Putin Set to Ban Americans from Adopting Orphans

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Americans may soon be banned from adopting Russian children as Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will sign a controversial bill denying them access.

"I still don't see any reasons why I should not sign it," he said in a televised meeting.

Putin said the United States denies Russia access to children once they're adopted and let's Americans suspected of violence toward Russian adoptees go unpunished.

Critics argue the bill will deprive children of much needed homes. UNICEF estimates there are more than 700,000 Russian orphans but only 18,000 Russians are waiting to adopt a child.

Children rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said that 46 children who were about to be adopted in the United States would remain in Russia in case the bill comes into effect.

On Thursday, he petitioned Putin to extend the ban to other countries.

"There is huge money and questionable people involved in the semi-legal schemes of exporting children," he tweeted.

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