MOSCOW, January 29 - RAPSI. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has communicated to Russia the complaint filed by four families from the United States who were unable to adopt Russian children, their lawyer Karina Moskalenko told RAPSI on Tuesday.

The complaint over Russia's recently passed adoption ban was filed on January 22 by four families, who have been left stranded in the middle of their adoption process. The ECHR registered the complaint on January 23. The plaintiffs are represented by Moskalenko's International Protection Center in Moscow.

The court urgently considered the complaint on January 28 and requested a reply from the Russian authorities, Moskalenko said. The court expects a reply no later than February 18.

In Moskalenko's view, the enactment of the law banning adoptions violated the requirements under the European Convention on Human Rights. She named Article 3, which prohibits torture, Article 8, which provides for protecting one's private and family life, and Article 14, which safeguards against discrimination.

The "Dima Yakovlev Law" banning U.S. families from adopting Russian children was named in honor of a two-year-old Russian boy who died after his American adoptive father left him in the car for nine hours on a hot summer day.

The law prohibits U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children and provides for terminating the U.S.-Russian adoption agreement signed by the countries in 2011.

In signing the bill into law, President Vladimir Putin issued a decree to improve conditions for Russian orphans. The multifaceted decree took aim at a number of overarching policy goals and called for creating perks for Russian adoptive parents.

On January 22, the Supreme Court held that adoptions that were pending when the law took effect and had already received court approval would go through. The court reported on its website: "Children whose adoptions by U.S. nationals were approved by courts before January 1, 2013, and have come into force, including after January 1, 2013, must be turned over to their adoptive parents."