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July 21, 2011
Couples who want to adopt Russian children should undergo special training in the basics of teaching, psychology and first aid, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
"High-quality training must be compulsory for the adoptive parents," Putin said, adding that the classes should be required for both Russian and foreign couples.
He also said that the regional authorities should cover the costs incurred by Russian couples going through the adoption procedure.
Russia and the United States signed an adoption deal last week that stipulates psychological testing of adoptive parents and requires them to use only accredited adoption agencies.
The new agreement also envisages that all adopted Russian children will maintain dual citizenship until they become legal adults, after which they may choose their citizenship.
Russia is one of the largest sources of foreign adoptions for U.S. families. The latest official figures show that about 60,000 children born in Russia have been adopted by families in the United States since the adoptions started more than 15 years ago. As of January, 17 Russian children adopted by U.S. parents have died as a result of child abuse.