Russia bans foreign gay couples from adopting children

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Russia says it will no longer allow foreign couples to adopt Russian children if their country has same-sex marriage – or if the couples are gay.

Russian news agency RIA reports the move will affect countries that traditionally adopt large quantities of Russian orphans, including Spain, France and Canada.

The ban will apply to married gay couples and unmarried couples.

“Adoptions can be carried out by members of either sex with the exception of… people in a union of two people of the same sex that has been registered as a married according to the legislation of their country… and also unmarried people in such countries,” reads the decree, which has been signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

In January, Mr Medvedev dismissed criticism of the country’s gay ‘propaganda’ laws, claiming not a single gay person in Russia has complained.

President Vladimir Putin recently said gay people had nothing to fear in Russia as long as they leave children alone.

The Russian leader said last week that the Winter Olympics are “not the place” to debate the country’s position on gay rights.

The Games are currently taking place in the Russian city of Sochi.