Russian official wants to suspend French adoptions
Now that France allows same-sex couples to marry and adopt children, Moscow should impose a moratorium on adoptions by French citizens, Russia’s ombudsman for children’s rights, Pavel Astakhov, said Thursday.
French President Francois Hollande signed the gay marriage bill into law on May 18, making the country the ninth European nation and the 14th country in the world to legalize “marriage for all.” The bill has sparked mass protests throughout the nation.
Astakhov said the Russian-French agreement on adoptions should be reconsidered because France’s endorsement of gay marriage directly contradicts Russian legislation.
“It is evident that a moratorium should be imposed until [both countries’] legislation is brought into accord. This is logical,” Astakhov told journalists.
His sentiment echoed that of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said late last month that Russia could change its adoption agreements with countries that allow gay marriage, which goes against “traditional Russian values.”
Late last year, Putin signed a law to halt adoptions of Russian children by US citizens. The measure was officially touted as way to protect Russian children from abuse by American adoptive parents. However, at least one Kremlin official has acknowledged that the ban was “triggered” by the so-called Magnitsky Act, US legislation seeking to impose financial and visa sanctions on Russian officials suspected of being complicit in human rights violations.
On Thursday, Astakhov said the number of foreign adoptions of Russian children had dropped 70 percent in the past five years.
He added that Russia had more than 643,000 orphans as of early 2013, and 84 percent of them had at least one living parent. More than 516,000 orphans had been adopted, he said, and over 100,000 were being raised in orphanages.
Last year, more than 52,000 parents were deprived of their parental rights, the ombudsman said.