02/13/2014 11:40 EST | Updated 04/15/2014 05:59 EDT

Russia Expands Ban On Same-Sex Adoptions

Russia has banned adoptions of Russian children by same-sex couples as well as single people from countries — like Canada — where same-sex marriage is legal.

The move comes in the midst of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi — a sporting event that was already steeped in controversy over Russia’s law banning “gay propaganda” and threats to imprison or fine anyone partaking in unsanctioned protests on the subject.  

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed the decree Monday and posted it on the government’s website Thursday.

It is an amendment to a law passed last July banning adoptions by those in unions "recognized as marriages and registered in accordance with the law of a country where such marriages are permitted." It also bans adoptions by "nationals of such countries who are not married."

In 2013, a Canadian couple from Halifax said their dreams of adopting a child from Russia were thwarted due to such politics.

Pam and Adam Webber were affected by the change in attitude towards adoptions by foreigners depending upon their countries stance on same-sex marriage. 

In the same year, the Krelmin stopped adoptions to Sweden because it allows same-sex marriage.

A law banning adoptions by U.S. citizens was also rushed through Russian parliament in December 2012. The law was sped to Putin's desk in less than 10 days as a form of retaliation over a U.S. law calling for sanctions on Russians identified as human-rights violators.

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

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