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Ver la versión completa : Russia Suspends USA exchange Program, claiming student was adopted by same-sex couple



Marcos Simon
01/10/2014, 17:07
The U.S. agency administering the exchange program confirmed to BuzzFeed News that
one student did not return to Russia.

posted on Oct. 1, 2014, at 12:33 p.m.
http://s3-ak.buzzfed.com/static/user_images/webdr03/2013/2/18/17/lesterfeder-2126-1361228188-6_large.jpg (http://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder)J. Lester Feder (http://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder)BuzzFeed Staff

The Russian foreign ministry announced this week that it had suspended a 21-year-old
program that placed Russian high school students with host families in the U.S. after
alleging that a student had been put up for adoption and placed in the custody of a
same-sex couple.

“A child who has a mother in Russia was illegally put up for adoption, and the boy was
handed over to a homosexual American couple,” Russia’s child rights ombudsman,
Pavel Astakhov, was quoted as saying by the TASS (http://itar-tass.com/obschestvo/1478548) news agency on Wednesday.
“The boy is healthy and comes from a good family, so it’s not clear what guidelines
they were operating under in the U.S.”

The program being suspended is the Future Leaders Exchange (http://exchanges.state.gov/non-us/program/future-leaders-exchange) program (FLEX),
which is funded by the U.S. government and administered by the American Councils
for International Education (ACIE), based in Washington. ACIE Executive Vice
President David Patton told BuzzFeed News that the organization was notified on
Tuesday by the U.S. embassy in Moscow that the Russian government was
withdrawing its participation.

Patton said he did not have full details on the case in question, but confirmed that
one student had not returned to Russia after the child’s scheduled time in the U.S.
had run out. Patton said the child was not placed with same-sex host parents by
ACIE, but did befriend a same-sex couple while participating in the program.

“There’s certainly a grain of truth in about everything that’s said here,” he said in
response to the Russian government’s allegations.
Patton said ACIE “no longer has jurisdiction” over the case and that it was now in
the hands of U.S. immigration officials. He did not know whether the child is
currently in the custody of the same-sex couple, as Russian officials allege.

Patton said ACIE has long included same-sex couples among host parents for the
FLEX program, which has more than 8,000 alumni from Russia alone.

“Students on the FLEX program are placed in the broad swath of American families,
including some non-traditional families,” Patton said, referring to both same-sex
couples and single-parent households. When those placements are made,
Patton said, both the student and their Russian parents are informed in advance.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued a statement (http://moscow.usembassy.gov/st-flex-09302014.html) on Tuesday expressing deep
“regret this decision by the Russian government to end a program that for 21
years has built deep and strong connections between the people of Russia and
the United States.”

Russia has clashed with the United States and western European nations over
LGBT rights since last year, especially over a law banning “propaganda of
non-traditional sexual relationships to minors.” Russia has banned all adoptions
to the U.S. since late 2012 in response to a US bill that barred entry for suspected
Russian human rights abusers, and it passed legislation last year to all countries
recognizing same-sex marriages unless governments guarantee that children will
never be placed in the custody of a same-sex couple. Violence against LGBT
people inside Russia has increased since the new initiatives.

Source: "Buzzfeed.com"