Russia suspended all adoptions to U.S. families on Thursday until the two countries can agree on procedures, the Foreign Ministry said, a week after an American woman sent her 7-year-old adopted son back to Russia on a plane by himself.
The boy's return — without supervision or explanation aside from a note he carried from his adoptive mother saying he had psychological problems — has incensed Russia and prompted aggressive media coverage of foreign adoptions.
A U.S. delegation will visit Moscow "in the next few days" to discuss international adoptions and a possible bilateral agreement, ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.
"Russia believes that only such an agreement which will contain effective tools for Russian and U.S. officials to monitor the living conditions of adopted Russian children will ensure that recent tragedies in the United States will not be repeated," Nesterenko said in a televised briefing.
The Tennessee woman who sent back the 7-year-old boy last Thursday claimed she had been misled by his Russian orphanage about his condition.
Russians have been outraged that no charges have been filed against her.
For several years, Russian lawmakers have suggested suspending U.S. adoptions after other cases of abuse and even killings of Russian children adopted in the United States, but no formal measures had been taken until Thursday.
More than 1,800 Russian children were adopted in the United States last year, according to Russia's Health and Education Ministry.
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