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Actress Khamatova Appeals to Putin to Sanction Adoptions

Prominent actress and philanthropist Chulpan Khamatova has appealed to President Vladimir Putin to allow Russian orphans who have already met their adoptive U.S. parents to be allowed to leave the country and join their new families.

"Let's make an exception, let's give [the children] to these mothers, who for three years have been going around gathering all the documents [needed so that the adoptions can be cleared with authorities]," Khamatova told a news conference on Thursday, RIA-Novosti reported.

"Dear, respected president, dear, respected society, let's make a small exception. We live in such a large country. And we so often overlook concrete human cases. Let's try this once not to do the same," Khamatova said.

Khamatova has not previously spoken out against legislation banning U.S. citizens from adopting Russian orphans, although other public figures have widely condemned the law since it was signed by Putin in late December.

As part of the ban, U.S. adoptive parents who hadn't submitted all the necessary documentation to Russian authorities before Jan. 1 had their adoptions canceled.

Putin's official spokesman said that the president was not yet aware of Khamatova's appeal. Eighty-one U.S. citizens have sent a separate petition to Putin asking him to authorize their adoptions, the conference heard.

Khamatova, internationally known for starring in "Good Bye Lenin," caused a stir in February last year when she was filmed pledging her support for Putin in a video for his re-election campaign.

In the video, the celebrated actress cited the president's help with her children's charity Gift of Life as her motivation for supporting Putin, but media reports said she was pressured into taking part in the filming.

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