American families are now banned from adopting children from Russia. This week, Russian President Vladmir Putin signed the bill into law. The law is also blocking children currently in the process of being adopted by American families from leaving the country. YNN's Elise Roberts has more details on the controversial move.
UNITED STATES -- Vladimir Putin wants Russia to take care of its own. The Russian president banned Americans from adopting any more Russian children.
"There are children waiting to come home to new families and they won't be able to now and that's the tragedy of all of this," said Kris Faasse, Bethany Christian Services.
Kris Faasse is the director of adoption services for Bethany Christian Services. It's the largest child placement agency in the country. She said the new law puts dozens of adoptions at a standstill.
Faasse said, "There are a number of families that are in process and the process is fairly long and complicated."
Some said Russian lawmakers are using the ban to retaliate against financial sanctions by the United States targeting Russians who are accused of human rights violations. Others said there are deeper concerns about cases of American abuse and neglect of Russian children.
"There's been 60,000 over the last 20 years and the majority of those kids are growing up healthy, happy and safe in new adoptive homes and these are kids that might have otherwise grown up in orphanage care," said Faasse.
Officials in Washington have also expressed concern saying the fate of children should not be tied to politics.
"Just last month, we implemented a bi-lateral adoptions agreement with Russia to improve safeguards for adopted children and their families," said Patrick Ventrell of the U.S. State Department.
Adoption officials said there are 46 Russian adoption cases pending.
"In their hearts, that's their child so this is a huge loss and it's so important that we support those families."
Russia remains the third most popular country for U.S. citizens to adopt after China and Ethiopia.