Adoptions of Russian children under scrutiny

Thanks to a News Cut reader for sending along this story, which sounds remarkably similar to the story about the 8th grader in Hastings, who was adopted from an orphanage in Russia and this week attempted to shoot up his school. The Star Tribune today reported his adoptive parents tried to warn Dakota County authorities that the boy was violent.

The story of Torry Ann Hansen, however, is being used for ridicule, rather than a warning that the life of an orphan in Russia may be creating violent children.

New World’s Worst Mother Sends Her Adopted Child Back to Russia Alone, the Web site, Gawker says.


The child flew from Tennessee to Washington with his adoptive grandmother, who then put him on a flight to Moscow by himself. The child was detained on Thursday by immigration officials in Moscow when he produced the note written by his adoptive mother, Torry Ann Hansen. “I was lied to and misled by the Russian orphanage workers,” the note said. Naturally, the Russian government is talking about suspending all adoptions of Russian children by American parents in the aftermath to this wonderful example of maternity. Damn, next to this hacking into your kid’s Facebook account and saying mean things about him is nothing!

Right. Funny stuff.

The New York Times takes a more adult view of an apparent problem, reporting that Russian authorities want to ban adoptions of Russian children by Americans.


The adoption of Russian children by foreigners is a highly sensitive issue here, with some suggesting that it shows that the country cannot care for its own.

Several cases of Russian children being killed or harmed in the United States by their adoptive parents have received widespread attention here. On Friday, the case of Artyom, whose adoptive name was Justin Hansen, stirred an intense backlash.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said he would propose that all adoptions of Russian children by Americans be suspended until the Russian and United States governments worked out a new agreement.

This 2007 first-person account of a Russian adoption certainly paints a grim picture of the life of an orphan in Russia.

  • Lily

    Adopting children (internationally or domestically) is serious business. it is not the same as having a biological child. The risks are much greater that the child will have neurobiological issues, whether from genetics, birth, early experiences, etc.. Adoption agencies need to prepare parents for these realities AND be there to help families if problems arise post-placement. In Minnesota, post adoption services are not readily available. Children’s Home Society has scaled way back. Some agencies offer mostly help with “searching for bio parents” and call that post adoption services.

    School and medical folks do not always understand the impact of international adoption on kids.

    Unfortunately, that leaves parents to be their kids advocates in schools, medicine, mental health, and even the legal system. Unfortunately, parents are often blamed, rather that believed and not offered help when they do ask for help.

    Many internationally adopted children do well. However, there are many more who suffer, as do their families.