Russia

July 13, 2011

Notice: Secretary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Sign Adoption Agreement

The Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security announced today, July 13, 2011, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signed a bilateral adoptions agreement that will strengthen procedural safeguards in adoptions between our countries.

This Agreement will provide additional safeguards to better protect the welfare and interests of children and all parties involved in intercountry adoptions. Under the Agreement, only adoption agencies authorized by the Russian government will be able to operate in Russia and provide services in adoptions covered by the Agreement, except in the case of an adoption of a child by his or her relatives. This will largely eliminate independent adoptions from Russia and create a better defined framework for intercountry adoptions between the United States and Russia. The Agreement also includes provisions designed to improve post-adoption reporting and monitoring and to ensure that prospective adoptive parents receive more complete information about adoptive children’s social and medical histories and anticipated needs.

The United States is committed to working with the Russian Federation on implementing the provisions laid forth in this Agreement as soon as it enters into force.

The Department of State will publish criteria, procedures, and clear guidance related to the Agreement on adoption.state.gov prior to the Agreement's entry into force.

To find out more: Please visit the Department of State's FAQs on the Agreement and the Department of Homeland Security's FAQs on procedural implications.