Russia does suspend all U.S. Adoptions!

Earlier this week we talked about the 7-year-old adopted child who was returned to Russia by his mother. The Russians were so angered by her “returning” him that they threatened to halt all U.S. adoptions, and now the country has! See the AP story below.

By NATALIYA VASILYEVA

The Associated Press

MOSCOW — Russia suspended all adoptions to U.S. families on Thursday until the two countries can agree on procedures, the Foreign Ministry said, a week after an American woman sent her 7-year-old adopted son back to Russia on a plane by himself.

The boy’s return — without supervision or explanation aside from a note he carried from his adoptive mother saying he had psychological problems — has incensed Russia and prompted aggressive media coverage of foreign adoptions.

A U.S. delegation will visit Moscow “in the next few days” to discuss international adoptions and a possible bilateral agreement, ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.

“Russia believes that only such an agreement which will contain effective tools for Russian and U.S. officials to monitor the living conditions of adopted Russian children will ensure that recent tragedies in the United States will not be repeated,” Nesterenko said in a televised briefing.

The Tennessee woman who sent back the 7-year-old boy last Thursday claimed she had been misled by his Russian orphanage about his condition.

Russians have been outraged that no charges have been filed against her.

For several years, Russian lawmakers have suggested suspending U.S. adoptions after other cases of abuse and even killings of Russian children adopted in the United States, but no formal measures had been taken until Thursday.

More than 1,800 Russian children were adopted in the United States last year, according to Russia’s Health and Education Ministry.

What do you think about the Russians suspending adoptions? What should the agreement be? Should there be an agreement that foreign countries will give all relevant medical info about a child as well?

31 comments Add your comment

JATL

April 15th, 2010
9:16 am

I think it’s sad for Russian orphans who could be adopted by loving and COMMITTED parents in this country -who have actually thought out their decision and aren’t non-thinking idiots, however, I can’t blame Russia right now. What she did remains disgusting! I’m just very sorry for families who have been deeply involved in the Russian adoption process.

Becky

April 15th, 2010
9:33 am

I don’t know that much about adoption or the process, but if it were easier to adopt in the US, this wouldn’t be an issue..I only know one couple that has adopted..It took them three years to adopt a child here and they were ran thru the wringer big time..

As JATL said, I feel for any families that are trying to adopt from Russia and now can’t..I don’t know why this woman decided that she couldn’t deal with this child, but I hope that everything works out for the best with all involved..

TechMom

April 15th, 2010
9:42 am

I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later when even natural parents in the US are dropping their kids off because they can’t handle them. Unfortunately this decision will have profound effects on the parents who were currently in process to adopt a child and it’s those who are going to have to deal with the fall out from this deranged woman.

That being said, an effort should be made to provide ALL medical history about a child who is up for adoption- whether that is overseas or here in the US but there are a lot of things that simply don’t manifest infants or toddlers. It doesn’t say in the article how old the child was when he was adopted or how long he’s been with the adoptive mother. While I don’t think it’s right for the children, perhaps there should be some contingency to return the children under certain circumstances. It’s obvious this woman felt like this was her only option which means things had to be pretty darn bad (I’m not condoning what she did by any means but I can’t imagine someone who just ‘kind of’ wanted a child would go through the timely process and the expense of an adoption if she didn’t really want a child so there had to be things she wasn’t expecting.)

The article states that there has been reports of Russian adoptees being killed once in the US but it doesn’t state if that’s from abuse or from accidents or how many. And further, aren’t these parents actually screened by the Russian adoption agencies? So perhaps the responsibility falls more to their methods of selection?

DB

April 15th, 2010
10:03 am

T, my post is being held hostage . . .

Jeff

April 15th, 2010
11:33 am

Maybe they see their child returned and then see Kate, et.al. and say WTH?

PHR

April 15th, 2010
11:44 am

This whole situation is very sad. I do feel sorry for the adoptive mother of this child. I do believe that she was lied to. However, putting him on a plane back to Russia is absolutely and totally wrong.

I am an adoptive mother of a child from Russia and know first hand that the Russian government/orphanage lied to us. I also know that there are a lot of issues that the kids in institutions develop. I’m not sure how long this child was in an orphanage, but the longer he was there the worse it is. The social worker and adoption agency should have educated this adoptive mother on what she could possible see in this boy. I don’t feel like they did their jobs very well.

I also feel sorry for the adoptive parents in the US waiting to bring their kids home from Russia. Each family has to take 3 trips to Russia to adopt a child and I’m sure some have already traveled twice and now they have no idea when they will be able to bring their children home. It would have killed me if this happened when we were going through the process.

I’m very skeptical of the Russian government wanting to keep track of the kids adopted in the US. We already had to do multiple post adoption reports legally. Our agency also required monthly reports for the first 12 months.

G.R.I.T.S.

April 15th, 2010
12:42 pm

its hard to say when we (or least i) havent heard the womans story. i know a woman who had a child (from u.s.a.) in her home for several months, waiting for adoption. this child turned mean and violent and they had to back out on the adoption. so ..i would really like to hear what this woman has to say.

Panda8

April 15th, 2010
1:24 pm

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gO7yhJ2SD6KEB5aS4bzbZgRt45UgD9F3ITH01

The different articles keep flipping yes/no on the suspension. Is there any way to tell which it is?

penguinmom

April 15th, 2010
1:49 pm

@panda – I was wondering the same. The latest I saw was the adoptions aren’t suspended. It’s hard for the adoptive families going through this roller coaster of on again/off again.

DB

April 15th, 2010
4:29 pm

It’s interesting — Hansen refuse to talk to the sherriff in Shelbyville unless they are being charged with anything. The sherriff sorta has his hands tied, because unless he can talk to the kid, he has trouble constructing a case for abuse that he can take to court. The State Department has told him that no laws have been broken. Russia won’t let him talk to the kid – which is a bit of a mess, because the adoption was final last November, and the child is technically a U.S. citizen. Hansen’s mom says it wasn’t abandonment because the child was supervised by the flight attendent, and they had paid a Russian man $200 to meet the child and take him to the Russian ministry offices, so the child was never “abandoned.” Here was her letter:

“To Whom It May Concern:
“I adopted this child, Artem Saveliev on September 29, 2009. This child is mentally unstable. He is violent and has severe psycopathic issues/behaviors. I was lied to and misled by the Russian Orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability and other issues. The orphananage employees were definitely aware of the major problems that this child has. Yet, they chose to grossly misrepresent those problems, in order to get him out of their orphanage.

“After giving my best to this child, I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends, and myself, I no longer wish to parent this child. As he is a Russian National, I am returning him to your guardianship and would like the adoption disannulled.

“Sincerely, Torry Hansen.”

I think this is the classic definition of FUBAR

Polytron/E2M Sucks

April 15th, 2010
4:39 pm

Say what you will about the Russians, but we could learn a thing or two from them.

They generally don’t play-with either this issue, or terrorism-they tend to take care of business instead of all the hand-wringing over political correctness nonsense.

That being said, something stinks in Tennessee, I think.

Hansen’s mom says it wasn’t abandonment because the child was supervised by the flight attendent, and they had paid a Russian man $200 to meet the child and take him to the Russian ministry offices, so the child was never “abandoned.

Sounds like more horseshyte from the woman. Low class, too. :(

JATL

April 15th, 2010
4:49 pm

I still think the moron adoptive mother thought she was going to be “so cute” and “so wonderful” by adopting this kid. I don’t think she thought for ONE MINUTE about the extremely serious problems a 7 year old orphan could have. She’s also single, so WHY did she think this was ever, in any way a good idea? Why didn’t she try to adopt an infant so she could at least start from the beginning instead of taking on God-knows-what, if she was going to be doing this alone? I don’t care if this child is the Anti-Christ, she obviously did very little due diligence before adopting him. The sending him back on a plane is disgusting no matter what.

PHR

April 15th, 2010
4:59 pm

Seriously @Polytron/E2M Sucks? We could learn from the Russians. You think we should be liars? I’ve read more about this and they are now claiming that the woman physically abused this child because he had scratches and bumps. Tell me what boy at 8 years old doesn’t have scratches and bumps??? They also say they’ve got families lined up to adopt this boy. I don’t believe it at all. They think that the government does a better job than the individual (communism anyone?). They will send that kid to an orphanage again, maybe a different one, but I’m sure of it.

Don’t not give them credit for this!? They are not politically correct at all. They will say whatever to make themselves look good.

lurker

April 15th, 2010
5:13 pm

@Becky, there are ways to go through the adoption process here in the US, I did it! We signed up with the agency in Nov. 96, had our homestudy in Feb. 97, was matched with our birth mother, then my beautiful baby girl was born in Oct 97. And I was in the delivery room! We did go through a private agency and we did pay good money. But it can be done. Yes we did go through the “ringer” but it was totally worth it and I expected nothing less. If I were a birth mother giving up my baby, I would think it comforting to know that they do put them through the “ringer” as you so call it!

Tea Party Protest Sign Spell Chequer

April 15th, 2010
6:48 pm

Let me know when the “Adopt a Stripper”program resumes.

Polytron/E2M Sucks

April 16th, 2010
8:42 am

You think we should be liars? I’ve read more about this and they are now claiming that the woman physically abused this child because he had scratches and bumps.

I couldn’t make any real sense out of your post.

Ok, whatever….!

Becky

April 16th, 2010
8:52 am

@lurker..I understand that the people that are adopting should be throughly (sp) checked out, but does it really take 3-4 years to do background checks on people? When I was given custody of my 2 neices, within one week, they ran a criminal background check, drug test, home inspection, job verification, neighbor visits and everything else..That’s all I’m trying to say..Why does it take so long to clear people for adoption?

KMM

April 16th, 2010
9:00 am

I don’t care what this woman’s “story” is. You can’t just give up a child you gave birth to (with exception to Nebraska last year) and if you consider an adopted child any different from a birth child, you don’t need to be an adoptive parent. Period.

Roswell Jeff

April 16th, 2010
10:16 am

I find it ironic that they run prospective parents through the ringer for an adoption but anyone can have a child on there own. Don’t get me wrong… I feel there is a need to have a comprehensive home study done.

Once the woman adopted the child, it was up to her to take him lock, stock and barrel. Care for him at least until he was a functioning adult in whatever way possible. People have to deal with this all of the time. Like having a biological child… adopting is the luck of the draw.

Roswell Jeff

April 16th, 2010
10:17 am

“there”, should have been “their”

Meme

April 16th, 2010
10:32 am

I would hope that the Russians would take better care of their orphans. I have no idea how things are handled in the US but I have a friend who adopted two from Russia and they are both mentally challanged. She did not send them back.

Becky

April 16th, 2010
10:49 am

@Roswell Jeff..Amen on your first paragraph..I think you are so, so right on that one..Of course, if they did make people (idiots) be tested prior to having babies, out of 9 neices and nephews that I have that have children, only one of them would be able to keep hers..

Wow, not a lot of interest in this topic...

April 16th, 2010
12:19 pm

…and to think that T thought it important to “stop the presses” yesterday. Oh well, it is feast or famine with these topics…

Roswell Jeff

April 16th, 2010
1:23 pm

Has anyone noticed a decline in comments ever since the boogey men/women have been moderating this blog? I realize that it could be coincidence – last week was spring break and it’s possible that the topics are not as interesting to some as they may have been before.

Maybe it’s just me.

Anyhoo, still love the blog Theresa.

jan

April 16th, 2010
2:30 pm

My 1st husband was adopted in 1954 in Tennessee. Yes, the baby selling scandal and his records were completely sealed and could not be opened under any circumstances. He was in an orphanage for 2 years and still had severe emotional scars in 1975 when we married. He hid them very well. His adoptive mother told me years later, after the first physical abuse, that she should have got him help but he refused and she wasn’t going to force the issue. Okay, forgive and try again, afterall got the sob story how no one ever really wanted him blah blah blah. Well, if this Russian child was going to turn out anything like my 1st husband then the adoptive mom had every right to send the kid packing. Some can work out their emotional problems if they have a strong supportive adoptive family. If not, then your emotions scars and problems only get worse and more people are hurt. I returned my adopted husband back to his adoptive mother and said, “yeah, you had better get him some help, I’m out of here.” One black eye was all it took. Remember at some point this terror of a child becomes a terror of an adult.

Meme

April 16th, 2010
2:32 pm

Check out Get Schooled.

Tea Party Protest Sign Spell Chequer

April 16th, 2010
9:02 pm

The decline in posting is because A) this issue has already been broached, and B) Many of us, including me have been banned. I can not post from my normal posting computer. That certainly limits the number of posts.

Happy?

DB

April 17th, 2010
10:59 am

I’ve had two posts go missing in the last couple of days — frankly, I’m getting sick and tired of posting to the air. If the AJC is going to censor non-offensive blogs for content that it does not agree with, then the AJC is not something that I need to waste my time on.

Roswell Jeff

April 17th, 2010
11:42 am

What is the censure policy? Commentors over on the politcial blogs come darn close to swearing and there are plenty of insults and put downs to go around. Theresa’s blog is tame compared to some and they’re coming down hard here? Doesn’t make much sense. My IP was banned as is my old handle Jeff in Roswell. Fortunately, I found out if I left my modem turned off overnight, the IP changed. I didn’t swear or attack anyone. I made a joke (not directed at anyone) and I guess it was a little too crude for the mods. I am not posting this for Theresa’s benefit, because she already knows about it. I’m posting this in the hopes the Modsquad will read it and back off.

1sus

April 19th, 2010
1:29 pm

The adoptive mother’s handling of this was UNBELIEVABLE! But I have to say it’s not the first foreign adoption I’ve heard of where the child has had dangerous psychological problems. Perhaps we need to provide better support for people in this situation? Surely this must have been the last resort this woman felt she had to do!?!?!? And before I get slammed . . . I do support adoption and foreign adoption. In fact, it would have been our next step had we not been successful with fertility treatments. It’s also why I’ve heard and read about a lot of adoptions.

momofmany

April 20th, 2010
10:44 am

I adopted from Russia in 2004. An amazing experience. I cannot imagine sending a child (of any age) on an airplane anywhere unattended. I will not pass judgement on this woman’s state of mind or the child she abandonded. I will however, confirm that the Russian orphanages do not provide medical backgrounds that can be used to determine the mentality of each child in their care. The biological background provided to the adopting parents is minimal and sometimes non-existent. If adopting a child from Russia, you must be willing to accept your chosen child for who she/he is and get them the medical help they need in order to be a successful child. Once again, my adoption was a total success and I would do it again if I could. Not every Russian adoption is a bad experience. The media doesn’t help this issue as they usually only report the death or abuse cases (which are very very limited). Hopefully Russia will change their minds (again) and open their country for adoption as the families in wait are surely crushed.