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Moscow Creates Database Of Adoptive Parents

Alexander Shmelev and Svetlana Shmeleva holding their adopted child (file photo)
Russia's Education Ministry says it will create a federal database of potential adoptive parents for thousands of children living in Russian orphanages.

Yevgeny Silyanov, the head of the ministry's children's rights department, said the move is aimed at finding the most suitable adoptive parents. He didn't elaborate on whether the database would include only Russian citizens.

According to the ministry, nearly 32,000 children were adopted from Russian orphanages in the first half of 2013. The ministry puts the number of children in the country's orphanages at 74,000.

On January 1, 2013, the Russian government banned the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. The ban was widely seen as a response to U.S. moves to blacklist alleged Russian rights abusers.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and