Intercountry Adoption

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Country Information

Russia

Russian Federation
Russian Federation
Reconsider travel to Russia due to terrorism and harassment. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory

Reconsider travel to Russia due to terrorism and harassment. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • The north Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to civil unrest and terrorism.
  • Crimea due to foreign occupation and abuses by occupying authorities.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Bomb threats against public venues are common.

U.S. citizens are often victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion by law-enforcement and other officials. U.S. consular assistance to detained individuals is often unreasonably delayed by Russian officials. Russia also enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Russian nationals. Due to the Russian government-imposed reduction on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, the U.S. government has reduced ability to provide services to U.S. citizens.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Russia:

  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on news information.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Russia.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations and a plan to contact family to let them know you are safe. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus)

Civil unrest and terrorist attacks continue throughout the North Caucasus region including in Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya, and Kabardino-Balkariya. Local gangs have kidnapped U.S. citizens and other foreigners for ransom. There have been credible reports of arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killing of gay men in Chechnya allegedly conducted by Chechen regional authorities.

Do not attempt to climb Mount Elbrus, as travelers must pass close to volatile and insecure areas of the North Caucasus region.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in the North Caucasus region, including Mount Elbrus, as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to the region.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Crimea

There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea. The Russian Federation is likely to take further military actions in Crimea as part of its occupation of this part of Ukraine. The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. There are continuing abuses against foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the peninsula.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Crimea as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to Crimea.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

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Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No

Hague Convention Information

Russia is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section  204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).

Russian Federal law No 272-FZ remains in place banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens.

This law entered into force on January 1, 2013. It bans the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens, bars adoption service providers from assisting U.S. citizens in adopting Russian children, and required the termination of the 2012 U.S.-Russia Adoption Agreement. The Russian Supreme Court issued a letter to city and regional courts on January 22, 2013 explaining the implementation of Federal Law No. 272-FZ. The letter states that adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens may be completed only in those cases in which adoption orders were made before January 1, 2013, (including those that became final after January 1, 2013 following the 30-day waiting period). The U.S.-Russia Adoption Agreement was terminated on January 1, 2014.

Additionally, on July 2, 2013 Russian Federal Law No. 167-FZ entered into force banning the adoption, custody, or patronage of children by same-sex couples and also to singles living in countries where same-sex marriage is allowed.

AFTER ADOPTION

The Government of Russia requires children adopted from Russia to be registered with either the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) before they leave Russia or with the Russian Embassy or Consulate once they arrive in the United States.

Russia requires four post-adoption reports to provide information regarding the welfare of children adopted by U.S. families. We strongly urge parents with children adopted from Russia to comply with Russia’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process.

  • The initial post-adoption home study should be done at least five months after the court order granting adoption goes into effect, and the post-adoption report is due no later than the end of the seventh month.
  • The second post-adoption home study should be done at eleven months after the court order granting adoption goes into effect, and the post-adoption report is due no later than the end of the 13th month after the court order.
  • The third post-adoption home study should be done 23 months after the court order granting adoption goes into effect, and the post-adoption report is due no later than the end of the 25th month after the court order.
  • The fourth post-adoption home study should be done 35 months after the court order granting adoption goes into effect, and the post-adoption report is due no later than the end of the 37th month after the court order.

Reports should be prepared in accordance with the requirements established by the Russian government and as agreed to during the adoption process. All reports should be translated into Russian. Reports may be submitted either to the Ministry of Education and Science at the following address or to the regional authorities where the adoption was completed. The Ministry’s address is below. For contact information for the regional authorities, please see our Russian Regional Authorities Contact List.

     Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation
     Department of State Policy for the Protection of Children’s Rights
     51 Lysinovskaya St.
     Moscow, 115998

Post - Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin.  Take advantage of all the resources available to your family— whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Russia, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Russia
Address: #21 Novinsky Blvd.
Moscow, Russia 123242
Tel: 728-5000 switchboard
728-5567 (orphan visas)
Fax: 728-5247 (orphans only)
Internet: ru.usembassy.gov/

Russia’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation
Department of State Policy for the Protection of Children’s Right
Address: 51 Lysinovskaya St.
Moscow, 115998

Embassy of the Russian Federation
Address: 2650 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: 202-298-5700
Fax: 202-298-5735
Internet: russianembassy.org/

Russia also has consulates in: San Francisco, New York, and Seattle

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI, SA-17A, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
Email: AdoptionUSCA@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1-913-214-5808
Email: NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Moscow
Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8
Moscow 121099, Russian Federation
Telephone
+(7) (495) 728-5000 or +(7) (495) 728-5577
Emergency
+(7) (495) 728-5000
Fax
+(7) (495) 728-5084

Russian Federation Map