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Reference note by the State Legal Directorate on the Federal Law On Ratification of the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the French Republic on Adoption Cooperation

July 30, 2012

The Federal Law ratifies the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the French Republic on Adoption Cooperation, signed in Moscow on November 18, 2011 (hereafter referred to as the Agreement).

The Agreement sets out the cooperation procedures on both sides concerning adoption of children holding the citizenship of one signatory country (country of origin) by a citizen of the other signatory country (receiving country), and their transfer to and residence in the receiving country.

Under the Agreement, adoption can take place only by going through authorised organisations (with the exception of adoptions by relatives of the child), if such organisations operate in the country of origin. These organisations’ duties include, in particular, registration of adopted children with the consular authorities of the country of origin, monitoring their living and education conditions, and presenting reports to the relevant bodies in the country of origin.

Under the Agreement, prospective adoptive parents must meet the requirements set by each of the signatory countries and by the Agreement, which, in particular, requires the receiving country’s relevant body to issue a document confirming the prospective parents’ compliance with the receiving country’s legal requirements for people wishing to adopt children.

Under the Agreement, the adopted child acquires citizenship of the receiving country and keeps citizenship of the country of the origin if allowed by law.

In accordance with the Agreement, if it turns out to be not in the child’s best interests to remain in the adoptive family, the question of what to do with the child is settled in accordance with the signatory countries’ laws and the Agreement. The Agreement stipulates that should the child be placed with another family, adoption can take place only after the central authority in the country of origin has been duly informed about the prospective new adoptive family and gives its approval for the adoption to go ahead. If the child’s interests demand it, the central authority in the receiving country, acting in coordination with the central and relevant regional bodies in the country of origin, must ensure the child’s return to the country of origin.