About 1,000 Russian children were adopted by US families in 2011, and around 50 such adoptions are pending.
President Vladimir Putin signed the Dima Yakovlev Act into law Friday, banning all adoptions of Russian orphans by US citizens as of Jan. 1 and throwing dozens of currently ongoing adoptions into confusion.
The mood among workers in the almost 40 Russia-accredited adoption agencies, which have survived repeated bouts of political tensions and ever-tightening regulations over the years, was near despair Friday.
"We have no text of this law, nor any explanations of what's supposed to happen now. So, we're waiting," she says.
Any hope that Mr. Putin might impose some restraint upon a measure that even members of his own cabinet have criticized as possibly illegal and diplomatically disruptive were dashed Thursday when Putin explicitly endorsed the adoption ban and other tough measures against US citizens working in Russia in televised remarks.
"I see no reason not to sign the law," Putin said.
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