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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Foreign Adoption Agencies Come Under Fire

Deputy Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky has accused more than a dozen foreign adoption agencies of operating with expired licenses and violating other laws in the latest dispute in the long-standing controversy over whether foreigners should be adopting Russian children.

Fridinsky ordered that agencies that have violated the law be denied registration in Russia, according to a statement posted on the Prosecutor General's web site on Monday.

Fridinsky said that out of the 87 foreign adoption agencies that had registered in Russia only one had a valid accreditation, while the rest had expired licenses. Nevertheless, 17 such firms, mainly from Europe and North America, have continued operating in 2004-2005, Fridinsky said.

Besides lacking accreditation, many agencies violated other laws, such as labor and bookkeeping regulations, the statement said. Fridinsky also accused several firms of failing to monitor the orphans after they had been adopted. The statement also charged that employees at several agencies have been extorting money from adoptive parents.

In the statement, which was addressed to Education and Science Minister Andrei Fursenko, Fridinsky ordered that education officials act promptly to renew the licenses of adoption firms with expired registration and strip law-violating agencies of their accreditation. Fridinsky said that those officials who had helped such agencies operate illegally must be punished.