Can you adopt a child from Russia? 

In this blog post, we will answer the question “Can you adopt a child from Russia?” In doing so, we will look at the eligibility for prospective adoptive parents, the procedure for adoption, the travel requirements, the post-adoption procedures, and the impact of Russia’s adoption ban on U.S citizens and prospective parents. 

Can you adopt a child from Russia? 

Yes, you can adopt from Russia if you check the eligibility boxes (discussed below).

Adoption of Russian children by foreign citizens, regardless of citizenship or place of residence, is permitted only if adoption by Russian citizens permanently resident on the territory of the country or their relatives is not possible.

Adoption of children in Russia is prohibited for US citizens and foreign citizens who are registered for same-sex marriage under the laws of states where such marriages are legal.

Russia’s Adoption History

Adoption from the United States began in Russia in the early 1990s. Many changes have occurred in Russia’s adoption process over the years, but this has not prevented it from being adopted by a large number of adoptive families.

At the turn of the century, Russia accounted for a sizable proportion of international adoptions.

The table below provides an overview of Russian adoptions since the late twentieth century.

  • From 1999 to 2011, Russia was consistently one of the most popular countries for adoption by American families. Adoption in Russia has gradually declined since 2008 due to a combination of factors, including new regulations. 

Nonetheless, until 2011, up to 1,000 Russian children were adopted by US citizens each year.

  • 2011-2013: Beginning around 2011, reports of adverse adoption situations, some involving adopted Russian children, began to emerge. Many Russian adoptees had special needs, but the adoptive parents were unprepared due to a lack of medical information. 

Restricted, domestic adoption became popular. The family reported significant delays and difficulties in completing the adoption in late 2012.

  • 2013-Present: In early 2013, Russia enacted Federal Law No. 272-FZ, which prohibits American citizens from adopting Russian children. 

They expressed concern about the welfare of adopted children in their statement. Many ongoing adoptions were never completed after the ban.

Children for adoption in Russia 

In Russia, orphanages are known as Baby Houses or Detsky Doms (Children’s Homes). Babies aged a few months to three to four years are housed in baby houses, while older children are placed in foster homes. 

Preschool (4-7 years old), school age (7-16 years old), and compound orphanages are the three types of orphanages. Some orphanages cater to children with special needs, such as: B. Learning disabilities, visual impairments, orthopedic issues, and so on. 

Children who were not sent to school by their parents are frequently placed in orphanages and receive more support, despite having superior intellectual abilities.

Not all children in Russian orphanages are adoptable. Children become available when their parents give them up for adoption, when they die, or when they are disowned by a court. 

The reasons for parental rights termination vary, but commonly include neglect, as with children in foster care in the United States. 

When a child becomes available for adoption, it must be registered on the local adoption register for one month, then on the regional register for one month, and finally on the federal adoption registration database (6 months). The entire process takes 8 months. 

Prior to international adoption, a child can be adopted by a Russian family or placed in foster care by a relative.

Babies are usually at least 9 months old before they can be adopted internationally. If a child has siblings who are up for adoption, the siblings must be adopted together. In general, more families are waiting to adopt a girl of any age than a boy of any age. 

We share as much information about children as possible. However, we rarely get as much information about a child’s upbringing as we would like. Receive information about children who were introduced on their first trip to Russia. 

Medical information is more important when evaluating a baby for adoption because it contains almost all of the available information. Character, temperament, and intelligence become more important as a child grows older.

Who is eligible to adopt? 

Adoption from Russia is available to married couples as well as single women. Adoptive parents must be under the age of 45 when their child is born, though this requirement may be relaxed for older children. 

Parents must be in good health. Depending on the characteristics of the child seeking adoption, questions about the number of additional children in the family and other considerations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

Any other restrictions deemed necessary or recommended by the orphanage manager, adoption officer, or court may be imposed.

Procedure for adoption 

The adoption process typically takes 8-14 months to complete (sometimes longer for little girls). You must first complete a home study, obtain CIS (formerly her INS) approval, and prepare paperwork for Russia (about 3-5 months). 

The child’s referral will be considered once the documents are submitted to the local adoption authorities in Russia. Be flexible, and the older the child you want to adopt, the shorter the child’s waiting time.

Except for Russian adoption officials, no advance information about available children can be provided. It is expressly forbidden to distribute videos or medical information about children.

 (If older children are identified through activities unrelated to adoption (such as enrollment programs or mission trips), referrals for identified children who are legally eligible for adoption are usually not available.)

To receive the child’s official letter of introduction, parents must make the first trip to Russia, which takes about a week. This trip gives you the opportunity to meet and get to know your child. 

You are free to inquire about your child’s medical and social history. You can also have an independent doctor evaluate your child. If you do not respond to the first nomination, depending on your child’s age, you may still be able to receive a second nomination on the same trip.

Go home after accepting the transfer and waiting for the court date. The court date is usually set about 8 weeks after the initial trip (Moscow confirms that your child is on the federal database and is at least 6 months old, and the court reviews your files).

Both adoptive parents are required to appear in court. A 10-day waiting period is required by Russian law before an adoption decision becomes effective. 

The judge may waive this ten-day period if she believes it is in the best interests of the child, but such waivers are uncommon.

After the adoption is finalized, the child will receive a new birth certificate, a Russian passport in his or her new name, and travel to Moscow to obtain an immigrant visa. Usually from Moscow to home.


Once the paperwork is completed, you will be given a “trip pack” containing all travel information (2-3 trips). All domestic lodging reservations can be made, and air travel can be arranged if desired (but we can help you with this step if you prefer).

 Initial trips last about 5 days, and court trips last about 5 days. If the ten days are not waived, the third trip will last about seven days (on the third trip only one of the guardians must travel).

Following the adoption confirmation

The child’s passport must be registered at the Russian embassy as soon as he or she returns home (we will guide you through the procedure).

Currently, in Russia, the home study provider must visit her at least four times after adoption to assess the child’s adaptation to the family. These reports, along with photographs, will be delivered to Russian orphanage staff and officials six months, a year, two years, and three years after the child’s adoption is finalized. 

(State requirements for post-adoption reporting vary, so be prepared to be adaptable.) We expect you to meet the most recent requirements.)

What is the cost of adoption? 

The current tariff specifies the cost of adoption from Russia, which ranges from $33,400 to $42,300. Fees and expenses include program fees, orphanage donations, and estimates of client coordination costs such as travel, lodging, CIS fees, and so on. 

Rates for children 7 and older are reduced to encourage families to adopt older children. To avoid surprises, we make every effort to present a realistic budget. 

Differences may occur due to differences in home study costs, travel, and actual length of stay in Russia.

Russian adoption ban on U.S

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Federal Law No. 272-FZ on December 28, 2012, and it went into effect on January 1, 2013. The law states the following: 

  • Adoption of Russian children by US citizens is prohibited; adoption service providers are prohibited from assisting US citizens in adopting Russian children;
  • The adoption treaty between the United States and Russia must be terminated. Russia formally informed the US that the agreement will expire on January 1, 2014.

The Supreme Court of Russia issued a letter to city and district courts explaining the implementation of Federal Law No. 272-FZ on January 22, 2013. 

This letter states that if the Russian court’s adoption decision is final and made one day before the final adoption order is issued, the Russian court may decide to place the child in the custody of a U.S. citizen. 

What this means for new parents

Prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt children from Russia will continue to submit documents to USCIS. However, since the implementation of Russian Law 272-FZ, Russian courts have only issued adoption orders if the court made a decision on her case before January 1, 2013. 

Parents should be reminded. Finals are scheduled for January 1st. As a result, U.S. families with pending Russian adoptions may want to reconsider their options, particularly if a Russian court has yet to rule on their adoption before January 1, 2013. You might believe

The information provided below is intended to assist families in determining the best course of action.