[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights [official website] ruled [judgment] Tuesday that Russia was wrong to ban US citizens from adopting Russian children. In a unanimous decision, the court ruled that Russia’s ban was discriminatory and found Russia responsible for the legal fees of American citizens seeking to adopt children from the nation. The case was brought by 45 American families who were in the process of adopting children between 2010 and 2012 and, after following the appropriate channels and procedures, were unable to complete the process because of the law. Russia has pledged to appeal [AFP report] the ruling.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law [JURIST report] prohibiting US citizens from adopting Russian children in 2012. The legislation was unanimously approved [JURIST report] by the Council of Federation, the upper house of the Russian parliament, after passing the lower house by a vote of 420 to 7. The bill was widely viewed as retaliation against US legislation aimed at corrupt Russian officials. The Russian adoption law is known as the Yakovlev initiative, after US-adopted Russian toddler Dima Yakolev, who died in Virginia in 2008.