Russian Orphans

According to data from the Health and Social Development Ministry, more than 730,000 children in Russia either have no parents or have been abandoned by their parents. About 200,000 of them live in orphanages and internats, or living facilities that include a school. In 2007, the state registered 123,000 new orphans, but 120,000 of them were able to be placed with extended family members, adopted or placed in foster homes.

When a child is abandoned by his parents, he is first taken to a temporary isolation center before being moved to one of the several different types of facilities for orphaned children. Children younger than five live in a dom rebyonka, a baby house. After that, they move to either a detsky dom, a children's house, where they live while attending an internat. There are also separate facilities for orphaned children with mental or physical disabilities.

Children living in orphanages receive a monthly allowance from the government, deposited directly into an account in their name that they can access as soon as they turn 18. Legally, these orphans are also entitled to an apartment when they turn 18 and can no longer live in an orphanage. Children can access the money in their accounts before turning 18 with permission from the director of the orphanage.

More than 160,000 names remain in the state database of children waiting to be adopted. Although recent legislation has complicated international adoption of Russian children, as of March 2007, 20 organizations accredited with the government to oversee international adoptions were operating in the country. In 2007, 9,000 Russian children were adopted by foreign families. More than 4,000 of these went to the United States.