Notice – Important notice regarding adoptions from Russia

November 15, 2013 — On July 3, 2013, the Russian Federation adopted legislation that would prohibit the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples and by single applicants who are citizens of countries that legally recognize same-sex marriage.

On August 29, 2013, the Russian Supreme Court issued a directive that seems to restrict the legislation on the adoption of Russian children by all couples from countries such as Canada that:

  • recognize same-sex marriage;
  • do not have a bilateral agreement on intercountry adoption with Russia; and
  • permit the re-adoption of Russian children without the oversight of Russia’s Adoption Authority, in those cases where the original adoption fails.

A number of Canadian adoption cases in progress (along with those of other countries) appear to be caught by these legislative changes, resulting in delays in setting Russian court hearing dates or the rescheduling of dates that were already established.

The Government of Canada has been in contact with Russian authorities on this issue in order to seek further clarification. Canada has not yet received an official interpretation from the Government of Russia on their law. We are seeking clarification and answers about the impacts of the legislative change and the new directive on Canadians looking to adopt children from Russia and to better understand how the regional courts are applying them.

Canadian officials are also consulting with other foreign governments where same-sex marriage is legal to determine how the Russian legislation and the Supreme Court directive are being applied to their citizens.

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