Russian President Vladimir Putin is to decide whether to sign or turn down a measure banning Americans from adopting Russian children.
The so-called Yakovlev bill allows foreign adoptions only if the child in question has not been claimed by a Russian family first.
The bill was unanimously approved by all 143 members of the upper chamber of Russia's parliament on December 26. Although it is still unknown whether Putin intends to condone the measure, the president has called it a legitimate response to a recently signed US law calling for sanctions against alleged Russian human rights violators.
Both US and Russian activists argue the Yakovlev bill reduces the opportunities of Russian orphans but supporters of the measure say it merely encourages adoptions inside Russia.
Early July 2011, the US and Russia signed a pact strengthening adoption safeguards following several cases of abuse of Russian adopted children.
According to UNICEF figures, around 740,000 Russian children are without parental custody.
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