Russia formally announced on Thursday that it would suspend all adoptions of Russian children by Americans, responding to the case of a 7-year-old boy who was sent back to Moscow alone last week by his adoptive mother in Tennessee. The case of the boy, who was named Artyom in Russia before he was adopted last year, has caused widespread anger here, and Russian officials said new regulations had to be put in place before adoptions by Americans could proceed.P.S. 4:20 p.m. Maybe not so final after all, as Elizabeth notes in the comments. The New York Times hasn't withdrawn its story, but the Washington Post, under a headline still reading, "Russia suspends all adoptions to U.S. families, " writes that the status of Russian adoption is unknown right now, after a Foreign Ministry spokesman announced that all adoptions were suspended:
* * *
More than 200 American families are in the process of adopting Russian children, and those cases will not be allowed to conclude until the new rules are approved, Russian officials said.
But the Russia Education and Science Ministry, which oversees international adoptions, said it had no knowledge of an official freeze. A spokeswoman for the Kremlin's children's rights ombudsman said that organization also knew nothing of a suspension.I wouldn't be surprised if the confusion continues for a while -- Russia may not be interested in clarifying things until after the meeting between them and the State Department delegation coming to talk about a bilateral agreement on adoption.
And in Washington, the U.S. State Department said the administration had gotten conflicting information when it sought clarification from Russian officials about the status of adoptions. Spokesman P.J. Crowley said the U.S. was continuing to seek clarification. "Right now, to be honest, we've received conflicting information," he said.
But who knows. . . .