Local News

Fuquay-Varina couple worried about Russian adoptions

Posted April 13, 2010 11:57 p.m. EDT
Updated April 14, 2010 12:05 a.m. EDT

— 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.

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.