Russian adoption remains in the news as investigations continue and more details emerge about the Jan. 21 death of 3-year-old Max Shatto, a Russian-born child adopted by a Texas couple. A Feb. 26 article in The Atlantic offers insights into the ongoing investigation of Shatto's death, the news of which sparked already tense conversations between U.S. and Russian officials on the state of Russian adoptions to U.S. citizens.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a ban on Russian adoptions to U.S. citizens, which took effect Jan. 1. News of Shatto's death has further inflamed this already hot-button issue. According to The Atlantic, "Pavel Astakhov, Russia's children's rights commissioner, demanded this week that Russian officials be allowed to 'see the materials of the case and take part in the formulation of the prosecution'."
Russian adoptions have long been a popular option for U.S. families. According to the U.S. Department of State, 45,112 Russian adoptions were completed between 1999 and 2011. Talks between the two countries continue, but chances are good that Shatto's death and the pending investigation will hurt the likelihood that the ban will be lifted. The Atlantic cites local Texas officials as saying that "a medical ruling on Max Shatto's death is imminent."