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Russia bans Americans from adopting Russian children

By KECI Staff
Published On: Dec 28 2012 06:10:51 PM MST
Updated On: Dec 28 2012 06:23:25 PM MST
Russia bans Americans from adopting Russian children
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Activists are denouncing the decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to ban Americans from adopting Russian children.

Americans adopted more than 1,000 Russian children last year.

Putin said Russians should now take care of their own children.

Americans have adopted 60,000 Russian kids in the past 20 years.

But it's a drop in the bucket as to the numbers of Russian youngsters in need of parents.

NBC Montana talked with the executive director of Missoula's Youth Homes Inc., Geoff Birnbaum.

Birnbaum said there are 740,000 kids in Russia not living with their parents.

He said there are only 18,000 Russian families ready to adopt kids in their own country.

That leaves a massive gap.

"U.S. families have adopted about 60,000 of those kids in the past twenty years," said Birnbaum. "It certainly is one of the solutions and if one kid doesn't get adopted because of this, it would be a crime."

Birnbaum said he thinks many Americans choose to adopt Russian youngsters because it had been easier to find newborn babies.

In America, it's harder to adopt newborns, although the Youth Homes director said older children are much more available for adoption, both in the United States and Russia.