Orphans in the Russian Federation

Medvedev's comments on orphans

President Medvedev speaks about orphans and institutionalization in his "State of the Nation" speech on 30 November. Here is a short extract in English translation:

"Unfortunately, in our country there are still 130,000 children remaining without family care. They have neither parents, not guardians, they are deprived of what's primary – the warmth of the family. And there is still very much left to do to make sure that the very concept of "throw-away" children is removed from our life. There should be guardianship/foster organizations focused on placing children with families and supporting those families. In general there must not be children in our country that are "nobody's".

"The so-called 'correctional' children's homes are faced with such a serious problem. They, unfortunately, work in such a way as to lead to the increasing isolation of children, rather than their socialization. Therefore not only public services, but also civil society must pay attention to what is happening here. At each baby house, in orphanages and in correctional establishments it is necessary to create boards of trustees whose work should be completely open and transparent.

"Finally, we need programmes of social adaptation and support for those who have come out of orphanages. It is not enough to train and feed children – they need to be brought out into a new, adult life prepared and self-assured. Here the role not only of teachers, but also of local authorities is great. They could pay, for example, the cost for those who have come out of orphanages to take courses which would prepare them to enter the system of higher and further education and vocational training."

The whole text of President Medvedev's speech (in Russian) can be found here: http://kremlin.ru/transcripts/9637

Federal Law No.48-F3 from 24 April 2008 on Guardianship (ob Opeke i Popechitelstve)

This law describes two legal forms of guardianship (Opeka and Popechitelstvo) in relation to minors and other citizens who have been ruled by court decision to be unable to care for themselves.

The law lays out the responsibilities of guardians and rights of the ward in the Russian Federation. (Law No. 48-F3 was published 30 April 2008, is effective in law as of 1 September 2008, was passed by the State Duma on 11 April 2008 and the Federation Council on 16 April 2008.)

The full text of the law (in Russian) can be found on the official "Adoption in Russia" site of the Education Ministry and Youth Ministry of the Russian Federation: http://www.usynovite.ru/documents/federal/legislative/24.04.08/

Family Codex of the Russian Federation

The Family Codex of the Russian Federation is available online. Articles 18 through 22 of the Family Codex deal with the placement and care of children who have been left without parents to care for themHere you can read more information about legal forms of care (including adoption) for such children in the Russian Federation, as well as about the child's rights and the carer's responsibilities.

Articles 18-22:
More information and the full text of the Family Codex (in Russian) is at http://www.semkodeks.ru/