Russia May Ban US Adoptions

Russia is threatening to ban adoptions to the US in retaliation against the Magnitsky Act.

ABC News reports that members of the ruling United Russia party had promised a harsh response to human rights sanctions signed into law by President Obama. This week found lawmakers in the lower house of parliament threatening to introduce a bill amendment that would apply a ban on the adoption of all Russian children to United States citizens.

Russian officials had previously indicated that their response to the Magnitsky Act would be to issue corresponding sanctions on US officials. The threat escalated last week when they suggested widening the list to add American parents accused of abusing adopted Russian children and judges who insufficiently punish them.

Monday saw the implied inclusion of the country’s adoption ban and the possible closing of political non-government organizations that receive funding from the United States.

An article by Bloomberg writes that Russia’s proposed sanctions would also feature planned travel and investment bans on Americans who “commit crimes against Russian citizens or violate their human rights.” Parliament is scheduled to discuss the bill this week.

According to PressTV, the bill has been unofficially named the “Dima Yakovlev Bill” after a Russian toddler. In 2008, Yakovlev died of heat stroke after allegedly being left in a hot car by his American adoptive father. A court later cleared the father of involuntary manslaughter charges.

The Magnitsky Act is named for lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. Arrested after coming forward with evidence of widespread government fraud, Magnitsky showed signs of abuse at the time 2009 death in prison.

What do you think of Russia’s threat to ban US adoptions?