Medvedev seeks commission to help Russians adopt orphans

Indo Asian News Service

Moscow, Feb 14 (IANS/RIA Novosti) As Russia tries to boost the number of domestic adoptions, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Thursday suggested creating a special commission, headed by a deputy prime minister, to deal with the orphanhood issues.

"We can try to establish a separate structure, neither a ministry nor a department, but a commission that would consider the problems that have accumulated. Such a commission should be headed by a deputy prime minister, then it can work," he said during a meeting with the Krasnoyarsk branch of the ruling United Russia party.

Medvedev didn't elaborate on who might head this commission.

On Thursday Medvedev also signed a decree that is expected to encourage Russians to adopt children, the government's official website reported.

Foreigners adopted 3,400 Russian children by the end of 2011, the latest official data available said.

Some 130,000 orphans have been deemed eligible for adoption or foster care in Russia. More than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by American families in the last 20 years, including 962 last year, US State Department figures show.

Russian officials said the adoption ban was justified because at least 19 adopted Russian children died in the custody of their US parents last year.

--IANS/RIA Novosti