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U.S. Paralympian Barred From Russian Adoption

IRKUTSK, Russia -- Moscow has ruled that Russian-born U.S. Paralympic champion Jessica Long is ineligible to adopt a boy from a Siberian orphanage.

Russia's children ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov, reiterated to reporters in the Siberian city of Irkutsk on December 13 that Russian laws ban the adoption of orphans by Americans.

Astakhov said Long, who was born in the Irkutsk region as Tatyana Kirillova and who was adopted by an American woman in 1993, may try to restore her Russian citizenship.

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Earlier this month, Long, 21, the current world-record holder in 13 Paralympic swimming events, visited her old orphanage, where she expressed her willingness to adopt.

In January, Russia passed a law banning the adoption of Russian children by Americans in apparent retaliation for a U.S. law sanctioning Russian officials deemed to be human rights violators.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax