Adoption tragedy stirs outrage

Date: 2010-03-05
Source: pennlive.com

BY LARA BRENCKLE

Northern York County is ground zero for an international incident.

The beating death of a 7-year-old Dillsburg-area boy has prompted Russian officials to call for a suspension of adoptions to U.S. parents and sparked demands for an investigation into whether the Russian-born boy's adoption was legal.

The death of the Nathaniel Craver, who was born Ivan Skorobogatov, was called "an outrage" Thursday by Andrei Sitov, bureau chief of Russia's ITAR-TASS news service. The state news agency and independent news media from that country have been following the story with interest so high that some news outlets have sent crews to York County.

"Obviously, the biggest concern here is that it [deaths of Russian adopted children in the U.S.] keeps happening," Sitov said. "The latest figures we've seen is 15 or 16 in the last several years."

Nathaniel Craver and his twin sister Elizabeth were adopted from Russia by Nanette and Michael Craver in 2003.

The Cravers, of Carroll Twp., were charged with homicide, conspiracy and child endangerment last week following the completion of an autopsy report.

Nathaniel, who died Aug. 25. The child had 80 wounds in various stages of healing, including 20 to his head, authorities said.

His sister is being cared for in a safe place, Timothy Barker, York County chief deputy district attorney, said last week.

Russian news agency RIA-Novosti reported that the Investigative Committee of Russia's Prosecutor General's Office is planning to investigate the legality of the adoptions of Nathaniel and Elizabeth.

RIA-Novosti also reported that a Russian senator has proposed a temporary ban on American adoptions of Russian children in response to the Craver case.

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