Russian MPs have overwhelmingly backed a bill that would ban US citizens from adopting Russian children.
The move is in retaliation for the Magnitsky Act, passed in the US this month, introducing sanctions on Russian alleged human rights violators.
It follows several cases in which Russian children have apparently been mistreated by US adoptive parents.
But senior figures in the government of President Vladimir Putin have chided Russian MPs for going too far.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticised the move, and Education Minister Dmitry Livanov said it could result in Russian children being left with no hope of adoption.
The rate of adoption in Russia is low. Some 3,400 Russian children were adopted by foreign families in 2011, nearly a third of them by Americans.
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