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Putin vows to sign bill barring American adoptions

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he will sign a controversial bill barring Americans from adopting Russian children.

The bill is part of the country's increasingly confrontational stance with the West and has angered some Russians who argue it victimizes children to make a political point.

The law would block dozens of Russian children now in the process of being adopted by American families from leaving the country and cut off a major route out of often-dismal orphanages. The United States is the biggest destination for adopted Russian children -- more than 60,000 of them have been taken in by Americans in the past two decades.

"I still don't see any reasons why I should not sign it," Putin said. He went on to say that he "intends" to do so.

UNICEF estimates there are about 740,000 children not in parental custody in Russia, while only 18,000 Russians are now waiting to adopt a child.

The bill is retaliation for an American law that calls for sanctions against Russian officials deemed to be human rights violators. -- AP

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