U.S. Agrees to Talks After Russia Threatens to Freeze Adoptions
April 12, 2010, 10:02 AM EDT
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By Lucian Kim
April 12 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. agreed to hold talks on bi-national adoptions following Russia’s threat to ban them after a seven-year-old boy was sent back alone to Moscow by his adopted American mother.
A State Department delegation will travel to Moscow “in the near future” to reach an understanding on the adoption of Russian children, U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle said in an e- mailed statement today.
President Dmitry Medvedev said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” show today that adoptions by American parents may be banned following the “monstrous act” of the Tennessee woman who sent her adopted son back to Russia unaccompanied.
Bi-national custody battles and abuse scandals involving adopted Russian children abroad regularly grab the attention of state media. In December 2008, the Foreign Ministry condemned as “odious and unprecedented” the acquittal of a Virginia man whose 21-month-old adopted Russian son died after being left in a parked car.
“What worries me especially is that the number of such incidents in America is rising,” Medvedev said, according to a Kremlin transcript of the ABC interview. “The trend has put us on our guard, it’s deplorable.”
An agreement should be reached outlining the obligations of American adoptive parents and allowing for the monitoring of those families, Medvedev said.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on April 9 called for a freeze on adoptions after the solo journey by a boy identified as Justin Artyom Hansen, who was carrying a letter from his adopted mother saying he is “violent and has severe psychopathic issues.”
Beyrle went on Russian state television and promised an investigation into the incident.
--With assistance from Roger Runningen in Washington. Editors: Chris Kirkham