THE ADOPTION OF children from abroad is fraught with emotions, and adoptions from Russia are no exception. Russia is the third-most favored place for adoptions by U.S. families, after China and Ethiopia. The adoptions have often led to bruised feelings of national pride. At the same time, many of the children enjoy a better life than if they had languished in Russia’s grim institutions. It was with an eye toward improving the process of such adoptions that the United States and Russia approved a bilateral agreement in November.
However, last week the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, threatened to upend this agreement. The chamber passed a bill that would outlaw the adoption of Russian children by Americans. The bill now goes to the upper chamber, the Federation Council; from there, it would go to President Vladimir Putin for his signature. Mr. Putin said at a Dec. 20 news conference that he supports the thrust of the bill but has not decided whether to sign it.