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 Post subject: Russian Adoption Laws
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 03 Jan 2012 14:56 
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Russian Adoption Laws

One of our members in another thread has asked some questions about Adoption Law in Russia, so I am posting this article written by a Russian firm of Barristers, which some people may find helpful.


The number of foreign nationals interested in adoption of children of Russian nationality is growing constantly. Such growth is not surprising in view of the fact that in respect of the USA, for example, Russia is the third-largest sending country (after China and Ethiopia) - it sent 1,586 children to the United States in 2009. Overall, an estimated 750,000 children live "without parental care" in Russia. About one-third live in orphanages; the rest typically live with guardians, in shelters, or under police jurisdiction. Sibling groups are often available for adoption.

Our firm, has been performing services as an adoption adviser/counsel for foreign citizens wishing to adopt Russian children for a considerable period of time.

This article represents an attempt to briefly summarize our experience in the relevant sphere and to highlight the most important legal issues related to adoption of Russian children by foreigners. It may prove useful for the persons who plan to adopt Russian children.

Stages of an adoption procedure in Russia:

In accordance with applicable Russian adoption laws, the whole process may be divided into the following basic stages.

  1. First of all for a foreigner it is obligatory to submit a certificate (permit) from the competent body in the country of his or her residence proving that a planned child adoption is well-grounded, reasonable and will be beneficial for the interests of a child. The time limits for obtaining such a permit may greatly vary depending on the jurisdiction, but usually it takes from 3 to 6 months to obtain the permit together with relevant supporting documentation.

  2. Having received such permit (and gathered other supporting documentation) one may file a request of adoption with a competent Russian authority;

  3. Provided the request of child adoption has been satisfied the person concerned will be granted access to the all-Russian orphans data-bank. It is important, whether the child that one wants to adopt has already been on the adoption list in all-Russian orphans data-bank for more than 6 months. The expiry of a 6-month period is yet another obligatory prerequisite established under Russian adoption laws. We advise our clients to seek children they want to adopt among those for whom the said time limit has already expired.

  4. Having chosen a child for adoption the prospective adoptive parent will be required to come to Russia for an interview (meeting) with him/her. If the interview goes normally (the child and the future parent seem to like each other) then the to-be parent will be required to attend a court hearing in Russia (foreign nationals are permitted to be represented by a Russian lawyer, but their personal presence during the hearing is still obligatory). However, if one does not like a child then he or she will have to chose another child and then again to apply for an interview and come to Russia once more.

  5. After the hearing it normally takes a court 10 days to grant or to reject an adoption (during this period a prospective adoptive parent may either stay in Russia or may leave for his country of origin to return to Russia on the day when the decision of the court is announced).

Post-placement formalities

After the procedure of adoption has been duly completed, Russian adoption laws require four follow-up visits with the family to finalize the official, apostilled reports. Said reports, along with photos, shall be submitted 6, 12, 24, and 36 months as of the date of the adoption.

The formats of the reports may differ depending on the requirements, established under Russian regional adoption laws. It's crucial for the adoptive parents to complete these reports on time. In addition, adoptive parents are required to register the child with the respective Russian Consulate within 30 days after the adoption, if this was not completed during the adoption trip.

Article posted courtesy of Confederation, Barristers-in-Law, is a Russian law firm based in Moscow

Russian Adoption Law Overview

Under Russia’s adoption law, local court judges in the area where the child lives approve adoptions. The judge’s decision is based on a review of the various documents in the case, and a closed court hearing which usually lasts about an hour. The law requires adopting parents to attend the hearing, and the overwhelming majority do so. Judges sometimes agree to waive one parent’s presence when there are compelling medical or personal reasons for the request. In a few regions, the parents may be represented at the hearing by an adoption agency employee. Most parents describe their court hearing as thorough, professional and friendly. Many describe it as one of the most moving and memorable elements of their adoption experience.

Although the judge’s decision is issued the day of the hearing, it does not take effect for ten calendar days, during which time it can be appealed.

More detailed information can be found at the British Embassy web site: Adoption-in-Russia

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