The Straits Times
Published on Dec 28, 2012

Putin signs law banning US adoptions


MOSCOW (AFP) - President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed into law a ban on the adoption of Russian children by American families that activists slammed for making orphans pawns in a diplomatic row between Moscow and Washington.

The law - retaliation for a United States law punishing Russian officials implicated in the 2009 prison death of the whistle-blowing attorney Sergei Magnitsky - will come into force on January 1, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The highly contentious law is seen as the toughest piece of anti-US legislation during Putin's 13-year rule and has prompted objections not just from activists but even some cabinet ministers.

A particular subject of concern are the dozens of Russian children who are now in an agonising limbo. Having been prepared for US adoption they are now effectively banned from leaving for their new lives.