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US and Russia join for talks on adoption

Hayley attribution



Talks about rules for American parents who want to adopt Russian children are due to take place between Russian and US officials in Moscow next week. Adoptions came to the forefront last Thursday when a US single mother from Tennessee sent her 7 year-old Russian son to Moscow with a note saying she no longer wanted him.Tory Hansen decided to adopt from Russia because of the red tape single women often face in the US. Visiting the country, she chose 7 year old Artyom Savelyev, whom she took home and renamed Justin.Six months later Tory’s dream shattered as Justin turned into a behavioral nightmare. According to her, he hit, screamed, spit, and threatened to burn down the house. In a tragic ending for all involved, Tory decided she'd had enough and put Justin on his own on a plane back to Moscow with a note taped to him reading "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." She added, "He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues."

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev called what she did a "monstrous deed" by a "bad family." And Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it was "the last straw" in a series of bad adoptions and threatened to suspend all adoptions to American families. Shock and sympathy has also poured in from US government officials, the US parents of adopted Russian children and other Americans. In spite of Ms Hansen’s actions, the incident will not escalate into an international scandal and instead promises to potentially improve relations by convincing the US government to discuss a long-running Russian demand for an international agreement on adoptions. “I don’t see any desire to turn this into a political issue,” said Fyodor Lyukanov, editor of the journal, Russia in Global Affairs.Last minute arrangements are now being worked out for a visit next week by a team led by Michael Kirby, a deputy assistant secretary who handles adoption issues."In fact, this trip was being put together even before last week’s incident," , State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters in Washington. "But clearly, this latest situation will be among those things discussed."

US Ambassador John Beyrle said the team would talk about "an agreement on bilateral understanding" to protect the welfare of adopted Russian children."Many thousands of Russian children have been adopted by American families, and we hope that children here who are unable to find a family in Russia to adopt them can continue to have this chance," Beyrle told The Moscow Times.US families adopted about 1,600 Russian children last year, according to US non governmental organization, the National Council For Adoption.