Joint Statement on U.S.-Russian Consultations on Adoption

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 13, 2010

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On May 12-13, U.S.-Russian consultation on adoption were held in Moscow.

"Generally, we very positively assess the atmosphere of the talks. In the course of a substantial dialogue we’ve managed to move forward on a wide range of complicated issues," says Alina Levitskaya, Director, Department of State Policy on Upbringing, Supplementary Education and Social Protection of Children, Russian Ministry of Education and Science.

"Both teams are committed to reach an agreement to increase safeguards for intercountry adoption between Russian and the U.S." adds Mary Ellen Hickey, the head of American delegation, Managing Director, Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. State Department.

The participants of the meeting shared their views on existing difficulties in intercountry adoption and the way to resolve them. The discussions were detailed and concerned specific issues including domestic laws and international obligations of both countries.

In particular, the delegations acknowledged that any agreement being discussed would be legally binding. Each country will define its competent bodies responsible for coordinating bilateral cooperation in adoption.

Among other things, we discussed the role of authorized adoption agencies, and the possibility of further regulating their activities.

During the talks the participants reached broad understanding on overall goals and principles and discussed how to proceed toward those goals.

The delegations also agreed to exchange their revised drafts as soon as possible.

Due to the significant number of issues under discussion and the mutual commitment to resolve them as soon as possible, the consultations will continue on May 14.

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PRN: 2010/617