The principle of priority of national adoption over international adoption is laid down in art.124 of the Russian Family Code: a child can be adopted by a foreign citizen only if there is no possibility to place a child in a family of Russian citizens, living in Russia, or to his/her relatives independently of their citizenship and of their place of residence. Information about abandoned children is stored in the federal and regional data base of abandoned children.Foreign citizens wishing to adopt a Russian child, apply to the manager of a regional data base of abandoned children, see http://www.usynovite.ru/ (in Russian). There are 72 managers of regional data bases of abandoned children, and only part of them work with foreign prospective adopters.
Adoption is done through a court judgement. A competent court is a court of the second level of the place where child resides. Russia is not a party to the Hague Convention 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. Instead, Russia has concluded bilateral agreements on cooperation in respect of intercountry adoption with several countries: with Spain (in 2015), with France (in 2012), with Italy (in 2008). It is to be noted the blanket ban on all adoptions by same-sex partners (art.127 para 1 alinea 14 and art. 146 of the Russian Family Code. The projects of cooperation in respect of adoption with the Great Britain, the New Zealand, and other countries failed due to this ban.
There were 203 judgements on international adoptions in 2019, thereas in 2016 there were 416 judgements (the most recent overview of the court practice ).