The Presidium of the Russian government has focused on the issues related to children born in mixed marriages with foreigners and adopted by foreigners. It drew attention first and foremost to the protection of these children’s rights and legitimate interests.
Several incidents have taken place in the past years when Russian citizens, especially women lost their children after divorces, while in some cases they were kidnapped by fathers who were foreigners. In the abduction of the son of Rimma Salonen, who returned with her child to Russia, not only his father but also an official at Finland’s General Consulate in St. Petersburg were involved. According to the former diplomat, he did this in order to prevent a Russian court from taking a decision on the child’s fate. As a result, the mother has had no opportunity to meet her son up to this date. A French court ruled that the daughter of another Russian, Irina Belenka, remained with her father. Irina has the right to see her daughter only three times a month for 45 minutes. There are a lot of such incidents: in France 44 cases, Finland-12, Norway-15. They happen not only because parents did not sign marital contracts and cannot get divorces, but also due to the absence of international agreements. The first step towards the resolution of these problems will be joining the international convention, says Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
“The application of the International Convention on the Protection of Rights of Children makes it possible to clearly identify parent’s rights and responsibilities in a mixed marriage with a foreigner and solve the problems of guardianship and patronage, and protect the rights of children for a full-fledged and calm life and upbringing. We must do our best to defend the children’s interests so that all disputes and conflicts are solved on a legal basis, says Vladimir Putin.
Another important issue is the observance of the rights of Russian children adopted by foreigners. In this case, there are ample examples when children abroad are with loving parents in comfortable houses. However, there are other stories. For one, foreigners who buy the child a ticket and send him back to Russia with a letter of rejection. There were cases when foster parents murder their adopted children.
In this case, the most effective solution will be the signing of a legally binding intergovernmental agreement, says Vladimir Putin.
“The first such agreement was concluded with Italy and came into force in November 2009. We discussed such an agreement with the U.S. The document established precise procedure of adoption only with the assistance of an authorized organization. Notably, the child preserves his Russian citizenship. Moreover, future parents should undergo social and psychological training and receive a relevant certificate. Strict control will be established over the conditions of the child’s life in the new family. The foster parents should regularly inform about the child,” Vladimir Putin said.
Similar agreements are being drafted with Spain, Israel Ireland, Britain and Slovakia. Nevertheless, we should do our best so that the majority of children are adopted by Russian families and foreign adoption should be exclusion, emphasized the Prime Minister.