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Russians Adopt More Kids

Published: January 22, 2014 (Issue # 1794)



  • Astakhov attributes the growth in adoptions to the improved selection, training, education and support of adoptive parents.
    Photo: Mikhail Netzel / AP

The number of Russian orphans and abandoned children has dropped from 140,000 to a little under 107,000 in the past five years due to state policies encouraging domestic adoptions, childrens ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said Monday.

Following the controversial ban on U.S. adoptions that took effect in January 2013, the majority of children taken from Russian orphanages last year were adopted inside the country, Astakhov said while reporting the results of his yearly work to President Vladimir Putin, Astakhovs website reported.

In the wake of the U.S. adoption ban, passed by parliament in retaliation for a U.S. law that punishes suspected Russian human rights violators, Moscow has been under pressure to increase domestic adoption rates, which have been stubbornly low in recent years compared to the number of orphans in need of homes.

American Parents Pen Adoption Plea

Still, less than 20 percent of Russians say they would ever consider adopting a child, due to insufficient income, a lack of government support and poor housing conditions, according to a national poll released in mid-November by the Foundation for Supporting Children in Difficult Situations.

Astakhov painted a rosier picture of the situation in his meeting with Putin, however, saying that the majority of adoptions were now by Russians, arguing that the change was due to the fact that there were no more American adoptions in 2013.

And this exactly indicates that not only efforts of the state in this case have led to such results, but first and foremost a very active stance of society, because we know how the public at the start of [last] year was agitated by our certain decisions [and] laws that were enforced, Astakhov said in reference to the public discontent over the ban on U.S. adoptions.

But one positive consequence of the ban, Astakhov said, was that now no one in Russia remains indifferent to the problems of orphaned children.

Astakhov attributed the growth in adoptions in part to the improved selection, training, education and support of adoptive parents.

Thousands March to Protest U.S. Adoption Ban

Last week, Astakhov also said that the overall number of adoptions had grown by 6.7 percent compared to the previous year, to more than 65,000. He said that figure compared to an average yearly increase of 1 to 1.5 percent between 2009 and 2013.

Astakhovs press office referred an inquiry for more statistics to the Education and Science Ministry. A ministry spokesman said that Astakhov had announced forecasted statistics and that no other figures were yet available. The spokesman said final numbers would be released in April.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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