Few U.S. adoptions likely to advance, Russian officials say

Russian officials were unable Friday to clarify the country’s position on adoption of orphans by American parents but made it clear that in all likelihood only a handful of cases will go forward.

A law banning all such adoptions went into effect Jan. 1, but on Thursday a Kremlin spokesman noted that a bilateral agreement between Moscow and Washington remains in effect for another year. Some officials suggested Friday that only those adoptions that have already received final court approval — possibly as few as six — will be able to go ahead.

Russia's president cracks down on dissent.

Other pending adoptions, said Pavel Astakhov, the children’s ombudsman and a supporter of the ban, may be decided on a case-by-case basis. The Foreign Ministry pointed out that Russia is not obliged to hand any children over to adoptive parents.

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