Russian PROBLEM CHILD sent HOME ALONE: thoughts?

The first thing I thought was: OH GOD! Another Tennessean pulling stupid s#^t like this!:smack:

And then, I saw she graduated from my Alma Mater.:smack::smack:

Somebody lend me a club, so I can beat myself to death.

I wonder if Russian jurisdiction is a reason she or her mother didn’t go back with him.

Off topic, but to clear up something I said earlier: I’m one-eyed at the moment due to an eye infection and I misread some references that came from Hansen’s mother regarding her daughter as Hansen having a daughter. Apologies for any confusion.

But she’s from Shelbyville, which during the Civil War was called “The most Yankee city in the Deep South”, so you can blame them. :wink:

I suppose it is a little surprising that a single 26 year-old woman can adopt a child (either an infant or a 7 year-old) in the first place…

In Soviet Russia, Child returns YOU!

Americans do need a visa to visit Russia, and as I understand it, it’s not a formality. People do get their applications rejected.

My thoughts are that the claim that they can’t charge the legal representative of the child (whether it’s mom or granny) with a crime is, on its face, extremely questionable and smells like patriotic bigotry to me.

By some accounts she’s 26, by other’s she’s 33. I don’t know which is right.

How did I miss that she is a single Mom?

26yrs old, and adopts 2 Russian orphans, apparently without the knowledge that they could have issues from being institutionalized.

I hope more info comes out about this, it just doesn’t seem to add up somehow. I feel like we’re missing something.

Remember that being in foster care does not necessarily mean that parental rights have been terminated. I would guess that most foster children are not available for adoption.

I think the mom may have been earnestly SCARED STUPID.

A stupid question but one I’ll ask anyway: any clues on how a young Tennessee native (who presumably isn’t fluent in Russian) and a 7 year old Russian kid (who presumably hasn’t studied English [or much of anything else]) would communicate?

I don’t know if I buy into stupid.

She’s a registered nurse with a Master’s Degree. In signing over her rights to her mother she avoids prosecution. It’s hard to imagine they’ll prosecute the Grandmother. By not returning to Russia, with the boy, she avoids prosecution from them as well.

Stupid like a fox, it would seem.

We don’t know what the truth is in this case yet, but here’s a case from 2008 that shows what can happen when things go wrong. A Florida couple adopted three brothers, not knowing they had been horribly abused, and eventually had to reliquish them 10 years later in fear for their lives. As the oldest of the boys nears age eighteen, they have considered going into hiding for their protection.


Domestic and international adoption are very different things. Adopting from foster care, in particular, is difficult, because in many states, foster care is regulated by county. In addition, each state has its own laws and requirements, many of them arcane and bizarre. On top of that, American law in general favors the birth parents over almost anything else, including the best interests of the child. (Note - that’s my opinion, I think “best interests of the child” is in most verbiage somewhere, but practice tends to interpret that as “in the birth family.”)

Part of this is historic - at one point, parental rights could be terminated almost on a whim, and for such things as the parents not speaking English, having the wrong religion, and just “not raising those kids right.” Starting in the 60s, laws were re-written to strongly enforce the rights of birth parents against these abuses. I’m told that this ran headlong into the influx of drugs into many communities.

The result is that children are removed from the home, because the parents abuse or neglect them. The parents take a class, and the children are returned. For parents who just need to get their act together, this works well, they move on, and I’m happy for them. For parents with chemical issues, the cycle just repeats and repeats. A lot of kids are in foster care as part of this ongoing process. Until the parental rights are terminated, they are not available for adoption. Ask anyone you know who has adopted domestically, or more likely, tried to adopt domestically. They have heartbreaking stories.

In contrast, international adoption is more straightforward. You are dealing with a centralized agency, with clear rules and procedures, and children are vetted to make sure they are available for adoption before you connect with them. It is still a frustrating, long and complex process. No one does this on a whim, or because they can’t think of anything else to do on Tuesday.

Here is some information about adopting from Russia, including time lines, costs, and some information about the available children.

Finally, you are seriously overgeneralizing special needs. I work for the adoption agency linked above, although not in the Russia program. Most of our placements qualify as special needs. These can be anything from children over 2 (and while attachment disorders are real, most of these children turn out just fine), children who need surgery (such as for cleft lip, or to repair a heart valve, or other simple-in-the-US operation) or medicine (such as for diabetes, or HepB, or other ongoing health issue) or simply have a visible difference that will mean they will be shunned in their country of birth (such as a missing hand, or port wine stain on the face, or albinism) or being part of a sibling group that needs to be adopted together. It is simply not the case that parenting these children requires superhuman parenting skills, or upcoming canonization. I appreciate that you don’t want a child, but adopting a Russian 7-year-old is not automatically a sign of insanity, even for a single mother.

I do NOT support the mother’s choices here. I wonder where her social worker is, and what kind of support she got from her agency. If, despite everything, the placement doesn’t work out, a reputable agency will help you to re-home the child. I haven’t heard anything from her agency about this, and I’m interested to hear what their statement will be.

As of this morning, the Russian foreign minister was saying that Russia would cancel all adoptions to the US, but nothing had officially been done. We’ll see how this all shakes out.

Thanks for all info, but on this topic it’s of interest to note that Tennessee was the home of Georgia Tann, who if ever an evil bitch there was the evil bitch was she because she led- almost pioneered- the legal theft of children from poor parents for private adoptions to the rich. (There were other rings in other states- a major one in Georgia during the 1950s-1970s was recently investigated- but Tann was almost the gold standard of baby theft rackets.) I don’t know anything about Tennessee law as opposed to other states, but I wonder how much impact that had.

Absolutely. WTF was she thinking, putting a 7 year old alone on an airplane on a trip halfway around the world, to be met by a stranger?

Here’s an idea - let’s hand her over to the Russians and let them try her there.


In fairness, I doubt there’s a home in the country that doesn’t have something you can start a fire with. Every smoker who’s ever had cigarettes but can’t find a lighter can figure out the tricks: light a candle from the stove and then use that to light your cigarette [I’ll admit I once lit a candle from my pilot light when my stove was on the fritz and then lit a cigarette with it], and even with non-smokers most people keep matches or grill lighters somewhere. An innovative child could probably figure out how to get a spark going with electronics.

I mentioned above the Russian:English barrier- how quickly do kids learn English by immersion? Because I was wondering if part of the problem might be a language barrier- a joke that slays other 7 year old Russian orphans but doesn’t work in English even, or a reference to some pop culture thing that a Russian kid would know about that Americans wouldn’t. (If a kid from the Looney Tunes era had mentioned dropping a piano on somebody’s head or giving them a dynamite cigar it may have sounded ominous.) I doubt it’s anything that simple in its entirety, but language/culture barrier could definitely play a part.

I think we can all agree that there is a special place in hell for Georgia Tann. It would not surprise me at all if that had an effect on the way things are done in Tennessee. (As an aside - I am constantly amazed at the interesting things you know!)

As for language, the rule of thumb is that, for school age children, it takes about a year to acquire social language - the ability to carry on conversations without difficulty, understand and be understood. It takes from four to six years to acquire academic language - the ability to think deeply and critically, to follow complex logical arguments, and do academic work in the second language. Because off this, there are educational delays to different degrees. You are right, there could be misunderstandings here. That’s the kind of thing that professionals could have helped her sort out.

Think there is any chance that this was arranged through a, how do you say, less than reputable Russian agency? Does stuff like that still go on?

It might explain why she was unwilling to reach out for help, too many questions get asked. She’s a single Mom,with a 10 yr old, living with her Mom, adopting 2 Russian orphans. Certainly not your usual thing.

Perhaps, (just guessing), she couldn’t qualify at a more reputable agency and stumbled onto one motivated more by money than any concern for the nature of the child they were placing or the home it was going to.

She would seem to have insulated herself from anyone prosecuting her and, possibly, along with that exacting the details of how this adoption was arranged.

One thing is for sure, I’ll bet there’s more to this than meets the eye.

but adopted or biological, what do you do if you have a 7-year-old threatening to set fires to the house? Is there help out there? Just for the sake of curiosity, what were her options?