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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
Andrea Myette April 13, 2010, 5:30 AM

I dont think they should be charged, but i dont think they should be allowed to be adoptive parents or foster parents at that. If they couldn’t handle a child who had some problems, what would they do if they had a biological child with problems? give him up? The child will obviously have some problems after this? his biological parents gave him up and now another set? I feel for the child, he obviously needs parents that wont give up on him, some he can learn to trust.

GP April 13, 2010, 5:31 AM

SO, how do we return a birth child when you got a problem with him? That’s exactly the same thing! They were not ready to have a child!!!

Come one, kids are shoes that you try on at home and return at the store latter!!

sherron teal April 13, 2010, 5:35 AM

If this were my child I would have taken him to have his Cognitive ability checked first of all. Then if he was extremely ill I would have gotten him help. However This woman adopted this child and she should not have to live in fear of him, if she was truly fearful then she had no choice in the matter. The Russians and the Chinese lie all the time about these children because they don’t want the expense of taking care of them, period.

Fathertime April 13, 2010, 5:49 AM

When one adopts a kid they have no idea what there getting. Its like buying a use car unseen undriven. A great mistake.
This mom got a monster and did the right thing shipping him back to Russia. I know two people who adopted kids and wish they didn’t. The way she did the return was right. She didn’t let anyone have the chance to stop the return. She just dump the kid in their lap…
Good going mom I would of done the same.

Mimi April 13, 2010, 5:59 AM

I just finished reading a book about a family who had adopted from Thailand and LEGALLY gave up the child after 5 yrs and numerous testing.

I believe that it is ok for parents to relinquish their child if it’s proven that there are mental issues that were known about and were falsified in documents.

The family that I read about didn’t know that their daughter was going to have so many dangerous issues. This could happen anywhere. It’s dependent on the adoption agency, I believe, to give all the truthful facts they have about the child. Doesn’t matter what country you adopt from, someone can lie.

Eileen April 13, 2010, 6:01 AM

What if he was her birth child??? I am glad she sent him back as she obviously didn’t treat him as such. The child was ripped from his country and the home he was in, whether it be an orphanage or foster home, forced into another culture with people he does not know. Did they seriously expect things to go well? As some of you have said, we have plenty of kids here. I am the mother of an adopted child that was previously a foster child and like a child by birth, you have no idea what the child will be like. I think this is completely wrong. Whatever the people are going to do with him back in Russia could easily be done here. Sending a 7 year old on a plane by himself to another country? Gee, and people wonder why he has issues. She definitely should be held responsible as if this was her child by birth!

QueenA April 13, 2010, 6:07 AM

I agree with some of the posters that the parents could have adopted here before adopting outside of the U.S. Alot of other countries have orphanges full of children who are abused, have mental health disorders, deformed, etc. So I would NOT be suprised if he did torture this family. Shoot, there are some children here that torture their family. There’s been an influx of stories about kids shooting their parents dead…We just have to pray that this little boy gets some real help and TLC. We don’t want to nurture a psychotic person out of this situation.

Kim April 13, 2010, 6:24 AM

Does anyone care what this child has been through?! He’s 7 and sent on a plane by himself!Who know how he was treated or went through to be in the orphanage.Doing what she did will certainly scar him for life and make him think he’s unloveable Even if he has mental issues or not.She also should have seeked help.Yes,she should be chaged!(for neglect)

Michelle Small April 13, 2010, 6:32 AM

I believe if you are going to adopt a child then you need to be prepared to be a parent no matter what. At 7 years old, He probably was/is very frightened to have his whole world changed by moving to a diff. country and living with complete strangers, new language, etc…. What did he go through before he arrived in the U.S. A “real” mother does not get rid of her child because they frighten them. A “real” mom would have done everything in her power to find the root of the problem and get help for him. Did that child feel welcome and at home with this woman? Did he feel Unconditional love from this family who adopted him?
Without knowing the whole situation it is hard to say if she should be punished.
BUT, I think she had her chance at being a parent and failed miserably. And because of this I don’t think that she should be allowed to adopt. As parents we don’t get to “pick” our children. If that child would have been found to be terminally ill would she have given him back.

anonymous April 13, 2010, 6:43 AM

If this mother did not do what she did and something happened in her home that this child did. ie. killed a member of her family, set the house on fire, etc. she would be bashed about not doing something about a child she knew was unstable and violent. So she’s in a damned if you do damned if you don’t position. She felt she had to take action so she did. Since when can the Russians be trusted about anything? We can’t even trust our own government.She shouldn’t be charged with anything though she shouldn’t be able to adopt either. People adopt outside our own country because it’s if you can believe it easier than to adopt our own. Be sick all you want if she hadn’t taken action then we’d probably be reading about her death.Not a good place to be either way.

yalisa April 13, 2010, 6:44 AM

I don’t have enough information to say wether they should be charged with a crime or to say if she was wrong or right. If she is an abusive woman like some people are saying, then isn’t it better that she got him out of her home, so she’s no longer mistreating him? People don’t usually go out of the country to adopt a child that age, they usually do it to get babies. That raises some kind of flag to me. This is also the reason why so many people are afraid to adopt older children. I don’t think she was neglectful in sending him alone because when they are underage, someone is assigned to them for the entire flight. Bottom line is this, they obviously weren’t equipped to care for him. Yes they could have done other things but they didn’t care enough about him to try or they truely thought he was a danger to everyone and didn’t want to be responsible for him even bringing harm to someone else here in the US.This child was obviously abused, whether it was back in Russia or by this family. This child needs help.

karolalyce April 13, 2010, 6:46 AM

I am so sorry for this child who probably just needed some consuling and love. I know this action will affect his life in a negative way and hope he gets the help, love and attention he needs. As for the adoptive parent and grandparent shame on you if this child had been birthd by you how would you send it back and to hire a stranger to come get him was just insane what if the person had been a pedophile or child murderer?

Tera April 13, 2010, 6:54 AM

Ok I think everyone is not getting it! Even kids in the US can have these same characteristics, don’t blame things on “because the child is from another country” that is just being close minded. I think when you decide to be a mother, there shouldn’t be a return policy for crying out loud. Get him and the family some help. How is this going to affect the rest of his life. He already feels unwanted by his birth mother, now it is two fold! Wow, what is wrong with people?!!!!

Dan April 13, 2010, 7:00 AM

To all who compare adoptive children to biological ones. STOP. There is absolutely NO comparison. My children have been receiving my(our) emotional input FOR LIFE. We have NO idea what input this kid received pre-adoption. Point 2: My kids are the result of OUR genetics, we have no idea what genetics are behind this child. Those points being said, yes the adoptive parents ARE responsible for the child, and should take both these points into consideration BEFORE adoption. We all acknowledge that government and agencies will lie to us, more so with foreign ones, again, that should have been considered in advance. As to the returning of the child, this too should be allowed; however, the METHOD used here it TOTALLY unacceptable. I agree with the child endangerment allegations; there are right and wrong ways to handle bad situations. This was a bad way. Personally, I believe that EVERYBODY involved did things improperly. And, yes, I feel that the adoptive mother should be charged, because of HOW she returned the child, not the fact that she did.

Emily April 13, 2010, 7:02 AM

I find it hideous that people are referring to this child as a monster, etc. Did any of you grow up in an orphanage in Russia?! Granted, he was not a golden child, she should have had him in counseling and been trying to help him deal with his past. If things weren’t working out, she should have surrendered him to the state for another adoption rather than endangering his life. He is a child. People aren’t remembering this. Anything he has going on emotionally, psychiatrically… it stems from somewhere. He needs help and the people who were supposed to help him just caused further damage. She should not get away with this. It send the message to others if you don’t like a kid you adopt, just stick them on a plane and wash your hands of them. Abuse and neglect and child endangerment. Less of a punishment than she inflicted on this child. My family growing up did foster care and adopted SIX children. They weren’t perfect, but we did everything we could to give them the lives they deserved. Children are born innocent and ruined by adults… like Torry.

Dawn April 13, 2010, 7:04 AM

I understand her wanting to bring the child back… However, she never should have put him on the plane alone, someone should have ridden back with him. Even if he is a terrible child he needs some one there with him on such a long trip. I agree with the return of the child but not the method she chose.

:-) April 13, 2010, 7:49 AM

If any of my family members were in danger I would also do the same thing.

MJ April 13, 2010, 8:08 AM

MY QUESTION IS- DID SHE EVER SEEK HELP FROM ANY DOCTORS? IF SHE DID WHERE’S THE PROOF? IF NOT SHE SHOULD GO TO JAIL BECAUSE SHE WAS WRONG!! MY OLDEST SON IS 14 NOW BUT WHEN HE WAS 4 HE WAS DIAGNOSED ADHD WITH ANGER ISSUES. HE WOULD ATTACK PEOPLE AND THREATEN TO DO STUFF (KILL HIMSELF AND EVERYONE ELSE). AFTER A COUPLE OF YEARS OF FINDING THE RIGHT MEDS AND COUNSLING, MY SON CALMED DOWN AND CHANGED ALOT. HE’S NOT IN A DAZE FROM BEING OVERLY MEDICATED, HE ACTS JUST LIKE (SOMETIMES EVEN BETTER) THAN A TYPICAL TEENAGE BOY. DURING THOSE 2 YEARS THOUGH, THERE WERE TIMES I WANTED TO GIVE HIM AWAY. I’M VERY HAPPY NOW THAT I STUCK WITH HIM.
SHE WAS WRONG TO SEND HIM AWAY SO SOON WITHOUT TRYING TO GET HIM THE HELP HE NEEDED. THE POOR BOY HAD TO BE SCARED, LIVING IN A DIFFRENT COUNTRY, NOT KNOWING WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO HIM, AND THERE WAS PROBABLY A LANGUAGE BARRIER. YOU CAN NOT TELL ME THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE SCARED IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY WHERE YOU COULD NOT SPEAK MUCH OF THE LANGUAGE, AT AGE 7!!! I KNOW I WOULD ACT OUT!!!!!! ALOT!!!

Jan April 13, 2010, 8:13 AM

We will learn more about this situation as it is investigated by officials. I don’t believe there is much/any support given to families tht adopt Russian or Eastern European children, many of whom haev serious problems. I do wish she had reached out to someone before abandoning him. This really will hurt his development!

Mom April 13, 2010, 8:21 AM

I wonder how well he spoke English? Maybe he drew a house burning down because he was unable to express his anger and depression. You counsel a child like that, not compound his misery by “returning” him. Didn’t she know that many kids from Russia have fetal alcohol syndrome or other undaignosed psychological problems? My heart goes out to this misunderstood child. She set him far, far back on his road to wellness!


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