A Russian child who was adopted in the U.S. and then sent back to Russia does not want to be adopted again and remains at a children's center in Moscow, the Russian children's ombudsman said on Wednesday.
Artyom, now 8, was put on a one-way flight to Russia in April just half a year after he was adopted, with a note from his U.S. adoptive mother claiming he was "psychopathic."
"Artyom was given the opportunity to choose one of three families... but right now he does not want to," Pavel Astakhov said. "But we are working on him."
He also said that the case was the third time a child had been sent back to Russia by his adoptive family, but the two previous cases had been "swept under the carpet."
Russia is one of the largest sources of foreign adoptions for U.S. families, accounting for about 10% of foreign adoptions, but the issue has become controversial in recent years following several incidents involving the mistreatment of Russian children in the United States.
Negotiations on a bilateral agreement regulating adoptions began earlier this year after the Artyom case caused widespread public outrage. At least 15 children have died at the hands of their adoptive parents in the U.S. since the fall of the Soviet Union.
"It is impossible to explain why [Russian] children are sent abroad without any legal grounds, without any guarantees. We can not rely just on out partners' goodwill. We do not know anything about the fate of more than 200 children adopted from Russia," Astakhov said.
Critics say the case has been used to draw domestic attention away from the country's pitiful record on child abuse. Around 2,000 children are killed by adults every year in Russia.
VLADIVOSTOK, September 22 (RIA Novosti)