Ukraine to probe foreign adoptions
Kiev, Feb 24 : Ukraine has initiated a probe into living conditions and health of Ukrainian children adopted by foreigners, in the wake of a recent spat between Russia and the US over alleged abuse of Russian children adopted by US foster parents.
"We sent a letter to the (Ukrainian) foreign ministry with a request to conduct an investigation into living conditions and health of children adopted by foreign citizens," said Social Policy Minister Natalia Korolevskaya.
"We must have reliable information about every child who has been registered in Ukrainian consulates and diplomatic missions around the world," the minister said.
Korolevskaya said foreigners adopted 806 Ukrainian children in 2012.
In line with the current legislation, foster parents must file a report on the adoptee's conditions once a year during the first three years of adoption, and later once every three years until adopted children turn 18.
"Unfortunately, some countries register low reporting rates," Korolevskaya said.
"For instance, only 30 percent of foster families in the US provide these reports."
The Ukrainian move comes as Moscow and Washington continue a fierce battle over Russian children adopted by US foster parents.
Moscow banned US citizens from adopting Russian children last month, though a bilateral adoption agreement between the two countries remains in place until next year.
Russia said the ban was necessary to protect its children, citing numerous cases of abuse and neglect by US parents that have resulted in the deaths of at least 19 Russian adoptees since the early 1990s.
Tensions erupted again this week, with news that a three-year-old boy adopted from Russia last year died in Texas last month.
Russia has vowed to bring to trial American citizens who have allegedly evaded punishment for "serious crimes" against Russian adoptees.