Update: Russia and U.S. Issue Joint Statement

13 05 2010

Earlier today, Russia and the U.S. issued a joint statement on the progress of their talks related to intercountry adoption.  In addition, the U.S. Department of State has published a separate statement on intercountry adoption in Russia.  Both statements can be found in full below.

Both statements indicate that significant progress has been made and agreement on basic principles of an accord has been reached.   From ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders, it is Joint Council’s assessment that a future agreement will most likely include the specific responsibilities of each government, protocols for direct communication between each country’s primary adoption authority, increased post-adoption reports and responsibilities and the utilization of only those U.S. based adoption service providers accredited by the U.S. government (Hague accreditation).

Joint Council fully supports a bilateral agreement and the inclusion of the above noted improvements to the intercountry adoption process.  It is our understanding that while agreement has been reached on these and other broad principals, a completed bilateral accord will require additional talks between the two governments and sufficient time to bring clarity and definition to the general agreements.

May 13, 2010 – Joint Statement Issued by Russia and U.S.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia issued the following joint U.S.-Russian statement today, May 13, 2010.

On May 12-13, U.S.-Russian consultation on adoption were held in Moscow.

‘Generally, we very positively assess the atmosphere of the talks. In the course of a substantial dialogue we’ve managed to move forward on a wide range of complicated issues,’ says Alina Levitskaya, Director, Department of State Policy on Upbringing, Supplementary Education and Social Protection of Children, Russian Ministry of Education and Science.

‘Both teams are committed to reach an agreement to increase safeguards for intercountry adoption between Russian and the U.S.’ adds Mary Ellen Hickey, the head of American delegation, Managing Director, Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. State Department.

The participants of the meeting shared their views on existing difficulties in intercountry adoption and the way to resolve them. The discussions were detailed and concerned specific issues including domestic laws and international obligations of both countries.

In particular, the delegations acknowledged that any agreement being discussed would be legally binding. Each country will define its competent bodies responsible for coordinating bilateral cooperation in adoption.

Among other things, we discussed the role of authorized adoption agencies, and the possibility of further regulating their activities.

During the talks the participants reached broad understanding on overall goals and principles and discussed how to proceed toward those goals.

The delegations also agreed to exchange their revised drafts as soon as possible.

Due to the significant number of issues under discussion and the mutual commitment to resolve them as soon as possible, the consultations will continue on May 14.

The U.S Dept of State, Office of Children’s Issues issued the following announcement today, May 13.

A U.S. interagency team held meetings to discuss an adoption agreement with their Russian counterparts on May 12.  The meetings are ongoing and will continue on May 13.  The initial talks were positive, productive and conducted in a spirit of cooperation.  Both sides are interested in taking steps to increase the safeguards for adopted children.  The discussions were technical in nature because they involve domestic laws of two countries.  There is still important work to be done and this continues to be a high priority for both governments.

It is our understanding that there has been no change in the status of on-going inter-country adoptions originating from Russia.  Many thousands of Russian children, who were not adopted by Russian families, have found loving, safe and permanent homes in the United States through inter-country adoption.  We are pleased to be discussing with the Russian government a future approach to ensure intercountry adoptions continue.

Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that in some parts of Russia, adoptions continue to be slowed down or delayed.

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To support Joint Council’s efforts for the children of Russia , please donate today.

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One response

13 05 2010
Judith Schoolman

I would like to thank the governments of the United States and Russia for trying to address myriad concerns regarding the international adoption of Russian children. As the proud parent of a child born in Siberia, I can only thank the Russian government for permitting me the honor of creating a family through adoption. Safeguards against unfit parents or the illegal procurement of children, for example, are essential to keeping the process as legal and ethical as possible.
My adoption experience was excellent. I received complete paperwork, met with the appropriate officials both of the US and Russia and wish every adoption goes as smoothly. Please keep the lines of communication open and make sure every child finds his or her forever family. Thank you

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