Over the last week there have been various news reports that Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs intends to suspend adoptions to the United States until the previously signed bi-lateral agreement between the United States and Russia is ratified by the Russian Duma. However, it is Joint Council’s understanding there are currently no plans for a country-wide suspension of adoptions to the United States. No US or Russian officials have confirmed the recent media coverage. Further, adoption can only be officially suspended by order of the Russian president or State Duma. There have been very isolated reports of some regions and/or judges temporarily suspending adoptions until the bi-lateral agreement is ratified by the Duma. These reports are limited and unconfirmed at this time.
Joint Council remains optimistic that the Duma will ratify the Bilateral Agreement in the spring, following the national elections. Prospective adoptive parents should consult with their adoption services provider regarding any in-process adoptions. Joint Council is working to achieve a clear understanding of the situation and will publish appropriate and confirmed information as it is available.