WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today continued her fight to help Minnesota families impacted by the Russian government’s recent ban on American adoption of Russian children. Following Russia’s decision to delay the adoption ban for one year, Klobuchar and over 70 members of Congress sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin calling on the Russian government to allow for the completion of adoption cases that were initiated prior to the ban, and Klobuchar also sent a letter to President Obama urging the Administration to put pressure on the Russian government to process the pending cases. This week Klobuchar met with Minnesota families affected by the ban and is working with the State Department to ensure their adoptions are completed.

“Right now there are Minnesota families who are waiting to give Russian children the loving homes they deserve,” said Klobuchar. “Some of these families literally have photos of the children they are about to adopt in their wallets, but may be unable to complete the adoption process because of the ban.I will continue to work to help families impacted by this harmful law and to make sure these orphans aren’t used as political pawns.”

The State Department estimates that there are currently between 500 and 1,000 pending Russian adoption cases in the United States, including more than 50 which have passed Russian courts and more than 200 in which American parents and Russian children have been matched. Minnesota has the highest rate of international adoptions in the United States.

Senator Klobuchar has been a strong advocate of supporting families throughout both domestic and international adoption processes. She authored the International Adoption Simplification Act to help siblings stay together during an international adoption and protect adoptees from unsafe immunizations in foreign countries. The bill was signed into law on November 30, 2010. Senator Klobuchar is also the author of the Supportive Adoptive Families Act, which would provide pre- and post-adoption support services, including for mental health needs, to help adoptive families stay strong.