The lower house of Russian Parliament, the State Duma, adopted on Thursday a law that prescribes couples who want to adopt Russian children to undergo special training in the basics of teaching, psychology and first aid.
The law says that “the implementation of the parental classes is based on the necessity to provide citizens’ pedagogical and legal readiness for accepting abandoned children into their families.”
The aspiring parents will have to pass parental classes, including basics of teaching, psychology and first aid, vice-speaker Oleg Morozov said.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for the introduction of parental classes for Russians and foreigners who adopt Russian children in July, 2011, after the outrageous story with an eight-year-old named Artyom adopted by American Torry Hansen and then shipped back to Moscow on a plane, alone and with a note citing Artyom’s psychological problems.
According to the Russian Education and Science Ministry, about 150,000 children were available for nationwide adoption in 2009. Almost 9,000 of them were adopted and 77,000 were placed in foster families.
U.S. citizens have adopted 60,000 Russian children since the adoptions started more than 15 years ago. As of January, 17 Russian children adopted by U.S. parents have died as a result of child abuse.