Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Outrage in Russia over adopted Russian boy’s death in U.S

As it seems to be the case of Internet journalism - it takes a read of multiple articles to piece together the story, and even then, it is often not complete. The death of the adopted Russian boy is case in point.
In almost all articles the story is being cast in terms of the cold war. It seems that some just can't move on.

Rather than consider the allegations by the Russians as having some merit - their outrage over this child's death is seen as retaliation by Russia for the US's legislation "targeting Russian officials accused of corruption and rights abuses." [NYTimes].

First off I admit that I don't see why American would be parents should seek to adopt children of any other country. Surely there are sufficient children in the US needing adoption.

It is not cheap to adopt from Russia. It cost $40,000 to $60,000. It isn't clear that door to door adoption time, but apparently a match between parents and child can be achieved in less than 12 months. And two trips to Russia part of the process among many reports and the like.

In this case the child Maxim, age 3, and his younger brother were brought to Texas in November 2012 and by January 21, 2013 he was dead. Apparently he died in the emergency room. The younger brother is still with the adoptive parents. An autopsy and toxicology tests are not yet available, although it has been 2 months since the death.

Russian officials, in particular Russia's Children's Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov, "said Monday that Max died after being fed psychiatric drugs by his adoptive parents," and "Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's special representative for human rights, issued a statement saying that Max (formerly Maxim Kuzmin) also had signs of injuries that "could only be caused by strong blows."" [ABC News].

It isn't clear where the Russian officials have obtained their information, but it is clear that Texas officials have not denied the claims only asking that the process be permitted to be completed before conclusions are drawn.

The Russian claims are also strengthen by a month delay in notification to Russian officials. It isn't clear that there was any obligation for notice to the Russian adoption officials, but they fear the worse and suspect a cover-up. Russians have been prosecuting their claims with the US State Department, in the press as well internally in Russia.

Somewhat odd and disturbing though is that the 2 year old brother, not named or pictured in any of the stories below, remains with the adoptive parents. Arguably though that might be evidence that Max's death has more the earmarks of an accidental death.

It is odd too that none of the stories have any information why the child was taken to the emergency room.

The autopsy and toxicology reports ought to be in soon. If it is determined that there was no foul play - it will be hard to convince the Russians. If there was foul play, the younger brother will be rescued, and hopefully the cold war rhetoric will be dropped.

Maybe "Made in the USA" might apply to adoptions too.


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