APNewsBreak: Embassy: Some Russia orphans US-bound
"Following up on recent statements by Russian authorities, the embassy can confirm that several adoptions have been finalized under Russian law," Kruzich told the AP. "The embassy in Moscow has processed the applications of these adopting parents in accordance with standard procedures. We will continue processing those cases that are approved by Russian courts."
The first children left Russia on Friday and Saturday, a day after their applications were processed by the embassy.
Hundreds more families — perhaps 1,500 in all — were in some earlier phase of pursuing an adoption from Russia. The Supreme Court ruling appears to put an end to their hopes.
Russia has more than 654,000 children not in parental custody, and 128,000 of them are eligible for adoption, most of them now living in orphanages. Russia has been trying to increase domestic adoptions, and 18,000 Russians are on the waiting list to adopt a child.
Americans adopted nearly 1,000 Russian children in 2011, about 10 percent of them classified as disabled.
While the immediate purpose of Russia's ban was to retaliate for the new U.S. law targeting Russians, the ban also reflects resentment over the 60,000 Russian children who have been adopted by Americans in the past two decades, 19 of whom have died.
But many Russians have been angered by the adoption ban, which they see as sacrificing children to make a political point. A protest in Moscow this month to denounce the law and those who enacted it drew tens of thousands of demonstrators.