Russia bans 3 adoption agencies following baby's death in U.S.

Date: 2008-07-11

Russia bans 3 adoption agencies following baby's death in U.S.

July, 11 2008
MOSCOW, July 11 (RIA Novosti) - Three international adoption agencies, including one that failed to inform Russia of the death of a baby in the U.S. this week, have been banned from operating in Russia, the country's adoption authorities said on Friday.

A 21-month-old baby adopted from Russia three months ago died in the U.S. state of Virginia on Tuesday after being left by his foster father for several hours in the back of a car, in searing heat.

The Russian Education and Science Ministry's adoption commission said in a statement: "The agencies to be banned from working on the territory of the Russian Federation include a representative office that violated the requirements of Russian law on swiftly informing us of the death of an adopted child."

The baby, born with the name Dmitry Yakolev, was left strapped in the back seat of his foster father Miles Harrison's car when the man drove to work in the town of Herndon. The boy was left in the car in the hot sun as the temperature in the vehicle rose to around 55 degrees C (130 degrees F).

Harrison, 49, was supposed to take the child, who he had named Chase, to a day care center on Tuesday morning but went straight to work, leaving the child in the SUV with tinted windows until late in the afternoon, when a passerby saw the child and alerted the office receptionist.

Herndon police spokesman Jeff Coulter told RIA Novosti earlier on Friday: "Mr. Harrison is in the hospital, where he was admitted in a state of shock after the death of the child. We will give him time to recover, and then we plan to arrest him."

Coulter said no charges had been filed against Harrison, but that he would be charged with manslaughter, and if found guilty could face up to 10 years in prison.

The incident had been expected prompt new calls in Russia for tighter controls on adoptions following several other scandals, notably the killing of a two-year-old girl from Siberia by her adoptive mother in the United States. The woman, Peggy Sue Hilt, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in May 2006 for beating the child to death.

Around 120,000 Russian children were adopted both in Russia and abroad in 2007, a 6.4% increase on 2006, according to the Science and Education Ministry.


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