State Department calls Russian adoption ban 'politically motivated'

The statement came shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the ban into law on Friday. The new law, which fully takes effect on Tuesday, includes U.S. families that have already begun the adoption process.


"We deeply regret Russia’s passage of a law ending inter-country adoptions between the United States and Russia and restricting Russian civil society organizations that work with American partners," State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in a statement.

The law is seen as a retaliatory response to the recent U.S. passage of the Magnitsky Act, which blocks Russian citizens from traveling to the United States or owning certain properties if they have been accused of human-rights violations. The Obama administration opposed the law but members of Congress interested in introducing new deterrents to Russian human-rights violators attached the Magnitsky Act to a separate piece of legislation that President Obama signed into law.

"The Russian government’s politically motivated decision will reduce adoption possibilities for children who are now under institutional care," Ventrell continued in his statement.

Ventrell added that the new ban would also hinder certain non-governmental and human-rights advocacy organizations.

"The limitations imposed by the Act on Russian civil society’s ability to work with American partners will also make it more difficult for Russian and American non-governmental organizations to cooperate in areas as diverse as human rights advocacy, open government, and electoral transparency," Ventrell said. "The United States remains committed to supporting the development of civil society and the democratic process around the world, including in Russia."