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Russia bans adoption by same-sex couples

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev [official website] announced a decree [text, PDF, in Russian] on Thursday banning gay couples or single people from countries that legally allow same-sex marriage from adopting Russian children. The Russian government resolution [materials, in Russian] is purportedly aimed at helping to "improve the procedure for the transfer of children without parental care, children in families of citizens of the Russian Federation and foreign citizens and to protect the rights and interests of these children." While the decree does not allow singles or gay couples to adopt Russian children, the resolution does not prohibit [Telegraph report] heterosexual couples from adoption. The decree is the latest effort for adoption reform, follwing the 2012 ban [JURIST report] on adoptions by US citizens.

Same-sex adoption rights [JURIST backgrounder] have created controversy worldwide. In May Portugal's Parliament [official website, in Portuguese] voted to approve a law allowing same-sex married couples to adopt [JURIST report] their partner's children. In February 2013 Puerto Rico's Supreme Court upheld a law [JURIST report] banning same-sex couples from adopting children. Earlier that week, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that a woman in a same-sex relationship could adopt her partner's biological child [JURIST report]. Also in February 2013 the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that same-sex couples in a civil union can legally adopt [JURIST report] the non-biological children of their partners.

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