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Fuquay-Varina couple worried about Russian adoptions

Posted April 13, 2010
Updated April 14, 2010

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— Thousands of prospective parents are pleading with President Barack Obama, and Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev, to not freeze Russian adoptions by United States citizens.

The concern over adoptions between the two countries came about after a Tennessee woman sent her adopted son back to Moscow on a plane by himself.

Torry Hansen, 33, claimed the 7-year-old boy had psychological problems that the Russian orphanage failed to disclose.

Adoption incident concerns Fuquay-Varina family Adoption incident concerns Wake family

Steve and Barbara Hand heard about Hansen’s actions and said Tuesday that they are worried Russian adoptions will be halted as a result.

“I was appalled, really, because all I could think about, after just having come back from Russia, was how that was going to look to them,” Barbara Hand said.

The Fuquay-Varina couple adopted a 7-year-old boy from southwest Russia in February.

“It was made clear to us that an adoption is a permanent situation, and that you just can't return a child as if they were damaged goods,” Steve Hand said.

The Hands say their adoption experience has been nothing short of a blessing.

“For us, it's a calling on our lives, and these boys are our sons, and that's the way it is. Just like our oldest boy, who was born to us biologically,” Barbara Hand said.

The Joint Council on International Children's Services estimates there are about 3,000 pending American applications for adoptions from Russia. The U.S. State Department is sending a high-level delegation to Moscow next week to discussion the Hansen incident.


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  • familyfour Apr 14, 2010

    With all of the unwanted pregnancies in the US, we should put more American children up for adoption in our country and also as exports.nikka

    I cannot blame a single person in America for not wanting to adopt from "here" after so many have given them up only to go back, hunt them down, and the courts actually give them back tot he "birth" parent.

    How can you trust a country, a court system, that will go back no its own word?

  • familyfour Apr 14, 2010

    Russian adoptions are NOT easy.

    The children are held for a year in an orphanage once the parents "give up the child", and if they do not sign a release of parental rights of the child at that time, the child must wait one year before adoption can even be considered for the child.

    I have a dear friend who has two little girls she loves so much. She went through hell to get them.

    The first daughter is not even the initial child she had gone to visit in the first round.....the second daughter was the result of trying to adopt sister # 1's brother, but by the time that was approved, there was ANOTHER sibling, and they told her "all or none". So she ended up with daughter #2.

    She wouldn't trade anything for them, and she fought the fight of her life to have them.

    Just like any other system operated by a govt, it is FULL of flaws, and the children are the ones that benefit the least because those that are NOT victims have to be given "opportunity" and "benefit of doubt".

  • Garnerian Apr 14, 2010

    "This needs to be turned around as these young women will generally live a life of mediocrity and never excel in anything in life or love"

    There is no greater love than the love of a child. You get out of life what you put into it. You make choices and you live with the consequences.

  • azinfandgal Apr 14, 2010

    I think that anyone who choses to adopt a child and give him or her a better life should be commended regardless of where the child is from. We are all part of the human race!

  • Garnerian Apr 14, 2010

    I feel for that child. I couldnt imagine going thru life with the feeling that no one wanted me. So sad

  • azinfandgal Apr 14, 2010

    Tropicalgal - I agree fully with you . . . it's a personal choice. I am considering adoption myself and have attended several presentations from various reputable agencies. Many of the domestic children available have ties to family members such as siblings that are required to be maintained. There were also children you may foster not being legally free for adoption and people at the seminar were justifiably concerned about forming an attachment to a child that may be taken away by a birth parent who "changed their mind" or were able to convince a social worker and a judge that they had "changed." There were also risks associated with the foreign adoptions but some countries were much better than others. A good friend of my sisters adopted from Guatemala before it was closed and has a beautiful baby boy that was fostered rather than placed in an orphanage. He is in very good health and has formed a close bond with his adopted parents. I think that anyone who choses to adopt a child an

  • tropicalgirl Apr 14, 2010

    "A feral, deeply damaged animal"? That's just an offensive characterization. And foreign adoption is not a "shortcut" - our adoption took two years, numerous social worker visits, criminal background checks, etc. I wish that ALL parents had to go through that rigorous process. What this adoptive mother did to her child is horrible but in many ways on par with what some parents do to their "birth" children every day. And since you believe it's a moral imperative to help someone at home, how many children have YOU adopted? A child in need is a child in need regardless of where they were born - I believe it's a moral imperative to not judge how other people form their families.

  • ghimmy51 Apr 14, 2010

    I believe it's a moral imperative to help someone at home first. I also believe gaining custody of a child SHOULD be hard. Taking "shortcuts" with foreign adoptions is a dangerous thing to do. Few of you know the depth of the inhumanity in Russian orphanages as well as in other countries of the world. Nothing is lower in those societies than an unwanted child. I'm serious when I say you risk bringing a feral, deeply damaged animal into your lives. I wish it were not so, but I'm sorry ... it most definitely is. You will not get full information. Accept that. In one way or another you will be scammed, even if you get a child. Having said that ... maybe it will work for you. I hope so. Just know things too easy usually are not in the long run.

  • bdfitzjo Apr 14, 2010

    If you want more Americans to adopt, make it impossible for birth parents to track down or have any knowledge of where their child is going. If you give the child up for adoption, under absolutely no circumstance should you be allowed to rip him/her from their new home.

  • tropicalgirl Apr 14, 2010

    Just like giving birth to a child, choosing to adopt is a personal decision and that includes where one chooses to adopt from. Yes, there are many children who need homes in the Unites States so one might ask why people are continuing to get pregnant instead of adopting a child in need of a home? We chose to adopt from China because at the time we were planning to adopt (in Virginia), there were many hurdles. In addition, several high profile cases of birth mothers reclaiming the children made us very wary - just ask that Apex couple how that feels. OzzzMan, I'm glad the system here worked for you, and 27615, how many children have you adopted from this country?