8:50 a.m. Friday Updates that the bill has been signed
Russian President Vladimir Putin's move to sign legislation which bans Americans from adopting children there is drawing criticism from a Missouri State Senator whose youngest child is from the country.
Reuters reports the bill is a response to a U.S. trade relations bill which also establishes "visa bans and asset freezes on Russians accused of human rights violations."
The New York Times reports that the ban could put the immediate brakes on 46 children who are in the process of being adopted by American families, and could impact as many as 200-250 families.
Missouri State Senator John Lamping (R-Ladue) knows how those families feel. He is the father of six children, including three adopted from overseas. Dmitri, now 14, came into the family in 2005 from a village south of Moscow. Lamping said he made 3 visits to Russia over a 6-9 month period, and told Patch Thursday he was sympathetic to parents who have made the investment of time, energy and emotion only to be turned away now.
"It'll have a devastating effect on the parents," Lamping told Patch by phone, adding that it would be tragic for the children involved. "Their lives will be so much worse."
Despite a Putin promise to "modify the support mechanisms for orphaned children" in Russia, Lamping said "He's really worsening the lives" of children who will go unadopted.
A U.S. State Department alert issued Wednesday urges American families in the process of adopting from Russia to get in touch with U.S. officials to help facilitate information on the legislation.
Several agencies who work with families on international adoptions are based in the St. Louis area. The Lampings worked through Maryland Heights-based Children's Hope International, which says it has been working with Russian adoptions since 1996.
Small World Adoption Foundation of Missouri, a non-profit based in Manchester, claims to have placed 2,100 children from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Vietnam since 1992, according to the agency's website.