Kemerovo region deputies banned U.S. citizens from adopting local children Thursday after a series of high-profile child abuse cases in the United States in which Russian children have suffered.
The new law will prohibit Americans from adopting orphans and children without guardians except when the adoptive family and child are close relatives.
Nina Zinkevich, deputy chair of the Kemerovo legislature, said the decision to pass the bill was made after local residents complained about Americans' cruel treatment of children.
"The United States is the leader in child rights violations and cruel treatment of children," Zinkevich told Interfax, adding that those guilty of harming children in the United States were not punished severely enough.
In September 2011, U.S. prosecutors found a couple guilty of manslaughter after their 7-year-old adopted Russian son suffered a fatal head injury.