U.S. to be responsible for checks of potential adoptive parents of Russian children

U.S. authorities will be responsible for checks of potential adoptive parents of Russian children, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

“I hope that in the nearest future we will be able to sign [the agreement],” Lavrov said in a TV interview.

Lavrov said there were now important mandatory background checks for adopting Russian children. He said a mandatory psychological testing of prospective adoptive parents is now a must after a few episodes of beating, molestation or rape of Russian adopted children in the United States.

“This is fundamentally important that the responsibility for such testing will be on the U.S. authorities,” Lavrov said.

A U.S. couple Edelwina and Steven Leschinsky were arrested in March 2010 and charged with abusing their adopted Russian daughters, now aged 15, 13 and 12, by beating them with belts and pieces of wood and forcing them to do exercises for hours on end as a punishment for bad behavior.

The case follows a stream of incidents involving the mistreatment of adopted Russian children in the United States that have incensed the Russian public and led to U.S.-Russian negotiations on regulating adoptions.

Russia is one of the largest sources of foreign adoptions for U.S. families, accounting for about 10 percent of foreign adoptions.

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