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© RIA Novosti. Vitaliy Belousov

US adoptive mother of boy sent back to Moscow sues Russia’s ombudsman

by Alina Lobzina at 13/04/2012 14:00

Torry Hansen, the notorious US citizen who returned her adopted son, has filled a lawsuit to a Moscow court against Russia’s Children’s Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov.

Astakhov has dealt with the scandalous case from the beginning, since the unwanted seven-year-old boy was sent back on his own to Russia from Tennessee in April 2010, and has made numerous official statements.

“The essence of her lawsuit is that I call Hansen his adoptive mother, and she demands to be called Artyom Savelyev’s former adoptive mother,” the ombudsman told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

 

Child support payments

At home, Hansen is to come before the court in May, which is to rule the amount of child support she has to pay to the boy she adopted from an orphanage in the Primorye region. She was found liable for child support last month in a lawsuit brought by her adoption agency.

Astakhov said the Russian side is to demand a total amount of 69,000 rubles, as this is the estimated cost of Arytom’s stay in a children’s village in the Moscow region and the cost of the psychological help the boy requires, which costs 27,000 rubles, according the Children’s Rights Ombudsman website.

He lived with Hansen, who was 27 at that time, for half a year before she put him on a plane back to Russia with a notice saying that the boy was “mentally unstable.”

 

Paper sued as well

The lawsuit Hansen filed with Moscow’s Tverskoi court against Astakhov was preceded by a legal claim against Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

“She asks that the information published on the newspapers’ website in an article 'Lucky Artyom finds a family' be recognized as false and defamatory,” Vladimir Tarasov, the secretary at the Savyolovsky court where the lawsuit was filed, told RAPSI in March.

Astakhov meanwhile was not too concerned over being taken to court.

“I’m glad she filled a lawsuit against me and Rossiiskaya Gazeta. I’m looking forward to meeting her and request that she comes to Russia and visits our court,” Astakhov told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

 

International adoption agreement

The case of Artyom Savelyev has raised questions over international adoption, in particular a US-Russia agreement which was signed in July 2011 in Washington DC.

The ratification of the agreement is expected to be considered by the State Duma in May, according to Astakhov’s press-service.

Russia is currently in third place, after China and Ethiopia, among countries from which US citizens adopt children, the ombudsman told RIA Novosti earlier this year. In 2011, according the State Department, 970 Russian orphans found new families in the US.

The total number of children living in orphanages varies according to different accounts. A report titled “Orphans in Russia” and published on Philantropy.ru earlier this year, said one of every 100 Russian children lived in a childcare institution.

 

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