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Kemerovo Authorities Ban All Foreign Adoptions

The Kemerovo regional legislature, which last summer became the first Russian lawmaking body to ban the adoption of local children by U.S. families, passed a new law Wednesday making adoption by any foreigner or stateless person illegal.

The legislature planned to send a memorandum Wednesday asking the State Duma to consider the initiative as well.

"We think that the adoption of young citizens is an internal affair of Russia, an internal affair of Kuzbass," said Galina Solovyova, deputy chairman of the regional education committee, Itar-Tass reported. Kuzbass is another name for Kemerovo.

The bill was drafted in response to a series of complaints from local residents who were distressed by reports of adopted children falling into abusive homes abroad, Solovyova said. She also mentioned the legalization of gay marriage abroad as a second reason for keeping orphans within the country's borders.

"If a family stops liking a child or can not cope with his upbringing, then information about the child is put on a message board. As a result, bypassing special foster care agencies, children can end up anywhere and with anyone," the deputy said, Interfax reported.

Reports that a 13-year-old Russian orphan was left in the care of a sexually abusive family in the U.S. received widespread coverage in September both in the U.S. and in Russia. The Investigative Committee is currently looking into the allegations.

The State Duma passed a law late last year banning adoption of Russian children by American citizens, and authorities justified the measure in part by citing cases in which adopted Russian children in the U.S. died due to negligence or were abused by their caregivers.

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