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Adoption freeze urged after boy returned to Russia



The Associated Press

MOSCOW — Russia's foreign minister urged Friday that child adoptions to the U.S. be frozen after an American woman put an 8-year-old Russian boy she had adopted on a one-way flight back to his homeland unaccompanied.

Artyom Savelyev, who carried the adoptive name Justin Hansen, got off a flight from Washington on Thursday at a Moscow airport, the Kremlin children's rights office said Friday.

The office said he was carrying a letter from his adoptive parent, Torry Hansen of Shelbyville, Tennessee, saying she was returning him due to severe psychological problems.

"This child is mentally unstable. He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues," the letter said, according to Russian officials, who sent what they said was a copy to The Associated Press.

The U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, said he was "deeply shocked by the news" and "very angry that any family would act so callously toward a child that they had legally adopted."

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying the ministry would recommend that the U.S. and Russia hammer out an agreement before any new adoptions are allowed.

"We have taken the decision ... to suggest a freeze on any adoptions to American families until Russia and the USA sign an international agreement" on the conditions for adoptions and the obligations of host families, Lavrov was quoted as saying.

Lavrov said the U.S. had refused to negotiate such an accord in the past but "the recent event was the last straw.

2010 Apr 9