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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Web Site and TV Ads Aim to Boost Local Adoptions

The government launched a campaign Wednesday to get Russians to adopt more children, with Education and Science Minister Andrei Fursenko presenting a new web site designed to help link prospective parents with tens of thousands of children who need homes.

With adoptions by Russians declining and adoptions by foreigners increasing, Fursenko said the campaign -- which will also include television advertisements -- would focus on finding homes for children in Russia.

"It is very important for orphans and children whose parents don't take care of them ... to be able to find parents who will care for them," Fursenko said.

He announced the opening of a web site, www.usinovite.ru, with information about adoption legislation, orphanages and agencies that facilitate adoptions, as well as statistics. The site is in Russian only.

The site says more than 260,000 children live in orphanages and similar institutions, indicating that is the number of children potentially awaiting adoption in the nation of 144 million.

Families rarely adopt because of a social stigma, yet nationalists have often accused foreigners of "buying" children, and cases of abuse by foreign adoptive parents have been widely reported in the Russian media.

Of about 24,770 children adopted last year, 38 percent were adopted by foreigners and 28 percent by Russians unrelated to the children, according to the web site. The other 34 percent were adopted by stepparents.

The number of children adopted by foreigners rose from about 2,200 in 1994 to more than 9,400 last year, while the number adopted by Russians -- not including stepparents -- fell from more than 14,000 to just under 7,000, it said.

Earlier this week, Deputy Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky announced that several international adoption agencies would be stripped of their registration, allegedly because of improper paperwork.