ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Seven Russian children are expected to arrive in the United States by the end of February despite a ban on U.S. adoptions, a children's advocate said Friday.
Svetlana Agapitova, a child rights commissioner for St. Petersburg, Russia, said a court order allowing five children to be adopted by American couples had already gone into effect, RIA Novosti reported.
Two more children are expected to leave within a month as soon as paperwork is completed, she said.
President Vladimir Putin last month signed the ban into law in response to U.S. congressional passage of the Magnitsky Act, which instituted sanctions against Russian officials suspected of human rights violations.
Agapitova said the adoption process had begun for at least 33 children from St. Petersburg orphanages before the law went into effect Jan. 1.