Moscow wants to have full access to foster children adopted by the US families, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Tuesday.
Russian officials allege at least 19 Russian children have died following abuse by American foster parents since US adoption of Russian children began in the early 1990s.
Since 1999, American families have adopted over 45,000 Russian children. Citing the new Russia-US agreement on child adoptions, Lavrov said Russia currently lacks access to Russian foster children in the US while child abuse against adoptees continues.
“Starting Nov 1, it will be legally binding in Russia and the United States and we will be insisting on the absolutely full and scrupulous implementation of this [new agreement],” he said.
The agreement, signed into law by President Vladimir Putin and set to take force on Nov 1, makes a number of changes including to the existing legislation, including closer scrutiny into prospective foster parents before and after adoptions.
In one child abuse incident, an American father whose adopted toddler son died after being left behind in a sweltering car. But he was found not guilty in 2008 of involuntary manslaughter. The ruling infuriated Russian officials.
In another incident, an American mother sent her seven-year-old adoptee son in 2010 back to Russia unaccompanied after deciding that he had too many emotional problems.