Russia furious over adopted boy sent back from US

MOSCOW (AP) - Russia threatened to suspend all child adoptions by U.S. families Friday after a 7-year-old boy adopted by a woman from Tennessee was sent alone on a one-way flight back to Moscow with a note saying he was violent and had severe psychological problems. The boy, Artyom Savelyev, was put on a plane by his adopted grandmother, Nancy Hansen of Shelbyville.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the actions by the grandmother “the last straw” in a string of U.S. adoptions gone wrong, including three in which Russian children had died in the U.S. The cases have prompted outrage in Russia, where foreign adoption failures are reported prominently. Russian main TV networks ran extensive reports on the latest incident in their main evening news shows.

I can’t hardly blame Russia for being furious over such an incident. And I do think it is horrible what this adoptive “parent” did to this child. Such a child should never be sent on a plane to some foreign country by him/herself. Also, the adoptive “parent” should have kept the child and made sure that the child received appropriate psychotherapy and medication rather than just give up on the child. I am sure that the fact that this adoptive “parent” just gave up on this child will only exacerbate the child’s already existing problems. I mean, if I were a child with serious psychological issues and I was adopted and then given up on and essentially abandoned, it would severely affect me.

However, I do think that suspending all adoptions of United States parents of Russian children is the wrong thing to do. They should not do this based upon a single incident. That would be akin to accusing all priests of child sexual abuse based upon the sexual abuse of one child by one priest.

I notice that the boy was sent back by his adoptive grandmother and that this was a single-parent adoption that took place only 6 or 7 months ago. The mother was unable to deal with the little boy’s extreme acting out behavior. This is a tragic situation. I have read that some of these orphans have great psychological and behavioral problems because of the severe lack of physical contact and nurturing they experienced as infants and children while in the Russian orphanages.

I believe that in the U.S. there is usually a trial period when older children are adopted. The child makes visits to the home and there’s a trial placement before the adoption is finalized. Parents who are capable of giving a physically or emotionally handicapped child the love and care he needs are aware up front what the problems are. In a foreign adoption, it appears these safeguards for the parents and child don’t exist.

No child should be put in a situation where he/she is neglected, abused, or in danger of death. No potential adoptive parent should be put in a situation where they are given a child with severe problems that they are not informed about in advance or that the adoption or social service agency is not prepared to help them cope with. Under the present system, it seems that both these things are happening. Any agreement between the US and Russia would need to deal with both issues. From the article, it appears that this is a problem with foreign adoptions from Russia, not only those to the US.

It doesn’t matter if the adoptive “parent” was informed or uninformed about the child’s behavioral problems. She should not have just abandoned the child the way she did. :mad:

I agree and it also doesn’t help that many of these parents receive little to no support from their adoption agencies and many facilities aren’t equipped to take in severely disturbed children. Facilities that do are few and few and many aren’t paid for by insurance and costs thousands that many parents cant afford. Many of these adoption agencies need to be held responsible for providing medical care and support to parents who have children who are mentally disturbed or who have severe issues. Also parents need to be more informed that when adopting especially an older child the chance of them having issues increases. It sounds like this adoption was failed from the get go. Adoption reform is needed on both sides.

I love the commentary in the Boston Herald on this topic:

It is in a throwaway society - where only a “perfect” child will do.

Triple screens, blood tests, ultrasounds, amnios. Results bad? Terminate.

Of course, Hansen couldn’t abort a 7-year-old - but there was that direct flight to Russia just waiting for Artyom. No muss, no fuss.


this articel “I Did Not Love My Adopted Child”

talks about this and adoption gone wrong. needless to say the comments left by readers on all sides were very very interesting

I think there is a lot more to this particular story that has yet to be revealed. Some reports are claiming the “mother” refused contact by the adoption agency back in March and the boy is claiming the “mother” dragged him by the hair. The “mother” refuses to talk to the police unless she’s formally charged with a crime.

Its one thing to have a difficult adoption, but to just pin a note on the boy and ship him back to Russia like the shirt I just ordered online is the wrong color or size, its unbelieveable. There’s got to be more to this that hasn’t come out yet.

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