A new law in Russia has taken effect and it means Americans will no longer be able to adopt Russian children.

FOX News Radio's Jessica Golloher has the details from Moscow:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the measure banning Americans from adopting orphans here. Putin says it was an adequate response to the U.S. passage of the so-called Magnitsky Act which bars Russians from entering America if they're accused of human rights violations. Putin says Americans have been violating the rights of Russian children for years. At least 60,000 children have been adopted by Americans since the collapse of the Soviet Union and 20 of them have died at the hands of their adoptive parents. Putin says America's judicial system failed to act, so the Kremlin was forced to.

In Moscow, Jessica Golloher, FOX News Radio.

There are dozens of American families that were in the process of adopting Russian children. Now, those adoptions have been halted.

FOX News Radio's Alastair Wanklyn has more:

President Vladamir Putin signed the law within hours of it reaching his desk. Outlawing new adoptions and blocking the exit from Russia of at least 46 kids currently being adopted by American parents, that's according to a children's rights ombudsman there. Critics say the ban harms potential families in order to make a political point. The U.N. children's agency estimates almost three quarters of a million kids in Russia are living outside parental custody.

Alastair Wanklyn, FOX News Radio.

Editor's Note: UNICEF estimates there are about 740,000 children waiting for homes in Russia and only 18,000 Russians are on the waiting list to adopt a child.

Watch the VIDEO below for more on this story:

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Statement on Russia's Yakovlev Act:

We deeply regret Russia's passage of a law ending inter-country adoptions between the United States and Russia and restricting Russian civil society organizations that work with American partners. American families have adopted over 60,000 Russian children over the past 20 years, and the vast majority of these children are now thriving thanks to their parents' loving support. The Russian government's politically motivated decision will reduce adoption possibilities for children who are now under institutional care. We regret that the Russian government has taken this step rather than seek to implement the bilateral adoption agreement that entered into force in November. We are further concerned about statements that adoptions already underway may be stopped and hope that the Russian Government would allow those children who have already met and bonded with their future parents to finish the necessary legal procedures so that they can join their families. The limitations imposed by the Act on Russian civil society's ability to work with American partners will also make it more difficult for Russian and American non-governmental organizations to cooperate in areas as diverse as human rights advocacy, open government, and electoral transparency. The United States remains committed to supporting the development of civil society and the democratic process around the world, including in Russia.


Washington, D.C. ­- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement on Russian President Vladimir Putin signing legislation barring American families from adopting Russian children:

"It is shameful and appalling that President Putin has signed legislation barring American families from adopting Russian children. The effects of this legislation are cruel and malicious: Thousands of Russian babies and children who had a chance for a loving home and a better future will now be denied that opportunity - an opportunity that has changed the lives of more than 60,000 Russian children since 1992.

"The idea that this legislation is any way comparable to the U.S. Congress's passage of the Magnitsky Act is utterly baseless. Our law singles out and punishes individual Russian officials who are corrupt and complicit in gross human rights abuses; Russia's barring of adoptions broadly punishes the neediest, most defenseless, and most innocent members of its own society. In fact, this action by President Putin and the Russian parliament only affirms the purpose of the Magnitsky Act - namely, the need to defend the human rights and dignity of the Russian people - and makes the implementation of that law all the more essential.

"I often wonder how much lower the Russian government under President Putin can stoop. But to punish innocent babies and children over a political disagreement between our governments is a new low, even for Putin's Russia."