Moscow mayor to cut costs of orphans
Costs of raising orphans born and abandoned in Moscow by non-Muscovites should be shared with the federal budget, Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said.
The cost of raising orphans born and abandoned in Moscow by migrants should be shared by the federal government, the city mayor Luzhkov said at a meeting of Moscow City Government on Tuesday.
"Young mothers abandon their children in hospitals. A big part of these mothers are not Muscovites," he said. Luzhkov said women often come to Moscow specifically to give birth and leave the baby in the custody of the authorities of the well-off city in a hope to give them better chances in life.
Lyudmila Guseva, the head of Moscow authority overlooking family and youth policy said out of 450 children abandoned by their mothers in Moscow hospitals in 2009 two thirds were born from residents of other regions or even countries.
Moscow authorities support an orphans until they turn 18, after which they have to supply them with apartments in a policy rare for the Russian regions, Yevgeny Bunimovich, Moscow's ombudsmen overlooking childredn's rights told GZT.ru
The yearly cost of raising a child in an orphanage in Moscow in 2010 is estimated between 480,000 and 605,000 roubles ($15,800 and $20,000), according to official figures. The figure grows to 1.2 million roubles ($39,500) for children in specialized institutions.
However, the biggest expense is providing the flat for the foster child. At the moment the prime cost of a square meter in Moscow is between 50,000 - 60,000 roubles ($1600 and $2000), according to Rway.ru, an analytical agency of property market. A small studio on the outskirts of Moscow can cost up to 1.5 million roubles ($50,000) for the city.
Overall, the city will spend 3,8 billion roubles ($122 million) on orphans over 18 years in 2009 prices. For comparison, Moscow government spent 186,2 billion roubles (6.1 billion dollars) or 12.9 % of the budget on social policy in 2009, according to their website. The cost of supporting the kids for a year without the purchase of a flat is 181,5 million, which is only 0.1% of all the money spent on social policy.
In December, Luzhkov proposed to set up a system of patronage over the orphans aged 18 to 23. A patron family, which will support an orphan without adopting him or her, will receive money and other benefits from the city. Altogether 182 families take care of 210 children in Moscow now receiving about 12,500 roubles a month ($400) for each.
RIA Novosti reported that in 2009 the number of adoptions in Moscow rose by 5 percent to 2,500 compared with the previous year.