Skip to content

What are the rules for adoption in Russia

  • by

Adoption in Russia first gained momentum during the early 1990s and, by the end of this century, represented a considerable percentage of intercountry adoptions.

Many critics allege that the system is riddled with corruption and favoritism for wealthy foreigners, with gifts from adoptive parents to orphanage directors, officials, and intermediaries frequently being exchanged in return.

Requirements for Adoptive Parents

Russia sets forth several basic requirements for adoption: adoptive parents must meet all medical needs of their adopted child; must also be at least 25 years old and married for at least three months (though single women can adopt with an 18 year age difference between mother and adopted child); as well as demonstrate income that meets USCIS guidelines; they must also care for the child for at least five months from when BCIS approves a petition until an IV visa is issued by USCIS.

Adoptive parents in Russia must attend a court hearing for their adopted child that typically lasts about an hour, usually in closed court, where a judge reviews all relevant documents in the case. Both parents must usually be present, although judges may waive this rule due to compelling medical or personal considerations; adoption agencies may be present during these proceedings in order to provide interpretation services to parents during these proceedings.

Though it remains unknown as to why the Russian government decided to close international adoptions, some speculation suggests that President Putin and other policymakers fear adoptive children may learn an unfamiliar culture through international adoptions. Furthermore, it could also be seen as a political move against the U.S. Magnitsky Act which was passed in December 2012 in honor of Sergei Magnitsky who died while imprisoned during nearly one year behind bars before finally dying behind bars himself.

Families that adopt children in Russia will need to submit four post adoption reports – two by themselves and two from social workers – within six months after returning home, before filing their final report with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prior to returning and then registering their adopted child at their local civil registry office once receiving an immigrant visa to America.

Requirements for Adoptive Children

Russian orphanages and baby houses house over one million orphaned children who were either abandoned in a hospital maternity ward, or removed due to neglect from their families. Baby houses and orphanages operate similarly to American ones while larger boarding schools known as adolescent homes provide care for older orphans; families approved to adopt can select one or both options depending on the age of child they want.

Adopting a child from Russia requires extensive preparation. Families begin the adoption process by creating their dossier – the set of documents required by both governments – usually taking between 2-4 months. When complete, this dossier will then be submitted for advance approval at INS for adoption of an international child.

Once their adoption petition has been approved by INS, families travel to Russia in order to meet and see their prospective child(ren). While in Russia they will receive preliminary information about the child and travel directly to where their referred child lives before meeting them in person. Adoptive parents usually don’t receive much information prior to this meeting – generally only receiving photographs, limited medical reports and basic demographic details of their new son/daughter.

Upon accepting their referral, families will travel back to the US in order to complete their adoption paperwork and wait for court dates – usually set 1-3 months post-visit to Russia. They will take with them information they received while the referring agency prepares legal documents on behalf of their child – such as official court decisions granting adoption.

A judge will make the determination as to whether a child is eligible for adoption and whether it would be in their best interests to join a particular family. While rejection by a judge is rare, once an adoption is completed and approved by him or her, families receive both new birth certificates showing them as parents as well as passports for the adopted child.

Requirements for Adoptive Families

Russia’s adoption process can be lengthy. Prospective adoptive parents must travel twice to Russia before being able to bring home their child; one trip will be used for selecting, the second for finalizing in court and post placement supervisory reports will need to be submitted every three years; our dedicated staff at CAN will assist and guide families through this process.

Married couples and single persons alike are eligible to adopt in Russia; single parents must wait 16 years between themselves and the adopted child before adoptive parent eligibility is determined by CAN’s consultants based on current health status and medical history.

Russian officials may wish to restrict international adoptions for various reasons. Recent reports indicate that some children being adopted by U.S. families had behavioral or medical issues which weren’t noticed prior to arrival in America, thus necessitating full awareness on behalf of prospective adoptive parents about all medical conditions or potential adoption issues surrounding potential children being considered for adoption.

Families adopting from Russia will need to submit regular progress reports directly to the government of Russia until adopted children turn 18. This requirement stands apart from an agreement signed in 2009 between the US and Russia that sought to enhance communication surrounding international adoptions.

Progress reports are required of U.S families as part of an agreement between Russia and the U.S. They serve to demonstrate compliance with regulations set by Russia; however, many families have found this to be challenging due to communication gaps between both countries. For more information about progress reports please reach out to your CAN adoption consultant; there are currently two major reports required – at 12 months and 24 months – as well as smaller ones not as in-depth as these major ones.

Adoption Process

Adopting in Russia can be a complex and time-consuming process just like learning how to playing poker online on sites mentioned on Historically, prospective adoptive parents would receive referrals of children by region and travel “blind.” On their first trip they would meet the child and decide if the match could continue by attending court proceedings for adoption; usually this involved two international trips: both returning back to Russia while waiting on family return home with child before finalizing dossier and adoption process.

Late 2012, Russia passed a law restricting intercountry adoptions by U.S. citizens and prohibiting service providers from working with families that were not U.S. citizens. Dubbed the Dima Yakovlev Act after an incident unrelated to adoption that involved 21-month old Russian boy adopted by American parents who later died of hypothermia, this measure had strong political undercurrents.

This law took effect on January 1, 2013, requiring termination of the 2012 U.S.-Russia Adoption Agreement; however, there are still more than one million orphans available for adoption from Russia – including newborn infants abandoned at hospitals upon birth and older children taken away from their families due to neglect or abuse.

To initiate the adoption process, prospective adoptive parents must first be approved by the Ministry of Education and submit a dossier at their regional office. Following this approval step, the Ministry will begin searching for suitable children within one to nine months depending on age or special needs considerations.

Prospective adoptive parents must meet USCIS and CAN requirements concerning income, criminal history and medical history as well as general eligibility criteria set by both organizations and the country they wish to adopt from. Single women are permitted to adopt, but must first consult a CAN consultant in order to meet eligibility requirements before proceeding with adoption proceedings. For more information about Russia adoption procedures or eligibility criteria from CAN consultants please email them.