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Russia bans adoptions from countries that allow same-sex marriage

Thursday, February 13, 2014
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MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed an amendment to Russia’s law prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting, extending the ban to foreign couples from nations where same-sex marriage is legal.

The amendment, dated February 10 but posted on the Russian government’s website Thursday, states that it is intended to “help improve the procedure for transferring children without parental care to families of Russian and foreign citizens, and to protect the rights and interests of these children.”

While some Kremlin watchers have suggested that the wording may not necessarily bar adoption of Russian children by married heterosexual couples from countries that allow same-sex marriage, a spokesperson for the Putin Administration told LGBTQ Nation Thursday that it was in fact a “blanket ban.”

An explanatory note that accompanied last year’s law said the aim was to “protect” children from the “potential undesirable effects” of being exposed to “unconventional sexual relationships, and also from forming the complexes, mental suffering and stresses that research by psychologists suggests often affect children of same-sex parents.”

The language of the amendment does not mention any country by name.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in 15 countries, in parts of Mexico and the United States, and in England and Wales in late March.

Couples or individuals from the U.S. have been banned from adopting Russian orphans under a law named for Dima Yakovlev. That law, passed in December 2012 by the Russian Parliament, took effect Jan. 1, 2013. It is informally named after a Russian orphan adopted by a family from Purcellville, Va., who died of a heat stroke after being left in a parked car for nine hours.

Russian law had previously allowed unmarried Russian or foreign citizens to adopt after undergoing background checks.

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