Masha Allen: another part of the true story

In September we published the untold story of Masha Allen, an attempt to make sense out of all information published about Masha, well knowing there will never be a definitive story.

Until now, very little was known about Masha's Russian history. The Wikipedia page about Masha, which was removed two years ago, made the following statement:

Allen was born in 1992 in Novoshakhtinsk, a small town near Rostov-on-Don, Russia. Her biological father left her mother to raise her on her own. The woman was an alcoholic and stabbed Allen in the neck at the age of three, forcing police to remove her from the house and put her in the local orphanage.

Her mother visited occasionally, and told Allen she would be able to return home soon, but eventually Allen was told she would instead be among a group of children to be adopted by American families. She was hopeful that her life would improve, although slightly disappointed that she would have only a father (Mancuso was a single man).

The Wikipedia article is a pretty good summary of what had been written in the various news paper articles, although some media outlets placed the alleged stabbing at age three, others at age four and some even at age five.

Apparently none of that is true.

Recently we received more information about Masha's Russian history. We received photos of the building where Masha lived before her stay at the orphanage. We were also sent photos of Oksana Yashenkova, Masha's sister, and the story of Masha's Russian history according to Oksana.

Especially Oksana's story is interesting and important. She seems frank and honest about her own life and that of her family. She talks about alcoholic parents, alcoholic brothers, leading her to the conclusion: "There is nobody else except me who would be considered normal."

With respect to the alleged stabbing, Oksana makes the following statement:

That mother stabbed her in the neck – that is not true. She did not try to kill her. Even though our parents drank, they never physically abused us. She had a surgery. She had a hanging birthmark, and when it was removed at the age of 2 months, the scar remained.

As a result the story of police being forced to remove Masha, is not true either. According to Oksana:

It was I who took Masha to an orphanage. I lived with my brother and his family, and Masha lived with us. I was spending all my time with her. But my brother’s wife said that they could not support all of us and was implacable. She had two children, my brother was not making a lot of money and drank often. He worked as a driver. We were unwelcome there and in everybody’s way. We took her to the orphanage together with the aunt of my brother’s wife.

Masha may have been told she was to be adopted by a single man, Oksana never found out about the adoption until much later, and at the time was told Masha was adopted by a family, husband and wife, who also had a grownup daughter.

Once I stopped by and was told that she had left for a seaside vacation. I never saw her again. I was not even told that she had been adopted. I only learned about it because an acquaintance of mine worked there as a chef; it is from her that I learned that Masha had been adopted. They said that it was better for her that way. Back then I also thought so. Sometime later I stopped by the orphanage. They told me that the adaptation had gone very well, showed me photos, and said that it better not to interfere with the child’s life. I had to cry to make them show me all these things.

When does the lying stop when it comes to adoption? Families are being lied to, children are being lied to, the general public is being lied to, all to make adoption more palatable. Yet the true story of Masha Allen shows how dangerous all these lies can become.


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