MOSCOW, July 3 (RAPSI) – Italians adopted 560 Russian children in 2013, the largest number among foreign countries, Russia’s Supreme Court said in a survey of adoptions by foreign parents or Russians living abroad.

Last year, Russian courts approved the adoption of 1,232 of the 1,247 applications for the adoption of Russian children by foreign parents. This is 50% less than in 2012.

The second largest country in terms of Russian adoptions is Spain (20% of applications). Previously, American parents filed 25% of adoption applications in Russia.

The Dima Yakovlev law prohibiting US nationals from adopting Russian children was signed by President Vladimir Putin in late 2012 and came into force in January 2013. Dima Yakovlev, aged 21 months, died in July 2008 after his adoptive father Michael Harrison left him in a locked car in a parking lot for nine hours. Harrison was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter.

In February 2014, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a resolution prohibiting the adoption of children by “same-sex couples who are lawfully married in countries that have legal same-sex marriage or unmarried nationals from these countries.”

French parents adopted 120 Russian children last year, and approximately as many children were adopted by German and Israeli parents.

The largest number of adoption cases was heard last year by the St. Petersburg City Court: 112 cases compared to 181 in 2012. The Kemerovo Region Court replaced the Moscow City Court as the runner-up, and third place is still held by the Perm Territory Court, which considered 85 adoption applications last year.