Russia votes to ban American adoptions


Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) speak to supporters in the United Russia ruling party's campaign staff in Moscow, on December 4, 2011.



Russia's parliament has given preliminary approval to a measure that would ban Americans from adopting Russian children, Al Jazeera reported. The bill not only bans the adoption of Russian children by US families, but also forbids American adoption agencies from working in Russia. 

The bill is a retaliatory gesture,  Reuters reported. The feud began when President Obama signed into law a bill last week that seeks to punish Russian citizens accused of violating human rights. 

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The Russian parliament approved the adoption ban 400 to 4, with 2 abstentions, the New York Times reported. It's now up to President Vladimir V. Putin to sign the bill into law. 

If Putin does indeed sign it, the bill would be his most forceful anti-American action of his new term so far, the Times said. More than 45,000 adoptions of Russian children by American families have taken place since 1999.