WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today met with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak to discuss Russia’s recent ban on American adoption of Russian children, and urge the swift completion of pending adoption cases for Minnesota families. Earlier this month, Klobuchar met with Minnesota families affected by the ban and vowed to press their cases with the Ambassador.

“These children and the families hoping to provide them loving homes shouldn’t be used as political pawns,” said Klobuchar. “I promised the families I met in Minnesota I would tell their stories to Ambassador Kislyak, and today I was able to make good on that promise.I will continue to fight for all those affected by this ban.”

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.

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.

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.