Woman "returns" adopted son

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Esther - posted on 04/12/2010

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I think she could not have been more wrong. I agree with the russian diplomat who said she treated this kid like a sack of potatoes. This is unacceptable and she should face consequences for it. This kid has had a miserable start in life as it is. It's just cruel. I'm sure he had issues. How could he not. She should have thought about that before she adopted him. I don't care what the adoption agency told her or the people at the orphanage. As Cathy and Jodi said, it's common sense. I'm really horrified by this story. She was wrong to do what she did. Plain and simple. My brother was adopted by my parents pretty much before he was even born. They never saw him until he came into our home. He was taken from his mom at birth and stayed in an in-between home for a few weeks (through the adoption agency) until he was old enough to travel from Indonesia to Holland. He's had issues his entire life. Serious issues. He still does to this day and he's 34 now and still relies on my parents for pretty much everything (they manage his finances, they clean his house etc. etc.). As far as my parents are concerned, he's their child as much as I am. Always has been. The thought of sending him back never occurred to them.

Jodi - posted on 04/12/2010

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I have thought a lot about this one in the last few days (since I first saw this post), and watched some of the reports on the news, as well as read various internet reports. To be honest, I think she was stupid and naive to believe that she could adopt a child from a Russian orphanage at age 7 and believe there would be no major issues. To me, that's a no brainer. Whether the orphanage lied or not, how fucking stupid do you have to be to believe you are getting a child with no BIG issues????



However, regardless of who lied to who and who is telling the truth, sending this child back in the manner in which she did is just wrong, plain and simple. I don't know the system, but surely there are many other ways in which she could have dealt with it. Fine, she wasn't coping. But this is NOT the way to treat a child, no matter how bad that child is. She had no right to do that.



I was very pleased to hear that there were many other American families wanting to adopt the child. I hope that can happen. That poor boy obviously needs a lot of help, and an awful lot of love. He may NEVER recover from the shit he has been through (and I don't mean this particular incident, but everything else in his past), but he deserves another chance.

Dana - posted on 04/12/2010

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I think that no matter what they did or did not lie about, she was out of line in the way she dealt with it. She's a health care professional for Christ's sake.

Sharon - posted on 04/09/2010

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Its hard to say what the deal is here.

Who is lying? The russian adoption agency? If they don't fight this - no one will adopt a child from them again.

This woman? Who inexplicably changed her mind after an expensive and lengthy adoption process?

I'm more inclined to think the russians lied.

IF that is true, then she did the best she could to make sure he got back safely while keeping herself safe. IF she had gone with him, who knows what could have happened to her over there? Worst - death to hide the lousy adoption agency. Best... detainment and shipped back to USA w/the dangerous child?

She got the kid on the plane by paying for a steward to accompany him.

Internationally adopted children have less recourse here in the US and you can't even just hand off your own damaged child to CPS or the police, they definitately won't take a foreign child whose status is suspect.

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Emma - posted on 05/01/2010

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If the kid was so disturbed, would she of not noticed this when she was in Russia with him before adopting him ?
Or i know gotten a US psychiatrist to see the kid so she could prove her clams and then go through official channel to return him, if in fact her claims where true,
To me it sounds like she adopted a Russia kid as a fashion accessory and once the novelty wore off sent him back.
Sad story but the kid is probably better off now than with a woman who would put a minor on a plane alone with a note.

Tah - posted on 04/12/2010

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she def. could have handled it better, i said that in the first post and i stand by it. I just think its deeper than that. I am sure she was expecting him to have some issues, but probably not to the extent that he had, she was absolutely wrong for it, no doubt, but i think there is blame to go around, i feel bad for the boy, he didnt get however he is by himself. sometimes love alone cant fix somebody who is broken but she def could have exhausted things such as counseling etc. I can't pretend to know what it is like to have to sleep with one eye open scared your 7 year old is going to kill you and children have killed their parents before, there was a 12 year olf boy who shot and killed his pregnant step mother about a year ago, so i can def i havent walked in her shoes and def hope i never do..but yes she was wrong and should have been able to handle it way better..

Tah - posted on 04/12/2010

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i believe that the adoption agency held back some information on the child that was very important. I dont know who else would have had a chance to see this behavior. The agency is not going to step up and say "yes he was satans spawn when he was here and we understand her frustration". He took more than one flight so i doubt anyone saw him for long enough for him to threaten them or their lives. When someone comes to live with you everyday and starts to become part of your daily lives for months or years, then you see the real person.

I am not excusing her behavior, she still should have handled it better. I have done studies in school and watched t.v about children in russia who are in orphanages. Showing how years ago many of them grew up unable to relate or develop attachments or meaningful relationships because they were overcrowded, the staff didnt spend the time needed to help develop these in the children, they were left in their cribs for most of the day, not shown affection, and some of the poor workers were stealing their food.

I believe that foster care and adoption agencies will withold information to get children adopted and off of their hands with a overcrowded and underfunded system.

Isobel - posted on 04/11/2010

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Russian orphanages have been known for a long time to be over-crowded, and that many children in them grow up with attachment disorders. I don't think it's unreasonable to find that you have been lied to and are therefore unable to take care of a child that you wanted to adopt.

In fact, I think that trying to adopt a child that is 7 years old suggests that you have a willing spirit and that you will be expecting some difficulties...but then again...I guess there is no shortage of stupidity these days. While I know that I would expect difficulties...some people may think that picking a 7 year old up and taking them home may be like picking up some groceries...I hope not...the whole situation is just very very sad.

Sharon - posted on 04/11/2010

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Even though I'm inclined to believe the american mom, I have my doubts.



He is 7 yrs old? How come no one else has seen this behaviour? Where is this fiery picture they've made such a big deal out of? I would have kept it as evidence.



This is one of those situations where I think we will never know the truth.



For everyone who mentions that she only met with the child for 4 days. As far as I know most international adoptions have about that much time. The most I've read a prospective adoptive parent has spent with a child in a foreign country is about a week.



You would never marry someone after knowing them for a week. But they're children, adaptable, changeable, moldable..... I dunno - its just sad.

ME - posted on 04/11/2010

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I had a collegue who worked with adoptive families in her free time doing counseling and classes and other work dealing with the difficulties of cross cultural adoptions. She worked mostly with families who adopted asian babies, but I'm sure there are similar issues no matter what the ethnicity of the child. She claimed that Americans gave back adopted children from foriegn countries a lot because they were unprepared for many issues that could arise. I think it's a horrible tragedy for everyone involved...

[deleted account]

Yes, that makes sense. Now that you mention it, I remember a thread on another forum about the cild who killed the family pets etc.

Sharon - posted on 04/10/2010

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Kathy - Just curious, Sharon, why are you more inclined to think the Russians lied?



Not because they're russian, lol, if thats what you were wondering. This used to be a common practice for adoption agencies. A lot of it came to light back in the '80s. I paid attention because even though I wasn't old enough for that, I had altruistic aims and the idea of adopting an unwanted child appealed to me.



American foster agencies were guilty of this too. Hiding a childs mental issues on the basis of "privacy". I read some truely horrific stories about situations like this. A child who killed the familys' pets, hurt another child (not a punch in the eye either) & set the family home on fire.



Some of the families were "trapped" with these kids. They couldn't return the child, american agencies wouldn't take a foreign child, if you took an american foster child then you were blacklisted from adoption ...



Its a mess. Some of these kids,... there is NO HOPE. They are sooo damaged. Its awful. The fact is that very few families will actually say "sure we'll take a child that has psychopathic tendencies." and the agencies aren't equipped to handle a child like that long term.



Is that making any sense? Sorry if its garbled. I'm distracted by the screaming on tv... some shark attack/maneaters show my hubby is watching..

[deleted account]

i believe they lied as foster/adoption agencies are running out of room for all the kids. its easy to lie about that. i mean really if that was me i would have done the same thing just not sent him home alone. i would have called them and had someone from there come get him or something as i know i can't deal with stuff like that, so if i was lied to like that and i got a kid that had issues they didnt tell me i found out they had later and i know i couldnt raise it properly as i cant deal with it then why keep it? if she knows she cant handle that then its better to give him back then keep him and not be there like she should be.

Jess - posted on 04/10/2010

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What a horrible thing to do to a child ! I have just read about this in the Australian media, so no biase either way.



This poor child has waited 7 years for a stable loving home, is it any wonder he has issue's? What he needed was a loving, kind and patient mother who knew tolerance and could teach this little boy that despite his bad behaviour he was there to stay... not a one way ticket to Russia !



You can't give children back adopted or not ! Who was the person responsible for giving a child to such a stupid women. My goodness she could have given him to me. I would have taken him off her hands, and done her job !



The only good that can come from all this media attention is finding this little boy a good and loving home, and making this women known to every other adoption agency so they don't make the same mistake twice. Shame on her !!!

Joanna - posted on 04/09/2010

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Oh I have no question that the Russian agency didn't tell the truth about this child and his problems. But you'd think that getting to spend time with him for 4 days, if she wasn't 100% sure about him then she should have requested more time to spend with him, or not promised to take him as her own, which means taking all he is, good or bad.

And even if you can see where she's coming from (I mean, I understand she's upset he wasn't the dream child she expected), she could have contacted a lawyer, done something OTHER than just sending him home with a note, further scarring this child for life.

Lindsay - posted on 04/09/2010

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Ok now I have watched Nightline, read this article linked from the UK and another from the Washington times to try and get as unbiased of an opinion as I possibly can. This is obviously a very sad and horrible situation but I don't believe it's as cut and dry as it seems. I'd say there are major issues on both sides of this story. Unfortunately this poor child is going to be dealing with the consequences for probably the rest of his life.



I would not blink and eye to say that the Russian adoption agency has some major internal issues. While my own aunt and uncle were looking into adoption they were warned of adopting from Russia as most of the babies and children that are deemed "healthy" by their standards are typically not. More than just outright lying to these adoptive parents, I can't help but thinking information and the opportunity for preparating could go a long way.



Now before everyone gets in a huff, I am in no way justifying this woman's actions. She must have been very naive to believe that adopting a 7 year old from any background would go as smooth as silk. I don't think she went through a lengthy and expensive process to adopt a child with any intent of just getting rid of him. More so, I would guess that she was not prepared and going off of the information she was given instead of getting herself ready for the battle that was sure to come. I would like to think that there were other options for coping than just sending him back though.



Both are to blame in my opinion. This poor child has gone through so much. I believe it said he was removed from care of his biological mother at 6 who was an alcoholic. Then he was adopted at 7, taken to a new country with a new language and people he'd only seen for 4 days before heading off with him. The trama he has gone through even before he settled into his adoptive home is astonishing. Now add this. That poor boy will likely suffer and cope for the remainer of his life. All because any adult he's encountered in his life, from bio-mom, the entire Russian adoption organization, to his adoptive mother/grandmother, don't know how to step up and be adults!

[deleted account]

alot of people bring up that if its their own child, but its not. her child might not have problems, she may not be able to deal with that kind of thing. if she didnt know that the child had problems its not her fault. she wouldnt have been prepared. however she should have known as its common for a child to have problems from adoptions.

its not her kid, she most likely wouldnt have that bond she has with her own kid with the adopted kid so comparing own kids really isnt relavent.

Lindsay - posted on 04/09/2010

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This is on nightline right now...i will come back and give my opinion when it's done! Just an FYI if anyone is wanted to check it out...

Kayle - posted on 04/09/2010

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So If I decide the son that I gave birth to wasn't good enough for me I should just send it back to God and with a note that says thanks but no thanks. Seriously. I can't believe anyone would do such thing. It just blows my mind.

[deleted account]

i read that and was going to post also earlier but didnt. i think that they shouldnt have lied to her. the child had issues they didnt tell her and she may not have been prepared to deal with those issues. but at the same time its pretty much a given that a child of that age would have issues and she should have been smart enough to know that. which is where common sense kicks in. on pretty much any website of children for adoption and any agency will tell you that children around that age will have issues. especially when they get bounced around from foster home to foster home. but i think both parties are at fault. she should have done more reseach and should have been smart enough to know that along with adopting usually comes issues with a child and they should have been up front and honest and told her exactly what the child had wrong issue wise so she could have been prepared or made the decision against that specific kid.



i know when we flew as minors we had my little brother at the time and he was still young and they had a flight attendant who accompanied you however my mom forgot to mention she didnt tell them we were alone or have someone so i was on my own as far as getting us where we needed to be. but they should have been smart eough to know not to let a 7 year old fly that far alone and unaccompanied by at least her. she should have at least had the decency to fly him back.

Joanna - posted on 04/09/2010

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I really don't understand how you can just give a child away. If it was her own child that she grew and birthed that ended up having behavioural problems, would she have tried to give him away then? If you can't handle all aspects of parenting you shouldn't be a parent. I hope this woman get's some sort of major punishment, because not only has she ruined this poor boy's life, but now all Americans doing Russion adoptions have their adoptions put on hold.

And United Airways has a certain unnacompanied minors policy (I think it said their policy was minors can only fly on flights with no connections?) and it said it's strict, but obviously it wasn't... so we'll see what happens with them, too.

Caitlin - posted on 04/09/2010

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I heard about this on the radio.. It's horrible in my opinion and she should be charged with child abandonment and child endangerment.. Also, my question is how she got the kid on the plane?

Tah - posted on 04/09/2010

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i dont claim to be a exoert, but i am pretty sure there was a better way to handle that.

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