Russia May Block Adoptions by French, Due to Marriage Equality Law

France's new law on marriage and adoption rights goes against Russian law, says a children's rights official in the latter country.

BY Trudy Ring

May 31 2013 3:15 PM ET

Pavel Astakhov

A Russian official is reacting badly to France’s new law granting equal marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples, saying his nation should place a moratorium on adoption of Russian children by French citizens.

France’s law is contrary to Russia’s, so “it is evident that a moratorium should be imposed until [both countries’] legislation is brought into accord. This is logical,” Pavel Astakhov, Russia’s ombudsman for children’s rights, told journalists Thursday, according to Russian news site RIA Novosti.

French president François Hollande signed the marriage and adoption bill into law May 18, and the first legal same-sex marriage ceremony in France took place Wednesday.

Astakhov and Russian president Vladimir Putin have a history of opposition to adoption of Russian children by people in other countries. Astakhov was the force behind a law signed late last year by Putin to end U.S. adoptions of Russian children, ostensibly to protect the children from abuse, but some sources have said it’s retaliation for U.S. actions concerning human rights violations in Russia.

Also, Putin said last month that Russia could change its adoption agreements with countries that allow same-sex marriage, because that conflicts with “traditional Russian values, ” RIA Novosti notes.

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