Uncertainty Continues for Children and Families
Joint Council can confirm that the Government of Russia will honor the bilateral treaty signed by both countries during all of 2013. The Government of Russia has provided the U.S. Department of State notice that the agreement will expire in 12-months. This type of notice is required by the agreement and therefor maintains a strict adherence to the terms of the agreement. However, this does not indicate that children’s adoptions will be permitted to continue.
Adoption Cases In-Process
While officials from the Kremlin have provided information that adoption cases in which a court decree has been issued might be allowed to proceed to finalization this is not certain and details of the process are not available at this time. It is also uncertain if other adoption cases may be allowed to proceed as the Government of Russia has not issued any statement regarding these adoption cases.
The U.S. Department of State continues to urge the Government of Russia to complete adoptions. The Department is defining ‘children and families in process’ as broadly as possible. This includes those adoption cased which began the adoption process before January 1, 2013. It has been reported that approximately 1,000 U.S. families have initiated the adoption process prior to January 1, 2013. However it is uncertain as to what definition, if any, that the Government of Russia will issue.
An amendment to the Russian ban has been proposed which would permit the adoption of children with special needs. To date, no action has been taken on the amendment.
Some local Russian regions have reported confusion and are enforcing waiting periods until further guidance is issued. It is our understanding that the Government of Russia will provide guidance to local regions including the courts and it should be issued within 30-days.
Reports also indicate that the Supreme Court of Russia may consider reviewing the cases.
The U.S. Department of State hopes to publish an alert later today.
Continued Engagement & Advocacy
As with all closures, bans, suspensions and restrictions of adoption, Joint Council will continue to be engaged both publicly and diplomatically. We are working with all stakeholders including our Partners with programs in Russia. Please continue to stay engaged with Joint Council, the Department of State and USCIS at;
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