MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti) - A couple from New York has asked the county court to annul their adoption of two Russian-born children with mental problems the parents say were not initially reported, the New York Post reported.
According to the article published Sunday in the newspaper, the couple claimed that when they were put up for adoption back in 2008, Spence-Chapin and Cradle of Hope agencies described the two children as healthy and socially well-adjusted. However, it has turned out that the children, then 6 and 8 years old, have serious mental problems and have even allegedly threatened to kill their American parents.
In a separate lawsuit, the couple argued that the two children the adoption agencies claimed to be siblings were not in fact related and were also victims of sexual abuse.
The two children, now 12 and 14 years old, are currently in state mental institutions and will become wards of the state, should the legal action be successful.
The New York Post quoted Judge Edward McCarty III from the Nassau County's Surrogate Court as saying that he decided to keep the courtroom open due to public interest in adoption agencies' assumed misrepresentation of facts. The judge added that in the past 20 years, 18 adopted Russian children, most of them aged under 2 years old, have died as a result of violence in their adoptive families. Judge McCarty also cited data that about 20 percent of Russian-adopted children in the United States suffer from developmental difficulties.
In 2013, Russia approved legislation dubbed the Dima Yakovlev law, which outlawed the adoption of Russian orphans by Americans. The law is named after a Russian toddler who died of heatstroke in 2008 after his American adoptive father left him in an overheated car for hours. Russian officials blame adoptive parents in the United States for the deaths of at least 19 Russian children since 1999.