Artyom Savelyev, the boy sent back to Russia by his adopted mother from Shelbyville in 2010, has finally found a home.The newspaper's headline says this is a new adoptive family; the story doesn't mention the legalities of adoption, and SOS Villages are generally temporary foster care. Nothing on the SOS Villages Russia website suggests differently, instead saying:
According to the Russian State News agency RIA Novosti, the 9-year-old has joined 16 other children who are being cared for by a woman that has raised several generations of abandoned children.
In April 2010 Nancy Hansen placed the boy, who had been known as Justin Hansen while living in the United States, on a flight back to Moscow with a note from her daughter Torry, his adoptive mother, saying she no longer wanted to keep him because he was violent and had severe "psychopathic" problems. The case sparked outrage and an international incident.
But nearly two years after being sent back to his homeland, Artyom is now living in an SOS Children's Village in Russia, cared for by teacher Vera Yegorova.
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"Counting Artyom, I have 17 children," Yegorova told RIA Novosti. "He is so exhausted by plane flights and going back and forth between orphanages and parents," she was quoted as saying.
Artyom was accepted as a family member "in no time at all," the state news media outlet stated, and made friends with the other children. He started attending school, likes it there, and is bringing home his first good grades. The boy is reportedly very respectful of his adoptive parents, calling Yegorova 'mom' on the second day.
However, RIA Novosti states that Artyom "is still afraid of leaving the village," explaining that nothing can lure him away.
"He never deviates from one path -- the one leading from home to school and back. But he is fond of village life as it is. He is reluctant to recall his past experiences in America and says he has turned over a new leaf," the story from RIA Novosti stated.
Yegorova said they learned from the media that Artyom lived in America, but that the child "said nothing about that. He even claimed that he knew no English when we were buying textbooks for school," she said.
SOS Children’s Villages Russia is an independent non-governmental organization that provides a family approach to the long term care of orphaned and abandoned children. We bring orphaned children back to the natural atmosphere of the family giving them back a mother (an SOS-mother), a home and a happy childhood in a supportive Village environment.(There is a section of the website that talks about SOS Villages strengthening families, but it doesn't sound like that's what this is -- hard to tell since the full explanation of what that part of the program does is only in Russian!)
I'm not saying this is a bad thing for Artyom. Obviously, family-like care is better than institutional care, even if it is not a permanent family (and 17 children sounds more like a group home than foster care). I just think it's an overstatement to say in the headline that he has a new adoptive family. And the distinction will make a difference in the lawsuit against Torrey Hansen for child support for Artyom. If he's been legally adopted, her child support obligations for the future would end, though she would still be obligated for the payments between her adoption and the termination of her parental rights in a new adoption.