After the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russia must pay legal costs and damages to American citizens, who were banned from adopting Russian children when the Dima Yakovlev Law was passed in late 2012, Russian leaders say they are now open to discuss the possibility of lifting the ban.

The ban occurred after some high-profile situations wherein adopted Russian children were mistreated by their American adoptive parents. At the time the ban was put into effect, about 1,000 American families who were in the final stages of adopting their children had to leave the country – and leave their children there. Many of those children were in difficult medical situations and many are special-needs children.

The Federation Council Speaker, Valentina Matviyenko said they are putting the needs of the children as highest priority, and if the American government can guarantee the children will be well-treated, Russia is ready for a dialog. “Everything can be changed back. But for its cancellation [the law banning adoptions of Russian children to Americans] at least some steps from the United States are needed.”

There are many U.S. citizens – hopeful adoptive families – who have been working for four years to get this ban removed. Their children who are waiting to be adopted are without homes, families and some, medical care.