Hearing set for mom who returned son to Russia

Date: 2011-10-26

A Shelbyville woman who put her adopted son on a one-way flight back to Russia is being sued by an out-of-state adoption agency.

Attorneys for both sides will meet at Bedford County Circuit Court Thursday morning for a hearing that could stop the lawsuit in its tracks. If the court doesn’t grant the motion for dismissal, the case against adoptive mother Torry Hansen is scheduled to begin Jan. 3.

Hansen made international headlines in 2010 — and derailed U.S. adoptions out of Russia for the better part of a year — when she and her mother placed her 7-year-old son Justin on a plane to Moscow. In his pocket was a note:

“This child is mentally unstable. He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues,” the note reportedly read. “After giving my best to this child, I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends and myself, I no longer wish to parent this child…As he is a Russian National, I am returning him to your guardianship and would like the adoption disannulled.”

Russia responded by barring U.S. citizens from adopting children — a ban that was only lifted in June of this year.

The World Association for Children and Parents, an international adoption agency based in Renton, Wash., filed suit against Hansen. They were not involved in Justin’s adoption, but the agency’s Brentwood attorney, Larry Crain, told Seattle media that WACP wants Hansen held responsible for her actions.

Hansen avoided any criminal charges after the incident. At the time, Bedford County authorities said there was no evidence that a crime had occurred in local jurisdiction and no charges could be filed.

WCAP wants Hansen to pay child support for Justin — now 9 years old, known again by his Russian name of Artyom and still living in a Russian orphanage. The agency is worried by the precedent Hansen might have set, and argues that shipping a child return-to-sender is not a legitimate way to annul an adoption.

Therefore, they argue, she owes child support.

“She is still the legal parent,” Crain told Seattle Weekly.

As for Artyom, Crain said the boy is being well cared for in the orphanage, but, “as you might expect, the emotional trauma makes it difficult to place him.”

Hansen, who reportedly has moved to California, is being represented by Murfreesboro attorney Sandra Smith.

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An agency suing an adoptive parent?

I've heard and read about adoptive parents suing an adoption agency for negligence, but this case presents an interesting development:

The World Association for Children and Parents, an international adoption agency based in Renton, Wash., filed suit against Hansen. They were not involved in Justin’s adoption, but the agency’s Brentwood attorney, Larry Crain, told Seattle media that WACP wants Hansen held responsible for her actions.

It seems this agency is " worried by the precedent Hansen might have set, and argues that shipping a child return-to-sender is not a legitimate way to annul an adoption."

As if shipping the unwanted adopted child to underground fostering groups that specialize in "respite care" is much better.  I hope readers are aware of the type of abuse that is taking place in some of these "underground" programs found within the USA.  [See:  USA Today Helps Expose AT Underground Trafficking of Unwanted Children,     Child Abuse in Two Huge Tennessee Families Investigated and  Child discipline gone awry, which features the story of another Hansen family touched by adoption. ]

From what I understand,  the adoptive parents seeking respite care are charged a fee to house and 're-train' the children with attachment disorders. In fact, according to the USA Today's report, one would be wise to read what is being given in terms of financial assistance from the state, and what is being charged by such key life-changingcare-takers.

As always, money seems to be a big factor in these cases. Koch reports that by the time the children were removed, the Schmitzes were bringing in over $9,000 a month (or over $100,000 per year) in state aid and subsidies. In Ohio, the Gravelles were getting $47,000 a year in subsidies for their children, plus their Attachment Therapist had charged the state $107,000 over a 30-month period.

As far as I'm concerned, It would only seem fair that this single-adoptive parent-wanna-be should pay for whatever care her adopted son is to receive.  After all, why should only the child pay for the mistakes made by poor adoption services?

Agencies

There are many cases of agencies suing AP's/PAP's, just usually not over negligence. Personally I think WACAP has no business doing anything with the case. They screwed up once by placing the kid and now they want to prove they care and are blameless. They already tried to quickly place him with a PAP of their choosing who apparently had no other qualifications than wanting to adopt him.

Pound Pup Legacy