Russian adoption to US suspended
Russian adoption to the US was suspended Thursday after a US family put their adopted child on a plane back to Russia. A US government delegation will travel to Moscow next week to clarify rules for international adoptions.
A US government delegation will arrive in Moscow next week in an attempt to restore trust and clarify the rules for international adoptions after a Tennessee mother triggered a storm of controversy by sending her 7-year-old adopted son home to Russia with a "to whom it may concern" note of rejection.Skip to next paragraph
Moscow on Thursday moved to suspend all US adoptions until the US agrees to a list of new regulations on international adoptions, and accepts that Russian authorities will have some oversight powers over its children -- even after they have been adopted into US homes.
"Further adoptions of Russian children by the American citizens, which at present has been suspended, will only be possible in case such an agreement is reached," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Andrei Nesterenko said Thursday.
The US Embassy in Moscow said it did not yet have formal notification of a suspension of adoptions to the US.
The plight of Artyem Savelyev, who turns 8 on Friday, has garnered an outpouring of angry media attention in Russia. His apparent abandonment by his adoptive American mother has been condemned from every side, including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who called it "a monstrous deed," and US ambassador to Russia John Beyrle, who said in a statement that he was "shocked ... and very angry that any family would act so callously toward a child that they had legally adopted."
Artyem's adoptive grandmother escorted the boy onto an international flight to Moscow last week, carrying a note from adoptive mother Torry Hansen, of Shelbyville, Tenn., that said she was sending him back to Russia because "This child is mentally unstable. He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues.... I was lied to and misled by the Russian orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability."
Many Russian politicians called for a ban on all international adoptions in response to the scandal, and Russia's Ministry of Science and Education, which supervises international adoptions, quickly suspended the Russia-based activities of the World Association for Children and Parents (WACAP), the nonprofit corporation that assisted in the boy's adoption by Ms. Hansen last year.
Is compromise possible?
In the past, isolated cases of abuse of Russian children in American adoptive homes led to lengthy disruptions and even one significant shutdown in foreign adoptions. But experts say that, despite Thursday's temporary suspension, a compromise might well be reached to avoid derailing the entire process this time.