I am English and my wife of 2 years is Russian. We have a 14 year old daughter who also is Russian. I am not her father just stepfather. I would like to adopt her. She has not seen her father for 13 years although my wife met with him and got his permission to bring her daughter out of Russia. I have been informed that we need to get the court in Russia to agree to the adoption. What is involved? How long would it take? If we cannot find the father again is it still possible? Does my wife, her daughter or myself need to be in Russia for this?
The adoption proceedings in Russian courts are not difficult but there are some particulars in such proceedings with foreign citizens. The procedure will take at least six month. Perhaps, it will take some more time. It will depend on specific facts of the case, city and court where this case will be considered. If it could not be possible to receive the father's consent, in any case you can adopt your wife's daughter in court. But this procedure will be rather more difficult and longer. The necessity of presence of you, your wife and her daughter in court will be found out during proceedings. Your lawyer in Russia can try to make this case to be considered without you based on yours and your wife's power of attorney. Also court will require to know the opinion of your wife's daughter because she is older than 10. Finally, the question about the presence of your family in court will depend on court considering this case with public prosecutor.