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United States and Russia Move One Step Closer to Implementing New Adoption Agreement

On July 10, 2012, the Russian Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, approved the bilateral adoption agreement signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on July 13, 2011. This marks a significant milestone in the path toward implementing the agreement, which will provide additional safeguards to better protect the welfare and interests of children and all parties involved in intercountry adoptions.

The agreement has also been approved by the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian Parliament and will now be sent to President Putin for signature. The U.S. and Russia will then need to establish procedures to implement the agreement, which the United States is committed to doing as quickly as possible. Once the two sides have put in place the necessary procedures for implementation, the agreement will become effective upon the exchange of diplomatic notes between the U.S. and Russian governments.

Adoptions will continue according to the existing procedures while the U.S. and Russian governments work together to implement the new agreement.

The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will provide information about the new procedures and clear guidance on their websites related to when U.S. families seeking to adopt in Russia will need to begin following the new procedures well before the agreement’s entry into force. Please monitor adoption.state.gov and uscis.gov for more information and the latest updates.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 07/20/2012