It's a long story, but for now, adoption of orphan children from Russia by US citizens is very much up in the air. The governments of the US and Russia are arguing over each other's human rights stance and part of the argument has spilled over into international adoption. The US State Department reports that in FY 2011, of the 3,400 international adoptions by US citizens, the largest number, approximately 1,000. were Russian children.
The problem seems to have started in 2008, with the unfortunate mistreatment and untimely death of a Russian child adopted by US citizens, and concerns were exacerbated by the international attention given to a 7-year-old Russian boy sent back to Russia alone by his adoptive US citizen mother.
In the meantime, in 2009, Russian anti-corruption lawyer and auditor, Sergei Magnitsky, died in a Russian jail. He had been incarcerated after accusing certain Russian officials of stealing great sums of money from the state, allegedly through fraudulent tax refunds. Magnitsky's death also received international attention
The US and Russia negotiated an agreement on adoptions to improve the safeguards that protect adopted Russian children and their US families. The resulting agreement that went into effect on November 1, 2012, is possibly very short lived.
On December 14, 2012, President Obama signed the so-called "Magnitsky Bill" (H.R.4405). The main intention of the law was to punish Russian officials who were thought to be responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky by prohibiting their entrance to the US and their use of the US banking system. Unrelated, but seemingly in retribution, today, December 27, 2012, President Putin was presented a bill for signing that will prohibit adoption of Russian children by US families.
The political ball is still very much up in the air, but for now, US citizens seeking international adoption need to be very wary of setting their hearts on adopting a Russian child.