Foster parents to pay child support for abandoned kids

Under a new agreement signed by Russia and the US, American foster parents who abandon an adopted Russian minor will have to pay child support.

The two countries have been working on the document since last year, when Russia imposed a moratorium on the adoption of Russian children by Americans.

The measure was in response to a number of high-profile incidents, including the case of seven-year-old Artyom Savelyev, who was put unaccompanied on a plane back to Russia by his American foster mother.

In another scandalous case, a seven-year-old Russian boy was allegedly beaten to death by his adoptive parents in the US. American doctors found more than 80 injuries on his body.

Under the new agreement, which still needs to be ratified by the Russian parliament, only accredited agencies will be allowed to arrange adoptions of Russian children by families in the US.

The new document also obliges Americans that apply to adopt Russian orphans to undergo mental health tests. All adopted children from Russia will keep their Russian citizenship until they turn 18. Foster parents will have to report back on the children at least once a year.

Prime Minister Putin proposed that those who want to adopt a Russian child – be they Russian or foreign nationals – should take special courses in pedagogy and psychology. At the moment, education for future parents of adopted children is voluntary.

“Quality education for people who want to adopt children into their family must become obligatory,” the PM said.

The course should include training in pedagogy, psychology, and basic healthcare. So as not to become an obstacle to adoption, the cost of this education for Russian citizens should be borne by the regional authorities, Putin added.

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