Social Question

Aster's avatar

Russian adoption goes bad. What is your opinion of this adoptive mom?

Asked by Aster (18231points) October 17th, 2010

An American woman adopted a seven year old Russian orphan and was told he was a normal boy. After getting him home he was banging his
head against the walls and crying continuously. Then he was
diagnosed as autistic, schizophrenic and having PTSD. She
put him on a plane, alone, back to Russia with a note that she could
not handle him. Russian authorities are up in arms, threatening
to stop all adoptions to Americans. The woman is in serious
trouble with American authorities and her story was on tv. What are your opinions on her behavior and if you think her behavior was reprehensible, what should be her punishment?

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11 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Even considering how problematic that child was, putting a kid alone on a plane without letting anyone know about it is completely unacceptable.
That woman should never be allowed again to adopt a child and should be closely monitored when she pumps one out herself.
As for her immediate punishment, I just read that child abandonment is a “class 4 felony”, which may be punished with “imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $100,000.”
I would give her 5.

Aster's avatar

@ragingloli I agree and I don’t think she’ll want to adopt again after this episode.

muppetish's avatar

Technology cannot alert parents that their unborn children will have medical conditions. A few can be pinpointed through genetics, but not every disorder can be determined before birth or even immediately after birth. Those parents continue to raise the children whom they one day learn has autism or schizophrenia (and some do a better job than others, but most will try and make things work out of love.) This “mother” has no excuse. Just because she did not know ahead of time that the child she adopted would include the extra burden of medical conditions does not mean she can act so heartlessly. It is understandable that she felt overwhelmed by the situation, but her actions were vile and cruel. That poor boy did not deserve to be treated like a defective object sent back to the manufacturer. I wish I could reach out and hold his hand.

I think this woman have to pay for the boy’s benefits (food, shelter, medicine) until he is adopted by parents who will love him unconditionally. I also think she should never be permitted to ever adopt again and that the Russian government should have the orphans in their shelters checked by a doctor and psychologist to prevent incidences such as this from occurring in the future.

MissAusten's avatar

Not everyone is equipped or ready to handle a child with such serious problems. Maybe it is harder to commit to that kind of care with an older child you don’t actually know instead of an infant you’ve had years to fall in love with. I guess I can understand her feeling lied to by the adoption agency, but it’s a kid, not a used car! A little compassion, at least, would have been nice. :(

I don’t know what she tried to do first and if putting the kid on the plane was a last resort. I’ve read articles about this, and they never say if tried to handle things differently at first, but then became overwhelmed and gave up. Did she do the right thing? Not even close. Was she the only person who failed this child? Not even close.

Perhaps adoptions where the child is sent to a family in another country, without that family ever seeing the child, should not be allowed. Even people who want to be parents very badly are not going to automatically “click” and fall in love with any child that’s given to them. Babies and children have different personalities, just like adults, and adoptions sight-unseen may be a bad idea. I’ve known two children adopted from Russia, one as a toddler and one as a preschooler. Both had serious developmental delays just from the conditions of the orphanages where they lived since infancy. But, the adoptive parents went to Russia, met the children, and knew what they doing. I do know families who adopted babies from Korea and first met the babies at a US airport, but the foster parent system in Korea is vastly different from the system in Russia and, in general, far superior. In both of those cases, children and parents are all very happy.

There’s no excuse for what she did, but Russia should examine their adoption policies. US authorities should pursue whatever child abandonment charges would apply to the case.

MissAusten's avatar

Oh, I was mistaken above. The adoptive mother did go to Russia for the adoption, but the child’s problems were not apparent until after she returned to the US with him. There are some very sad stories of things people went through after adopting from Russia (where many adoptions go very well, of course) in particular. They are easy to find with Google. It’s just too bad this woman gave up.

Aster's avatar

Yes; years ago I heard someone or a couple traveled to Russia , adopted a boy, then he began lighting matches , setting rooms on fire. I don’t remember what happened next. It was one hot topic, though…

xxii's avatar

Why didn’t the adoption centre know or disclose that the boy had such tendencies? How did the adoptive mother go through the entire process, which I assume involves some length of time spent with the prospective adoptee, without noticing these conditions?

I think she’s in the wrong for sending the child back on the plane alone, because I think there’s no excuse to do that. I don’t blame her entirely for giving up on the child’s care, because those sound like serious conditions that she may not be mentally, physically or financially equipped to deal with.

But I think the bulk of the blame lies with the Russian adoption centres for not properly screening the kids they put up for adoption, being honest with prospective adoptive parents about the kids they want to adopt, and not designing proper adoption procedures where people can properly observe the kids they will be adopting.

Just out of curiosity, why do people turn to Russia to adopt kids when they can do so in the States?

@muppetish – I think part of the reason some people choose to adopt is because they want to ensure their child is without birth defects, inborn mental illnesses, and so on. I don’t consider it wrong to want to adopt for this reason.

Aster's avatar

It may be a lot easier and faster to adopt from a Russian orphanage than any American red-tape adoption? Cheaper?
I also did not understand how she could have not noticed he was autistic when adopted. I think it’s possible all his conditions didn’t materialize for a long time. Autism doesn’t show up at birth and she may have adopted him at that age. And PTSD from neglect in the orphanage wouldn’t show up as a baby either. So if he appeared normal when she adopted him that would let the orphanage off the hook.

chyna's avatar

I think it would be easier to be eased into a childs issues if you had watched the transformations from birth, not just thrown into an older childs issues, so I can understand, but not condone how this woman just snapped. I hope she is not allowed to adopt, and after this, she probably won’t want to ever again. She handled the whole situation very badly and does deserve some sort of punishment. Also, the Russian adoption agency has to take some of the blame for not disclosing what should have been diagnosed by them. They just wanted to get rid of the child.

rooeytoo's avatar

If the woman felt she was not capable of raising a child with such problems then it was wise of her and for the child’s benefit that she gave him up.

However the way she did it was totally inexcusable. I can’t imagine anyone could do such a thing. She must need some sort of help herself, I don’t think a “normal” person could behave in such a fashion.

chyna's avatar

@rooeytoo I agree, she must’ve been at the end of her rope. No rational thinking person would do that.

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