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12 May, 2010 05:30

Russia and US hold second round of adoption talks

Russian and US representatives are meetting in Moscow for the final round of negotiations to lift a ban on adopting Russian children and finalize a deal between the two countries.

Adoption from Russia to America was suspended last month after the culmination of several cases over recent years of neglect by foster parents, including the deaths of Russian children in the US.

The first round of negotiations took place in Moscow on April 29 and 30. At the time, Russia handed the American side a draft agreement. Now the concrete details of it have been discussed.

The American delegation is headed by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Michael Kirby. The Russian representatives include officials from the Education Ministry, the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights Pavel Astakhov.

Pavel Astakhov said that the text of the agreement will be finalized by May 14.

We can’t afford to spend more than two months on settling all of the issues to sign the agreement,” Astakhov said.

He added it will most likely be signed between Russia’s Education Ministry and either the Department of Justice or the State Department on the American side.

The deal will lead to the creation of a special Russian-American body for foreign adoption, which will also follow the fate of adopted children in foster families.

We have to know everything about our children. Reporting should be consistent and truthful,” Astakhov stated. “These reports should not only be submitted by the agencies, but the adoptive families as well.”

Adoption by US nationals was frozen after seven-year-old Artyom Saveliev, adopted by an American woman about six years ago, was returned to Russia last month with a note saying that he was no longer wanted.

Overall, since 1992, according to the Ministry of Education, 17 Russian children have died after they were adopted by American parents and brought to the US.