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Schumer: Families adopting Russian children should continue

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Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) called on Russian officials to allow those American families who have already begun the process of adopting a Russian child to finish.

This comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on December 28, 2012, that he would sign into law a ban on adoptions of Russian children by American citizens, retaliating against an American law that punishes Russians accused of violating human rights.

Schumer joined with other New Yorkers at a Sunday morning press conference who have begun the process of adopting a Russian child. He said that while the two countries are negotiating lifting the ban for the long term, families who have already started the process should be allowed to finish. 

"Allowing adoptions that have already begun to go forward is the best thing to do for both the families and the children," said Schumer.  "Our two countries need to work out a long term solution to ease this ban, but in the short term, we need to ensure a way that these parents, who have already met and formed a real connection with their children, can bring them back to the United States."

Since the ban, only 25 cases have been completed and 884 cases remain open and are various stages of the adoption process. Currently, there are 337 cases where the parents have already met with their adoptive child in Russia and there are 56 cases in which the parents have already been matched with a child -- unfortunately, the parents have not been able to meet with the child in Russia.

Schumer stated at the press conference that including visas and travel, adopting a Russian child can cost upwards of $50,000 and has been advocating on behalf of these parents since the ban went into effect. 

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