Russian children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said on Thursday a lawsuit had been filed against him by an American woman who sent her adopted son back to Russia.This AP story adds there's a hearing next month: "Pavel Astakhov said Thursday he would like Hansen, who has sued him in a Moscow court, to testify at a hearing scheduled for next month."
Torry Hansen filed a lawsuit in Moscow’s Savelovsky Court, seeking retraction of a November 24, 2011 article in the Rossiiskaya Gazeta government daily. She also demands punitive damages.
"The essence of the lawsuit is that I call Hansen an adoptive mother, while she wants me to call her Artyom Savelyev’s former adoptive mother,” Astakhov said.
"I’m glad a lawsuit was filed by Torry Hansen against me and the Rossiiskaya Gazeta. I’ll gladly meet her and request that she visits Russia and the court,” he added.
Hansen was living in Tennessee in April 2010 when she put Artyom Savelyev, then 7, on a flight back to his native Russia unaccompanied, with a note saying she did not want him because he was "psychotic."
Astakhov said that the Russian side would seek child support payments from the U.S. woman, according to the March 8 U.S. court ruling.
“We will try to make her pay the cost of Artyom’s support, nothing more,” he said.
According to the child ombudsman’s estimates, the boy’s stay in a group home costs 42,000 rubles per month (over $1,400), not including psychological treatment costing 27,000 rubles (over $900) per month.
If the lawsuit is really about being called Artyom's adoptive mother, rather than his former adoptive mother, I'm sorry to tell her that, at least under American law of libel, truth is a defense. She is still Artyom's adoptive mother, at least in the U.S., since her parental rights have not been terminated here. One cannot terminate parental rights by simply sending a child away. The fact that a Tennessee court has ordered her to pay child support is evidence that she is still his parent, since child support is only a parental responsibility.