Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Artyom's Mom Tries to Avoid Paying Child Support

More shenanigans from Torry Hansen who wants to shirk her responsibility for her adopted child, Artyom:
A woman who touched off an international furor by returning her 7-year-old son to Russia 6 months after adopting him asked a Superior Court judge to enforce a Russian Federation Supreme Court case annulling the adoption.

Torry Ann Hansen sued L.L. Mityayev and A.A. Nikolayeva, as legal representatives of Russian Federation State Educational Institute Orphanage No. 19 Foster Center, in Shasta County Court.

Enforcement of the judgment would allow Hansen to avoid paying child support, according to the complaint.

* * *

The City Council of Tverskoy, a municipality in Moscow, sued Hansen on the boy's behalf, requesting revocation of the adoption "due to the fault of the adoptive parent," Hansen says in her complaint. Tverskoy requested child support.

Hansen says she countersued the boy and his representatives, two city councils, and the orphanage "to annul the adoption through no fault of the adoptive parent," then amended the cause of action to request annulment "due to the fault of the adoptive mother or not," according to her complaint. The Moscow City Court dismissed her complaint, Hansen says.

But Russian Federation Supreme Court reversed, finding "that the annulment was necessary to protect the minor child's rights and legally protected interests, as well as the public interests. It annulled the adoption based on plaintiff's culpable conduct," according to Hansen's complaint.

But Mitayayev, the orphanage's representative, continues to pursue an order for child support against Hansen in Shelbyville, Tenn., Circuit Court, Hansen says.

 "(I)n his purported capacity as the minor child's legal custodian[,] he has apparently authorized the adoption agency plaintiff used and/or the National Council for Adoption to litigate the matter in Tennessee on his behalf," Hansen says.

She asks the Superior Court to recognize and enforce the Russian Supreme Court judgment.
Essentially, Torry Hansen says she shouldn't have to pay child support because she is no longer a parent since Russia annulled the adoption.  It's unclear, though, what that would mean about child support in Russia.  An American court will ordinarily give effect to a foreign court decree, through a doctrine called international comity, but whether that will relieve Hansen of child support responsibilities depends on the terms of the Russian court decree.  It seems that it isn't inconsistent with Russian law to ask for future child support even while terminating parental rights, since that's what the city council asked for in the Russian suit. I'm no expert in Russian law, so I can't say whether child support obligations end with the annulment of an adoption there.

The other issue is that Hansen is filing this in a California court, when there's already a court decree from a Tennessee court that orders her to pay child support.  The California court should recognize the Tennessee court order because of the Constitutional doctrine of full faith and credit. Yes, that Tennessee court order was entered, not after a consideration of the merits, but because Hansen failed to appear for depositions or otherwise defend the suit, but that should not prevent full faith and credit.

So, I'd say Hansen is still on the hook for child support unless the California court decides to ignore that Tennessee decree and also decides that the Russian decree relieved her of child support obligations.  And I'd say both of those possibilities are relatively remote.  We'll see.


joy21 said...

I am confuzzled,how would California have jurisdiction? I think, I could be wrong that Cali has liberal get out of your adoption quick laws. I remember doing legal research in actual books and finding myself distracted by cases called, In re: Lisa Diane G. Adoptive father did not know he would not like adoptee and therefore...annulled, and many others. It seemed whenever I was opening a book I would find myself compelled by an in re: Minor X story.

God we are vulnerable children.


Karen said...

Just curious if Russia also pursues legal fees and child support when a RUSSIAN bio parent WITHIN Russia is unfit and abandons their child or surrenders the child to an orphanage or group home. And from what I understand there are quite a few unfit parents in Russia who end up not parenting their children (bio, not adopted) It seems that should also factor into the equation, if this is common practice to ask for child support from Russian parents who abandon their children (and child support this high) or not.

joy21 said...

@ Karen

I am curious as to why you are curious about that. I am reading it as though you are suggesting that Ms. Hansen should not be responsible for the welfare of the child she adopted. Am I wrong?

Tina said...

Actually Russia does pursue support form parents in Russia for Children in care. Even in the case of unemployed parents - their government support payments are reduced by an amount which is then directed to the child - not just to their care but to a savings account in the childs name that becomes the property fo teh cild or their legal guardian when they leave state care. If an adoption is annullled not only is the AP required to provide support - they must also return any money the child had in savings when adopted to be returned to the childs account. When we adopted our sin ad ~$1000 in his state managed savings. We donated it to his orphanage and deposited the same amount into a savings accuont for him here in the states.

There is a lot of politics that plays out in Russian / US adoption but Ms Hanson is not being treated unfairly in any way in my opinion.

Tina said...

yikes - typos galore but I think you can follow the gist of it!!