds Mary Ellen Hickey, the head of American delegation, Managing Director, Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. State Department.

The participants of the meeting shared their views on existing difficulties in intercountry adoption and the way to resolve them. The discussions were detailed and concerned specific issues including domestic laws and international obligations of both countries. In particular, the delegations acknowledged that any agreement being discussed would be legally binding. Each country will define its competent bodies responsible for coordinating bilateral cooperation in adoption. Among other things, we discussed the role of authorized adoption agencies, and the possibility of further regulating their activities. During the talks the participants reached broad understanding on overall goals and principles and discussed how to proceed toward those goals. The delegations also agreed to exchange their revised drafts as soon as possible. Due to the significant number of issues under discussion and the mutual commitment to resolve them as soon as possible, the consultations will continue on May 14.

Further, the U.S Dept of State, Office of Children’s Issues issued the following announcement today, May 13:

A U.S. interagency team held meetings to discuss an adoption agreement with their Russian counterparts on May 12. The meetings are ongoing and will continue on May 13. The initial talks were positive, productive and conducted in a spirit of cooperation. Both sides are interested in taking steps to increase the safeguards for adopted children. The discussions were technical in nature because they involve domestic laws of two countries. There is still important work to be done and this continues to be a high priority for both governments.

It is our understanding that there has been no change in the status of on-going inter-country adoptions originating from Russia. Many thousands of Russian children, who were not adopted by Russian families, have found loving, safe and permanent homes in the United States through inter-country adoption. We are pleased to be discussing with the Russian government a future approach to ensure intercountry adoptions continue.

Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that in some parts of Russia, adoptions continue to be slowed down or delayed.

If you have completed an adoption in Russia and have an immigrant visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow:

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow is continuing to schedule and issue immigrant visas for adopted children using normal processing procedures. Contact the Embassy at to schedule an appointment. Please also stay in close touch with your adoption service provider.

If you have a court appointment to finalize your child’s adoption in Russia:

Many adoption cases are continuing to move forward in the courts. We have heard of cases in which a court appointment has been postponed. If your court appointment is postponed by the court, please provide this information to us by mail at and . Neither the Department of State nor the U.S. embassy have the authority to intervene with the Russian courts on any individual case and cannot provide a letter for use in the courts. Adoption service providers and/or legal representatives in Russia may be able to make inquiries about your case on your behalf with Russian courts.

If you do not yet have a court date to finalize an adoption in Russia, but are in the process of adopting from Russia:

Please stay in close contact with your adoption service provider, and check the website regularly for current information about intercountry adoption from Russia.

The Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues has established a special e-mail box for inquiries or comments about adoptions from Russia. Prospective adoptive parents and others with concerns about adoptions from Russia may send their questions to . Prospective adoptive parents may also provide complete contact information for themselves, including full address, phone number, and e-mail information, the name of their adoption service provider (if available) and details about the child they are planning to adopt.

This announcent can also be viewed on their website at

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