Rumor has it that the Russian adoption task force are in town until Friday evening, they have extended their stay in Washington to keeping working out some more details. Here is a brief update, finally some stories are coming out, there for a while I was starting to wonder.
Russia, US Officials Near Adoption Accord
UPDATED: 11:11 am CDT June 17, 2010
MOSCOW -- Russian and U.S. negotiators have agreed to set up licensed adoption agencies and allow monitors to visit the homes of adopted children as part of a new accord, Russia's children's rights ombudsman said Thursday.
Adoptions in Russia became a highly emotional issue after an instance in April when a Tennessee adoptive mother put her 7-year-old boy on a plane back to Russia -- unaccompanied by an adult. International outrage immediately followed, and new adoptions by U.S. parents in Russians virtually stopped.
Pavel Astakhov, a lawyer representing Russia in talks aimed at renewing adoptions, said a breakthrough occurred after U.S. negotiators gave in to Russia's demand that the accord be retroactive so that it protects children already adopted.
"For a long time U.S. officials did not want to give their consent to this," he said in a statement, "but Russia managed to accomplish this decision."
Astakhov said that the new agreement will set up a number of licensed agencies that will have the right to assist potential adoptive parents in finding a child. All adoptions through unaccredited middlemen will be banned, he said.
Training will also be mandatory for adoptive parents. "They will have to undergo training in a special course, for which they will receive the appropriate certificate," Astakhov said.
The agreement also calls for monitoring the adopted child in its new environment, going as far as to allow home visits official monitors.
"This was very difficult for the Americans to agree to this given that their right to privacy is sacred," Astakhov said.
The Russian ombudsman said talks have proceeded "constructively" and could have already been wrapped up were it not for U.S. negotiators, who need to agree everything "with their bosses."
Astakhov said U.S. officials needed additional time to coordinate provisions in the new agreement with the laws of several states. He said the agreement was two-sided and would apply to any U.S. children adopted by Russian parents.