A two-year-old baby adopted from Russia by an American family died after his father left him in a car for hours. Foster father Miles Harrison, 49, fainted when he found the little boy dead in the back seat of the car outside his office. The man can be sentenced up to ten years in jail for involuntary manslaughter, The Washington Post reports.
The tragedy took place in the beginning of the current week in the town of Herndon. The man left his adoptive son locked in the car for almost the entire day. The car heated up because of the hot weather, and the little boy died.
Specialists said that the temperature inside the car could reach 54 degrees C. A spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in the USA said that the embassy was trying to investigate the details of the incident.
Over 376 children have died under similar circumstances since 1998.
The man’s wife, Carol Harrison, was also questioned after the baby’s death. The police are investigating what was happening prior to the incident and whether it could affect the boy’s death.
Such incidents, when foster parents kill their adoptive children involuntarily or deliberately, occur in Russia too. About 1,220 children adopted by Russian citizens have died during the recent 15 years. Twelve of them were murdered by their foster parents . More than a hundred incidents of causing grievous bodily harm to children have been registered during the period.
The number of Russian children adopted by Russian citizens has reduced twice during the recent ten years. The number of children adopted by parents from other countries has increased five times. Foreigners adopted almost 8,000 children in 2001, whereas Russians adopted 7,000.
In 2003, 71 percent of adopted Russian boys and girls were taken to the USA, 12 – to Spain, 5 percent – to France, 2 percent – to Italy, 2 percent – to Canada, 8 percent – to other countries.
The reasons why people want to adopt children vary. In the West, most adoptions are between members of the same family, including those by step-parents. Infertility, however, is the main reason parents seek to adopt children they are not related to. One study shows this accounted for 80% of unrelated infant adoptions and half of adoptions through foster care. Estimates suggest that 11%-24% of Americans who cannot conceive or carry to term attempt to build a family through adoption, and that the overall rate of ever married woman who adopt has been stable at 2% between 1970 and 1990. Other reasons people adopt are numerous although not well documented. These may include wanting to cement a new family following divorce or death of one parent, compassion motivated by religious or philosophical conviction, to avoid contributing to perceived overpopulation out of the belief that it is more responsible to care for otherwise parent-less children than to reproduce, to ensure inheritable diseases (e.g., Tay-Sachs disease) are not passed on, and health concerns relating to pregnancy and childbirth.
Methods of creating an adoptive family vary by country and sometimes within a country, depending on region. Jurisdictions have varying eligibility criteria, and may specify such things as minimum and maximum age limits, whether a single person or only a couple can apply, or whether adoption by same-sex couples is possible. On applying to adopt, the potential adoptive parent(s) will generally be assessed for suitability. This can take the form of a home study, interviews, and financial, medical and criminal record checks. In some jurisdictions, such studies must be carried out by an independent or state authority, while in others, they can be carried out by the adoption agency itself.
Some children are difficult to place in permanent homes through the normal adoption process. These children are often said to require “special-needs adoption.” In this context, "special needs" can include situations where children have specific chronic medical problems, mental health issues, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities. Governments offer a variety of incentives and services to facilitate this class of adoptions.