Seven-year-old Artyom Savelyev will find a new family in Russia in no time, children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said last year after his adoptive U.S. mother shipped him home unaccompanied on a plane.At least one bit of "red tape" that delayed any possibility of adoption was the adoptive mother's refusal to relinquish parental rights. Sheesh.
The rejection of Artyom in April 2010 prompted threats to ban the adoption of Russian children by American parents and ultimately an adoptions treaty signed by the top U.S. and Russian diplomats in Washington this month.
The treaty should have been named in Artyom's honor, Astakhov said in an interview Wednesday. But the boy, now 9, remains in an orphanage, more than a year after he was promised new parents.
Savelyev's adoption has been delayed by red tape and worries about his psychological condition, not over a lack of willing adoptive parents, his caretakers said. But these are the same factors that keep any Russian from adopting one of the country's 150,000 parentless children.
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Astakhov said in May 2010 that several Russian families were prepared to take in Artyom and most likely a diplomat family who spoke English and Russian would be selected to ease the boy's re-adaptation to Russian life. Astakhov said the boy would be adopted within a month.
But the prediction proved overly optimistic, in part because a Moscow court only formally canceled the boy's U.S. adoption last month, Astakhov said Wednesday.
"I have no doubts that Artyom will find parents," Astakhov said by telephone.
But Alexei Shnykin, who works at the Moscow orphanage caring for Artyom, said he was not so sure.
The boy has learned to love several adoptive families, including Hansen, but all have abandoned him, causing lasting psychological damage, Shnykin said.
"We are afraid that the situation might be repeated in a new family, and we don't want to traumatize the boy," he said by telephone.
He could not predict how long it would take for Artyom to be ready for re-adoption, but added that Savelyev is treated well and went to summer camp recently.
1 month ago