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Spain and Russia Sign Partnership Agreement on Adoption

Spain and Russia Sign Partnership Agreement on Adoption
The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, and the Russian Deputy Education Minister, Veniamin Kaganov, signed the Partnership Agreement on the Adoption of Children between the Kingdom of Spain and the Russian Federation at Viana Palace this morning. The Spanish Minister for Health, Social Services and Equality, Ana Mato, was also present for the signing.

Once signed by the two parties, the agreement will be submitted for approval to the Spanish Parliament and the Russian Duma. The Government of Spain hopes that these internal procedures can be concluded swiftly in order for the document to enter into force as soon as possible.

Spain is the first country to reach an agreement with the Russian Federation on the text of this agreement since legislative changes in Russia approved last summer led to the suspension of all ongoing adoption processes at the time. The agreement enables a compromise between Spanish and Russian Family Law - which present significant differences - so that Spanish families can continue to adopt in Russia in accordance with Russian legal requirements.

The signing of this agreement was a priority for Spain given the high number of Spanish families affected. Over 600 Spanish families, approximately 160 of them with a child already allocated to them, have been waiting patiently for almost a year for their adoption cases to be settled. In order for these processes to continue, the bilateral agreement signed today was an essential requirement for the Russian authorities. We hope that the suspension of these legal adoption processes can be lifted quickly now that this agreement has been signed.

Over the last 15 years, more than 12,000 Russian children have been adopted by Spanish families. Spain was the country with the third-highest number of Russian child adoption applicants in 2012 (after the United States and Italy), and the second-highest in 2013 (after Italy) with 354 adoptions.

The agreement signed today establishes a framework for cooperation between the competent authorities in the two countries based on the 33rd Convention of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, on the protection of children and cooperation in respect of intercountry adoption. We trust that the signing of this document will not only accelerate the adoption processes already open in Russia but will also help begin new processes as soon as possible under the appropriate legal protection.

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