The United Nations said that Russia must not rule out “inter-country adoption” after the country’s parliament passed a bill barring Americans from adopting Russian children.
UN Children’s Fund executive director Anthony Lake said the government must make sure that the “current plight of the many Russian children in institutions receives priority attention.”
“We encourage the government to establish a robust national social protection plan to help strengthen Russian families. Alternatives to the institutionalization of children are essential, including permanent foster care, domestic adoption and inter-country adoption,” Mr Lake said.
Mr Lake released his statement after the Russian upper house of parliament passed a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children.
The bill, drafted in retaliation for a US law sanctioning Russian officials implicated in the 2009 death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky – will become law if signed by President Vladimir Putin.
The UN agency said child welfare should not be politicized.
“We ask that the government of Russia, in its design and development of all efforts to protect children, let the best interests of children – and only their best interests – determine its actions,” Mr Lake said.