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Russian boy returned by adoptive mother

RTE News 9th April 2010

A seven-year-old boy has been returned by plane to Moscow from the US by his adoptive mother with a note saying she 'could not handle him'.

The note attached to the boy said his adoptive mother could not care for the boy any longer and was very sorry, but had to send him back.

Torri-Ann Hansen adopted the boy six months ago.

Until then he had lived in the orphanage of Partizansk in Russia's Primorsk region. Reportedly he was a well-behaved, healthy boy and never caused any problems.

At Moscow airport this morning, the boy was taken to a central Moscow police station, but then was taken to a hospital for medical examination. He was said to be in a state of shock.

Russian ombudsman for children's rights, Pavel Astakhov, is investigating the situation.

As yet, nobody seems to have been able to reach Ms Hansen, his adoptive mother.

Questions are also being asked as to ho the boy was allowed to board the plane on his own by American Airlines.

The issue of US couples adopting Russian children has become controversial in Russia in recent years, following the deaths of two children in separate incidents in Virginia.

In 2006, Peggy Sue Hilt was sentenced to 25 years in prison for beating to death a two-year-old girl from Siberia she had adopted.

Two years later, a 21-month-old boy died of heatstroke after his adoptive father left him in his car for nine hours in the sun.

Miles Harrison, 49, was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter after a court accepted that he had forgotten the boy was in the car and had driven to his office without dropping his son at daycare.


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“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning . . . and the most disquieting loneliness." 

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