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Montco Adoption Attorney Surprised by Potential Action in Russian Parliament

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(The Duma, Russia's parliament building, in Moscow.  File photo)

(The Duma, Russia’s parliament building, in Moscow. File photo)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Adopting a child from Russia was never easy, but the Russian parliament is considering making it impossible for Americans to do so.

That’s distressing to those who have helped Philadelphia area families adopt Russian children in the past.

There have been horror stories about Americans adopting Russian children, so much so that in July the United States and Russia signed a new agreement on adoption regulations.   But this new bill now before the Russian parliament has nothing to do with families or children.  It’s retaliation for the US enacting the Magnitsky Act — a law that imposes sanctions on Russians for human rights abuses.

“Don’t you just love it? Let’s just drag children who need families into it,” says CJ Lyford sarcastically.  She is a Montgomery County attorney who has helped families sort through the issues around Russian adoption.

(CJ Lyford.  Photo provided)

(CJ Lyford. Photo provided)

Lyford (right) says if the law passes, it’s Russian children who would be hurt.

“If there were enough people in Russia available to adopt domestically, it wouldn’t be an issue,” she tells KYW Newsradio, “but these people who don’t favor international adoption apparently are not able or willing to adopt themselves.”

Debate on the bill takes place in the Russian parliament tomorrow.

FEATURE: “Wednesday’s Child”

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