Moscow, Russia (CNN) -- A draft agreement on international adoptions between the United States and Russia will be finalized by Friday, Moscow's children's rights commissioner said Wednesday.
After it is finalized, the agreement will be forwarded to the Russian Health and Education ministries and the Cabinet of Ministers, said the commissioner, Pavel Astakhov. If approved by the Cabinet, a signing date will be scheduled, he said. The final copy would be signed by Russia's Education Ministry and the U.S. State Department or Department of Justice, he said.
Under the proposed agreement, the number of U.S. adoption agencies dealing with Russian children will be reduced, he said.
"We will reduce the number of U.S. adoption agencies accredited in Russia," Astakhov said. Only those agencies that are accredited in the United States and compliant with the requirements of the Hague Convention on international adoptions will be allowed to continue working in Russia, he said.
In addition, he said, "independent adoptions" will be abolished altogether. The draft agreement envisions setting up a joint Russian-American body with the authority to check out any U.S. family adopting a Russian child, Astakhov said.
High-level meetings between the two nations on adoptions followed an uproar after a Tennessee woman sent the young Russian boy she had recently adopted back to Russia unaccompanied.
Any comments on what we may possibly think of a "joint Russian-American body with the authority to check out any U.S. family adopting a Russian child"?!?! I kinda thought that was what we are going through now. We have never been fingerprinted more, had more pictures taken of our home, seen our doctor while feeling perfectly healthy, etc... etc... I am willing to jump through hoops, but I fear how high the hoops will be placed and how many more we will be challenged with. ~Perserverance! ~