MOSCOW, Russia – President Vladimir Putin has signed a controversial measure banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. families.
The action will affect hundreds of American families seeking to adopt. According to U.S. State Department figures, Americans adopted close to 1,000 Russian children last year.
Russian lawmakers created the bill partly as retaliation to a recent law U.S. President Barack Obama signed on December 14, called the Magnitsky Act. This imposes U.S. travel and financial restrictions on human rights abusers in Russia.
Many Russians have also had a long resentment toward the adoption of Russian children by Americans. The feelings have been fueled by cases of abuse or deaths of Russian children adopted by Americans.
Russia remains the third most popular country for U.S. citizens to adopt after China and Ethiopia.
The new law goes into effect on January 1st.