By LYNN BERRY Associated Press
MOSCOW January 23, 2013 (AP)
Some of the Russian children caught in limbo by their country's ban on adoptions by Americans have left for the United States with their new parents, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow said Wednesday.
The confirmation to The Associated Press from press attaché Joseph Kruzich was the first official word that any of the 46 children had been allowed to leave Russia. Kruzich did not say exactly how many of the children had already left, but it was clear that all of these adoptions could now go forward, bringing huge relief to the children's would-be parents in America.
The ban on adoptions by Americans was rushed through Russia's parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin in December in retaliation for a U.S. law that sanctions Russians said to have violated human rights.
But the hasty enactment left many questions unresolved, including the fates of the 46 children whose adoptions had already been approved by Russian courts. The court approval of the adoptions had to be followed by a 30-day waiting period, but that period wasn't over before the ban went into effect Jan. 1, leaving the children in legal limbo.