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Russia Bans Adoptions to Countries Where Gay Marriage Is Legal

Published: February 14, 2014 (Issue # 1797)



  • The government has ruled out adoption for unmarried people in countries where marriage is legal.
    Photo: E. Razumny / Vedomosti

The Russian government has banned the adoption of Russian children by unmarried citizens in countries where same-sex marriage is recognized.

A decree signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and published on the government's website Thursday announced changes to a law on adoption enacted last July that banned the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples.

Last summer's measure came at a time when certain Western countries were debating and later passing laws recognizing same-sex marriage.

Related: American Parents Pen Adoption Plea

Russia's law banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors was passed around the same time and has generated negative attention in Europe and the United States, where activists had called for boycotts of Russian vodka and the Sochi Olympics, and the new legislation is likely to further exacerbate anti-Russian attitudes among human rights activists.

An explanatory note accompanying the amendments said that the government had acted to protect adopted children "from possible unwanted influence such as artificial forcing of non-traditional sexual behavior and the suffering, complexes and stresses that, according to psychologists' studies, are often experienced by kids raised in same-sex families."

Related: Thousands March to Protest U.S. Adoption Ban

More than a dozen countries recognize gay marriages, including the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Spain, Canada, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand and parts of Britain.

Same-sex marriage is also legal in certain states of Mexico and the United States, as well as being recognized by the U.S. federal government.

Americans are already banned from adopting Russian children under a law that was introduced after the U.S. passed an act imposing sanctions on those accused of involvement in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 and other human rights abuses.

Lawmakers including State Duma Deputy Yelena Mizulina, who supported the "gay propaganda" law and is head of the Duma's Committee for Family, Women and Children, earlier called for July's law to be expanded, arguing that children taken in by heterosexual parents could later be transferred to gay parents.

The changes to the adoption law also decrease the official time period for considering applications made by prospective parents from 15 to 10 days and eliminate the need for paperwork confirming that the sanitary conditions of the child's new home are up to standard.





 


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Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.