Russia Adoption Ban

Coming?: Russia's upper house of parliament on Wednesday unanimously backed a bill barring Americans from adopting Russian children, leaving the controversial measure in the hands of President Vladimir Putin.

The vote was the last legislative hurdle for the bill, one of the toughest pieces of

anti-U.S. legislation in Russia in years that now just needs to be signed by Putin to

become law.

Putin has expressed understanding for the bill but has not yet explicitly vowed to

sign it.

The tough piece of anti-US legislation — retaliation for a new law sanctioning

Russian officials implicated in the prison death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009

– has inflamed tensions between the two former Cold War rivals.

The draft legislation has already passed the three required readings in the State

Duma lower house despite the protests of human rights advocates and even senior


The Federation Council upper chamber — comprised exclusively of Putin allies and

ruling party members — passed the measure in a 143-0 vote.

"I believe that any foreign adoption is detrimental to our country," Russia's

children's rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov said after the vote.

"The more children are adopted abroad, the less we do here to help them," news

agencies quoted Putin's adviser as saying.

Although Putin has not explicitly said whether he would sign the bill into law,

comments by his spokesman on Tuesday appeared to indicate that he backed the measure.

"This will not lead to any infringement of international rights," Dmitry Peskov said.

"Russia is fully implementing the rights it has under international law."

The bill also includes a provision banning Russian political organizations that

receive US funding.