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Official: U.S.-Russia adoption agreement to be finalized by Friday

From Maxim Tkachenko, CNN
Andrei meets Kenneth Wright, who with his wife, Andrea, hopes to become a first-time parent to the boy.
Andrei meets Kenneth Wright, who with his wife, Andrea, hopes to become a first-time parent to the boy.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Proposed agreement reduces U.S. adoption agencies dealing with Russian children
  • Agencies limited to those accredited in U.S. meeting Hague Convention on adoption
  • Agreement follows uproar after Tennessee woman sent boy back to Russia unaccompanied
RELATED TOPICS
  • Adoption
  • Russia

Moscow, Russia (CNN) -- A draft agreement on international adoptions between the United States and Russia will be finalized by Friday, Moscow's children's rights commissioner said Wednesday.

After it is finalized, the agreement will be forwarded to the Russian Health and Education ministries and the Cabinet of Ministers, said the commissioner, Pavel Astakhov. If approved by the Cabinet, a signing date will be scheduled, he said. The final copy would be signed by Russia's Education Ministry and the U.S. State Department or Department of Justice, he said.

Under the proposed agreement, the number of U.S. adoption agencies dealing with Russian children will be reduced, he said.

"We will reduce the number of U.S. adoption agencies accredited in Russia," Astakhov said. Only those agencies that are accredited in the United States and compliant with the requirements of the Hague Convention on international adoptions will be allowed to continue working in Russia, he said.

In addition, he said, "independent adoptions" will be abolished altogether. The draft agreement envisions setting up a joint Russian-American body with the authority to check out any U.S. family adopting a Russian child, Astakhov said.

High-level meetings between the two nations on adoptions followed an uproar after a Tennessee woman sent the young Russian boy she had recently adopted back to Russia unaccompanied.

 
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