Congressional letter to President Putin (Jan. 2013)

Relates to:
Date: 2013-01-18

Dear President Putin,

We write to respectfully request that the Govemment of Russia allow completion of the pending adoption cases involving Russian children who were matched with U.S. families prior to the enactment of the Russian law "On Measures of Coercion on Persons, Involved in the Violation of the Rights of Russian Citizens." As you know, we are concemed with the entirety of the law, which permanently bans adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens, but we hope that you agree that it is in the best interests of the hundreds of children who have already met and bonded with a U.S. family to permit their adoption cases to proceed to conclusion.

As you are aware, many of the children involved in these cases have special medical needs and the families with whom they have been matched have been found by Russian officials to be willing and able to accommodate these needs. Experience shows that finding families for older and special needs children is more difficult. Removing the option for these children to be adopted by families in the United States will further exacerbate these challenges, increasing the risk that they will spend their formative years in an institution, and diminishing their hopes for a productive future.

The matched children believed they were soon going to become part of a safe, loving and permanent family. Children everywhere deserve the love and support that only a family can provide. The U.S. families matched with these children already love them like their own and have invested a great deal of time and resources in pursuit of a final adoption. We appeal to you to look beyond politics and see the people this law most directly affects.

On November 1, 2012, our two countries entered into a bilateral agreement. We believe this agreement was based on our shared desire to provide orphaned children safe and loving homes. We remain hopeful that in the spirit of this original agreement and out of concern for the futures of these children, we can complete the final cases of any children who were matched with a U.S. family before the law entered into force.

We ask you, as a father, to make the finalization of these cases a priority.
Sincerely,
[list of signatures]

Attachments:
01-18-13 letter to president putin.pdf
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