Russian nationalists argue that it's a shame for Russian children to be "sold" abroad, and several of the lawmakers who championed the Dima Yakovlev bill argued they will sponsor further efforts to ease the plight of Russia's huge numbers of institutionalized children.
Putin lent his support to the harshest critics of international adoption Thursday, by casually likening Russian children taken into US families to economic refugees.
"There are probably many places in the world where living standards are higher than ours. So what, are we going to send all our children there?" Putin said with sarcasm. "Maybe we should move there ourselves?"
The new law is a sudden about face from Russia's previous position. Russia's foreign ministry spent years negotiating a detailed US-Russia adoption accord, which regulates virtually all aspects of the adoption process, and came into effect just last month.
"I just don't understand how they can completely change the whole system for international adoptions, suddenly, all at once like this," says Svetlana Pronina, head of Child's Right, a Russian nongovernmental group that works for children's rights.
"It looks to me like children have become hostages to the political situation, and this is not a wise way to approach the needs of Russian children," she adds.
"How is it that our authorities were able to ratify a major agreement with the US about adoptions just a few months ago, and now they decided to abolish it? What sense is there in this?" she says.
The law is slated to come into effect on Jan. 1, though the US-Russia bilateral accord stipulates that either side must give one year's warning before withdrawing from the deal.