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Sheriff Says Family Was Afraid of Russian Boy

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Do you think this gives her the right to send him back?

russian boy

As the controversy rages on over adoptive mother Torry Ann Hansen sending her son back to Russia, the town sheriff appeared on CBS's "The Early Show" today and explained that the family had been scared of 7-year-old Artyom Savelyev.

Bedford County Sheriff Randall Boyce said: "What we're getting mostly is that he had violent issues and that they were more or less afraid of him, as far as trying to burn the house while they were asleep. I think he threatened some of these things. But it's still early. We're not exactly sure what the whole deal is."

Artyom's adoptive grandmother, Nancy Hansen, told CBS: "He drew a picture of our house burning down and he'll tell anybody that he's going to burn our house down with us in it. It got to be where you feared for your safety. It was terrible."

Meanwhile, ABC reports that Russian officials say Artyom has shown no signs of the violent, psychotic behavior that Torry Ann cited as among the reasons she returned him.

No charges have been filed yet against Torry Ann Hansen or her mother, Nancy, but authorities are investigating.

Do YOU think she should be charged with a crime?


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83 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous April 12, 2010, 3:10 PM

Were they that desperate to be parents so they adopted a messed up kid from another country?

Coral April 12, 2010, 4:52 PM

See why on earth do people adopte from other countries. There’s plenty of kids here that don’t have homes.

Anonymous April 12, 2010, 11:00 PM

People are going to hate me for saying this but I would bet money that there is something seriously wrong with this child. Everyone else that is evaluating this child has stayed with him for a couple of hours and that is not a proper evaluation. We have read stsories on here and heard stories in the news about how out of country adoption agency will try to decieve you so it’s not very shocking to me.

I Would do it too April 13, 2010, 2:39 AM

I know that most people would do what’s best for the safety of themselves. If I felt that I or any member of my family is in danger, the child would be returned quicker than the next breath I would take. This may sound cruel, but people are still seeing things through rose colored glasses.

Melissa April 13, 2010, 2:43 AM

I look at it from this perspective. After everything that she must have went through just to adopt this child, there had to have been something seriously wrong with him for her to send him back. Because I know I wouldn’t go through all the steps, emotions, and waiting to adopt a child and then just send him back for no reason. Plus I think this mom had every right if she wasn’t told the truth up front about this child. I think this child needs more than just a mom to love him. He needs serious help that goes beyond what a mother can bring. I just pray that he gets it.

Nina April 13, 2010, 3:01 AM

Momlogic: While I don’t have enough information to make a call on whether or not the child is psychologically disturbed or not, I would like to express incredible disappointment that you left out vital information regarding the adoptive ‘mother’s’ actions in this short blurb. It may be the only article people read.

She didn’t contact the proper authorities, arrange to fly back to Russia with him, or anything. She bought a 7 year old boy a one-way plane ticket to Russia and hired someone to pick him up at the airport. That’s just irresponsible - we have even more strict rules regarding returning adoptive puppies. She did the equivalent of dropping him back off on a doorstep. She may have been ‘frightened’ of this child, but she certainly wasn’t looking out for his safety and well-being or feelings of abandonment, either.

I think it’s poor journalism on your part to omit this important portion of the story when posing the question “should she be charged with a crime?” to your readers. You’re either assuming your readers know the whole story or you’re leaving out an important detail on purpose.

That said, to answer your question, regardless of the psychiatric state of this child, this unfit ‘adoptive mother’ ought to be held accountable for child endangerment and made to feel the full weight of another serious result of her actions: the disappointment and heartache of all the parents and children who now won’t become a family since Russia has suspended all U.S. adoptions.

debi snyder April 13, 2010, 3:05 AM

no just cause of being ascared is crazy
try to work it out

Nina April 13, 2010, 3:21 AM

Melissa - But please tell me, if not an adoptive parent, if not a loving mother, WHO is supposed to give this child the attention and help he so desperately needs? The Russian government? The overrun orphanages?

As far as the idea of getting all the information up front about a child, like some kind of used car history —- as a biological parent, you’re 0% certain of what behavioral, developmental, psychiatric, or any other issues the future may hold for your child. Why should adoptive parents be any more privileged to only adopt well-behaved, non-“defective” (as others on this site have derogatorily phrased it) children?

There are biological kids in affluent families, from backgrounds free from psychological problems or abuse, who end up being terrors or sociopaths when they grow up. There’s no lemon law when it comes to kids. Parenting is hard work and if you’re not ready for it, exercise your right to birth control and leave the adoptive kids to people who *are* capable.

Louise McCloud April 13, 2010, 3:40 AM

Their is no excuse for happened to this sweet little boy, the fact is since he’s been back he has been seen by psychologists, etc. and so far the only problems have been with the adoptive mother, this child has complained of having been pulled by his hair, etc., and the people who have been treating him believe this child has been telling the truth, while he was in the orphanage he showed no signs of abnormal behavior, he was just a sweet, lovable child who really wanted a mom and unfortunately was adopted by a very abusive woman. ABSOLUTELY, THIS WOMAN AND HER MOTHER DESERVE TO BE CHARGED WITH CHILD ABUSE, NEGLECT AND CHILD ENDANGERMENT, ANY NUMBER OF TERRIBLE THINGS COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO THAT LITTLE BOY WHILE IN FLIGHT BACK TO RUSSIA. I have been following this story and even the neighbors came forward and stated that they didn’t realize their was a child living in that home, he was never outside, etc.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS ADORABLE LITTLE BOY IS SERIOUSLY EFFECTING ALL THOSE LOVING, CARING, WONDERFUL PERSPECTIVE PARENTS WHO WOULD LOVE, CARE FOR, NURTURE A CHILD AND AS A RESULT OF THIS WOMANS ACTIONS, THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT HAS HALTED ALL ADOPTIONS.

ALSO, IN THE NEWS IN A CASE IN WHICH A FAMILY DID HAVE A CHILD WHO HAD PROBLEMS, RATHER THAN SEND THE CHILD BACK, THEY GOT HOLD OF AN AGENCY (AND THEIR ARE AGENCIES HERE IN THE UNITED STATES) WHO DO HANDLE THIS TYPE OF SITUATION, AS A RESULT THIS CHILD WAS PLACED WITH ANOTHER AMERICAN COUPLE, A LOVING, NURTURING COUPLE WHO WERE CAPABLE OF DEALING WITH THIS CHILDS SPECIAL NEEDS AND THIS LITTLE GIRL IS DOING WELL.

THEIR IS NO EXCUSE FOR THE PAIN, EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL THIS LITTLE BOY SUFFERED AND I DO HOPE THIS WOMAN IS NEVER ALLOWED NEAR CHILDREN, LET ALONE BE ABLE TO ADOPT AND I HOPE SHE IS CHARGED WITH NEGLECT, ABUSE AND CHILD ENDANGERMENT.

Patricia Assaanowicz April 13, 2010, 3:44 AM

I do not think we should judge so quickly, Russia and China have been known for lying about some of the adopted children they have sent here. Who knows what this poor child went through in the orphanage in Russia, they tryed and felt threatened, it is very sad that he is going back to the nightmare he came from, they sound like they really tryed there is always two sides of the story, God Bless this child.

Spikette April 13, 2010, 3:50 AM

I knew a couple that had adopted from Russia. The child was violent, nasty, abusive and it started at 2 years old. All the kid did was scream and throw things, hit the parents and other kids. Personally, they didn’t do enough to get him help or on meds…but I can understand wanting to send the child back. It just should be done in a proper manner.

Kathy D April 13, 2010, 3:53 AM

The US lies about what is all wrong with kids in foster care when people want to adopt them. Why would we expect other coutries to be any different. I would not judge you don’t know the what they have all been threw. People give back kids that have been adopted in our country check out some the the webistes sometimes say child needs to have contact with brothers or sisters in former adoptive come…..

Autumn April 13, 2010, 4:02 AM

There is no question that she handled it poorly. It’s not the best idea to just stick him on a plane, and send him back. That being said, I hesitate to judge her on her reasons to return him. I would remover him from my family in a heartbeat, if I felt he was a danger to them. I DO wonder if she attempted to get him psychiatric help while he was here.

Kathy D April 13, 2010, 4:02 AM

But agree there is a right way to give a child back and do not think they did it the right way….

Shauna April 13, 2010, 4:56 AM

The grandmother put the SEVEN YEAR OLD on a plane ALONE (strike ONE) Paid a TOTAL STRANGER to pick him up once in Russia (STRIKE TWO) all after SEVEN MONTHS in her daughter’s home (STRIKE THREE SHE’S OUT!) In seven months, she did not have him seen for his “issues” and gave up on him. If anybody needs to get their head examined, it’s the insane old woman that stuck a CHILD on a plane with a one way ticket. Could you imagine how she found the guy to pick him up at the air port? That gives me the creeps! I believe both women should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If you disagree, you should also get your head examined!

JustAThought April 13, 2010, 5:02 AM

Another BIG consideration: if the poor child really is a big danger and the adoptive partents weren’t told about it, and I imagine that probably was the case, this sends a message to other countries: Do not give us your most problematic children without full disclosure as a way to get them out of your system.

No one should have to be in fear of their house burning down while they sleep simply because they tried to do a good thing.

Fathertime April 13, 2010, 5:10 AM

Everyone thinks Torry is awfuk. She is one smart lady. When someone adoptes a kid they have NO idea what there getting. Its like buying a car unseen, undriven…
When Torray found out what a monster she adopted she was right shipping that animal back to Russia.
Good going Torrey…. I would of done the same..

Jo Ann B April 13, 2010, 5:16 AM

I do not think the mother or the father should be charged! However, I do not think they should be allowed to adopt either. There are no guarantees in life. I know this, because I gave birth to a disabled child. Adoption is simular. You do not always know what you are getting. However, you are responsible once that life arrives!!! Period. The adoptive mother and father should have been responsible and cared for that child. Period!
If the child was dangerous, they should have provided the child with treatment and care. What would have happened if they had given birth to a mentally disabled child????

Jen April 13, 2010, 5:17 AM

What this women did to her son was absolutely horrible! Yes, she did adopt him from Russia, but as soon as she signed the LEGAL papers he became HER child for life. To be treated just like a biological child. If he had been her bio child and displayed this kind of behavior…where would she return him then? NO WHERE…because she is 100% responsible for making sure that he has access to every available resource to help the family deal with these issues. This boy should have never been sent back to Russia, especially the way she handled it! I think that she has some mental issues of her own. How come she never tried to get him help? Worthless mothers like this disgust me so much!! She needs to be charged with child endangerment and neglect at the least!!



Kristi April 13, 2010, 5:24 AM

This child should NOT have been sent back to Russia, especially in the uncaring manner that he was. When a child is legally adopted into a family, the child has the same rights as a birth child. If this family would have given birth to this child, they would have had no choice but to seek professional help for their child. That is what they should have done with this little boy. We don’t RETURN children the way we return a shirt that doesn’t fit. As parents, we have to seek medical and professional help for these children when needed. I wonder how much the adoption agency is to blame for this. Why was this woman ever cleared to adopt? Didn’t the agency explain the risk of adopting a child from an orphange or foster care overseas. These children almost always have special needs and the adopting parents need to be fully aware of this and prepared for the challenges. I feel sick to my stocmach that this woman’s irresponsible, misguided actions may prevent other parents from completing their adoptions that are in progress. I think she should be charged with child endangerment, child neglect and child abuse.


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