President Vladimir Putin says a bid to ban US adoptions of Russian children is a legitimate response to a new American law calling for sanctions on Russian human rights violators.
But he has not committed to signing the draft bill.
He says the measure, which has received preliminary approval in parliament, is also a response to an alleged US failure to protect the rights of adopted Russian children.
He told his annual news conference in Moscow that while the majority of Americans who adopt Russian children are "kind and honourable," protection for abuse victims is insufficient.
The bill faces more steps before it can reach Mr Putin for signature. He says: "I will make a decision depending on what is written there."