US Mother Returns Adopted Russian Boy like Pair of Shoes

A seven-year-old boy arrived at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on April 8 in the morning. The skinny boy had no luggage with him – he was only holding a letter in his hands.

“I am Artyom,” he only said.

He did not have any adults with him. He was wandering over the airport alone until customs officers paid attention to the exhausted child. The boy could not explain anything properly. He only handed them a letter. Employees of the airport were shocked when the letter was translated from English into Russian. Torry Hansen, a US citizen, wrote in the letter that she adopted the child on September 29, 2009. The woman wrote that she did not like the boy, he did not fit her, and she decided to return him like a pair of shoes. The woman sent the child back to Russia.

Custody officers picked the boy from the airport and took him to a police station in the Moscow center.

“The boy had a Russian passport with the US visa and a birth certificate. He also had a boarding ticket. He arrived on board a plane of United Airlines. The boarding ticket said that the child was not accompanied by adults,” Pavel Astakhov, the Kremlin’s commissioner for children’s rights said.

One may only guess how the boy managed to pass through customs in the USA and board the plane without adults. However, as soon as the boy found himself at the police station, officials of the US embassy showed up very quickly.

“They wanted to take the child away, and we had to take quite an effort to leave him here. US officials were trying to assure us that he was a US citizen, but the boy had the Russian passport with a visa. They said that it would be much better for the boy to go to the US embassy,” Astakhov said.

The boy was later hospitalized with exhaustion. Afterwards, he will be accommodated in a Moscow orphanage.

The saddest thing in this story is the fact that the adoption agency, which was in charge of the questions of Artyom’s living in the US foster family, said two weeks before that the boy was doing just fine. Photographs of the happy family and the happy boy were attached to the report, officials of the Russian ministry for education and science said.

The boy could hardly speak after he arrived in Moscow. The people who worked with him in Moscow said that he had so much sorrow and sadness in his eyes. Artyom said that he had not been eating anything for several days. He only had several sweets.

The little boy was born in the city of Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East. He will celebrate his 8th birthday on April 16th. His adoptive mother made him a very good birthday present so to speak.

“I’ve said that many times before: the procedure of foreign adoption must be toughened. We are going to raise this issue again in the nearest future. This should not happen to our children, either here in Russia or abroad,” Astakhov said.

Now the boy is resting at a Moscow hospital. Medics said that they had not conducted a complex examination of the boy, but said that the child was in a serious psychological condition.

For the time being, it is hard to say what happened to Artyom in the United States. It is hard to understand the reason why the foster parents decided that the boy did not fit their family. The orphanage, from where he was adopted, described him as a very attentive, responsive, peaceful and even vulnerable child.

He found himself in the orphanage in 2007. He was only four when his mother refused from him. He became a very reclusive boy. Psychologists were trying to find a way to reach his heart, but could not. A potential mother, a US citizen, appeared some time later, and the boy apparently saw a hope. He trusted that woman, but was abandoned for the second time.

We would so much like to believe that someone will take care of the poor boy. He needs love and support, he does not have any serious health problems.

“Artyom’s character is typical for children of his age. He is growing as an absolutely normal boy. He has flatfoot, but that’s not a serious defect! He was getting ready to start school and could already read when the American mother appeared in the orphanage,” Marina Sheina of the Moscow custody office said.

Below is the letter from Artyom’s adoptive mother:

Ministry of Education in the Russian Federation,

To whom it may concern,

I adopted this child, Artem Saveliev, on September 29, 2009. This child is mentally unstable. He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues/behaviors. I was lied to and misled by the Russian Orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability and other issues. The orphanage employees were definitely aware of the major problems that this child has. Yet, they chose to grossly misinterpret those problems in order to get him out of their orphanage.

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.


Torry Hansen

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov