U.S. provides list of 60,000 children previously adopted in Russia – Astakhov

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 12, 2013) The U.S. authorities have provided Russia with a list of children adopted by U.S. families in Russia in the past, Russian children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov said.

“The list has 61,625 children. But these are those whom adoptive parents brought from Russia into the country officially, with a migration visa,” Astakhov said in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper published on Monday.

Some children from Russia, who are in the United States, have not been included on the list, Astakhov said. Five children, who still live with U.S. families without any status – who came for treatment, studies, holidays and just stayed – have already been found, the commissioner said.

When speaking about the intergovernmental consultations regarding issues of adoption and protection of children’s rights held in Washington, Astakhov said that a period had been put on the issue of U.S. citizens adopting Russian children.

“I think that we have reached complete clarity here. Consultations put normal, working and productive commas on all others (issues), and there are many,” Astakhov said.

“Having passed the law banning U.S. adoption, in no way we have put barriers between our countries on humanitarian cooperation. Humanitarian cooperation should expand. Joint programs and mutual help are needed in all spheres,” Astakhov said.

According to Astakhov, the U.S. State Department sent, in early June, a note of protest to the Russian government, having provided a list of 259 orphans proposed to be an exception to the law banning adoption. As a result, Russia has refused to make any exceptions at all.

During the consultations in Washington, the United States and Russia have agreed that “since this moment, there are and will be no further lists of children.”

“We assume that all children, who are in our orphanages, who have not left, will not leave for the United States. We have established this status quo with the United States in our discussions,” the official said.

The ban imposed on adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens will not impact Russia’s opportunities to receive information on the lives of children already living in the United States, Astakhov said.

[featured image is file photo of random Russian orphans with Russian politician and his wife]