Russia and the United States signed a new adoption agreement this week after months of diplomatic discussion in the wake of the shocking Artyon Savelyev case, and other instances of abuse of Russian children at the hands of their American parents. According to Russia's RiaNovosti, the new regulations specify that:
- prospective adoptive parents must undergo psychological testing
- parents may only work with accredited adoption agencies vs. independent facilitators
- Russian children will mainain dual US/Russian citizenship until age 18, at which time they may declare permanent citizenship in either country
In an interview with NPR, Associated Press reporter David Crary highlights changes coming from the Russian side as well:
They're undertaking to be more forthcoming with details about these children's medical and psychological problems these kids have. That has not happened in the past. There's been some cover ups, and deception and kind of over-rosy pictures of these kids. So we'll see how it plays out. There still could be trouble. But on paper, at least, there's going to be a more diligent effort to be forthcoming.
Crary also points out that the new agreement demands more oversight of Russian children in their adoptive homes. Adoption agencies will be charged with carrying out the regulations, with the US government "making sure that the adoption agencies live up to their commitments to be proactive." Exactly how these new mandates will be carried out remains to be seen.