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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 shereturned 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 13, 2010, 8:28 AM

Children are not like cats and dogs you just can’t give them back because you feel that you can’t handle them. It doesn’t matter if the child came from another country…you don’t give children back!!!!! Now you want to adopt again No Way!!! This woman need parenting classes and the True Love of Christ before she is allowed if ever to adopt aagain.

Alyson April 13, 2010, 8:30 AM

I do not think this family should be charged with a crime. I believe that they had wonderful intentions when they adopted this child. I feel that they were not made aware of his psychological issues before the adoption went through. I don’t know what I would’ve done in that situation, but I know I wouldn’t have lived in constant, real fear on a day to day basis. Adoptions are a scary and real risk. You do not know what you are getting.

Jeff Prager April 13, 2010, 8:33 AM

I AM Adopted.


If one chooses to adopt there are no guarantees that the child one adopts will be perfectly packaged inside of neatly wrapped skin.


If one chooses to adopt for the right reasons, this is an intellectual known.


However, if one is adopting a child for personal fulfillment rather then to foster a loving relationship with a human being in desperate need of love, understanding, commitment and acceptance them one has no right to adopt or to even parent a child.


This woman sickens me.

Alice April 13, 2010, 8:38 AM

When you become a mother by adopting or giving birth yourself, you are promising to care and love your child. You don’t give up on your kids!!

gena April 13, 2010, 8:50 AM

Why aren’t adoptive parents adopting from wihtin your states. the states have plenty of children for adoption here at home. save your own kids here!!

Mom April 13, 2010, 8:53 AM

They fact that they are adopting out of the country when there are children in the US tells me that something is wrong with that family. Were they trying to do something nasty to the boy when he threatened to burn the house down?

Lorraine April 13, 2010, 8:54 AM

I always thought that when you adopt a child it is your child. Question is, if he was her birth child, would she have given up so easily or would she had gotten medical help? To bad she gave up so easy. Maybe with a little time and attention the child could have changed. Who knows what he went through before becoming HER son.

Mary April 13, 2010, 8:57 AM

I find that there are two many questions to be answered before any judgement can be made. First of all, information came out that the adoptive mother requested to adopt another child from the same Russian agency that offered her the boy for adoption. She was turned down stating that it was best for the boy to become familar with his new life before bringing in another child. The same mother then notified another Russian Agency that accepted her offer.
The question now is was the adoptive mother disappointed in the boy and wanted another child and when turned down by the first agency she decided to adopt a child from the second agency and sent the boy back.
Then comes the statement from Russia stating that when the boy was questioned he stated that his new mom was mean to him and used to pull his hair. However nothing was mentioned about the boy having violent behavior.
Furthermore the adoptive mother was wrong when she chose to send the child back to Russia by plane. I am hoping that she did not make that choice because she had a chance to adopt another child, perhaps more to her liking, from another Russian agency. If that be the true answer would the second child be shipped back to if he or she did not please the adoptive parent. Children are not puppies where as you can return if they are not to your liking.

LC Hollie April 13, 2010, 9:18 AM

I think she did the right thing. No she should not be charged with any crime. I think it is not right for the news to be doing interviews in front of her house. If anyone does anything to her home, she should sue every station that showed her home on the news. Why should we pick up the cost for a foreign child when we are already having our own problems with children in this country. I feel that people should adopt kids from the country they live in instead of going to other countries. We have so many children in the US that need to be adopted. We are so busy cleaning up the yards or problems of other countries and neglect the yards/problems in our country.

Kristel April 13, 2010, 9:33 AM

adoptive mother could’ve sent the boy to therapy, emergency in-patient behavioral hospital, or another way of returning him such as going with him to russia or have someone go with him to russia. but before adoption, this mother should’ve asked more questions. most kids from orphanages and foster care system have behavioral issues and prospective adopted parents SHOULD be prepared for this. this mom was not. adoptive parents should help this child no matter what because that should be their reason of adopting a parentless child. this boy could’ve experienced a major trauma which is why he is acting aggressively. when there is loss - there is aggression. the separation that this boy experienced is no doubt traumatic and the adoptive mother just got scared too easily when she should’ve asked for professional help.

it takes a community to raise a kid. she didn’t have to deal with this alone.

Kelley April 13, 2010, 9:56 AM

Hell yes… this makes me furious.

Manuela April 13, 2010, 9:57 AM

What this family did is horrific. To send anyone, especially a young child, on a plane to what amounts to no where is morally and ethically reprehensible. The same legal system that was used to officially adopt the child should have been used to remove the boy from their custody. If there are any other children in the home, child protective services should have already removed them pending mental evaluations for the adults involved. They were not returning a defective product to a retailer for a credit. They were dumping a child - pure and simple. And they claim the child had mental issues. Sick adults - regardless of any “claimed” behavior of the child.

Sharon April 13, 2010, 10:07 AM

Shauna you nailed it in my book, the stranger to pick him up gives me a feeling I can’t describe each time I think about it. Also MJ! AMEN
And Dan, with your BEFORE adopting!!!
I would think you would find out as much as you could, I know people who have gone through years of paperwork and visits, etc to go through reputable agencies (yeah religious ones) where they were informed of the children’s backgrounds. I don’t know if she was aware, but I’ve read this boy was taken away (or became a ward of the state/ up for adoption) at age 6, his mother was an unfit alcoholic, so at 7 he was already adopted out to another country. I don’t know really well about the people I’ve known, some have tried to learn some of the child’s native language the best they could in advance. Some have partner agencies in the US where they provide interpreters, etc. Most likely counseling. Especially if I was going to adopt an older child from another country I would set that up in advance if it wasn’t provided/ available. That just seems obvious. Also this woman is a nurse and should have basic knowledge of some of the lasting effects of abuse, etc.
READ THIS:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/13/us/13hansen.html

Anonymous April 13, 2010, 10:23 AM

You don’t have to adopt from other countries to have these behaviors from a child. I have adopted five times through the State and I have these same issues with my 13 year old and have had since I got him at almost 7. These children are extremely volatile, resourceful, scary, they have Reactive Attachment Disorder and have no guilt. They will hurt small children, adults, animals, destroy your home, rage, and then meet someone new and act like the perfect angel. If you have never lived and loved a child such as this, you have no idea of what this woman lived through, and you have no right to make a moral judgement.
FROM ONE WHO KNOWS!!!

SMore April 13, 2010, 10:49 AM

I am an adoptive mother of a child born with a heart defect. THe thought of returning him NEVER EVER crossed my mind. He was going to be my son and my husband and I have LOVED him since well before he was born. We would have done anything for him and did…open heart surgery followed very shortly. I had people ask me why I went ahead and adopted him knowing he would need help - Duh… He’s My Son! So for anyone with a ‘mothers’ heart to turn her back on a child is horrendous to me. For the neglect and irresponsibleness and dangerous way she sent him back, yes file charges.

pamela calderone April 13, 2010, 10:54 AM

I agree with the mother but may have handled things differently. He may have been a troubled child to begin with. Some people have enough sense to realize they shouldn’t be a mother with a child they can’t handle. The child is probably better off with out her.The child did fly with a companion and not alone and probably wasn’tpicked up by just anyone.

angelina diantonio April 13, 2010, 11:20 AM

This poor child does not have a chance. He was thrown away by his parents , his country and now his adoptive parents. What is wrong with this society. A little love goes a long way. My heart breaks for this boy. Shame on that family. Because of families like this it is hard to adopt !

angelina diantonio April 13, 2010, 11:21 AM

He is a scared little boy who has never been loved !

Nina April 13, 2010, 11:24 AM

SHE SHOULD BE CHARGED. To all of you thinking that you would’ve done the same thing and that this “mother” shouldn’t be charged and that she did everything she could’ve, this is from the NEW YORK TIMES:

“New details about the boy’s arrival in Russia suggest that the Hansens completed his travel plans at the last second. Nancy Hansen located an English-speaking guide over the Internet to pick up the boy at the airport and take him to the Education and Science Ministry. But the guide, Artur Lukyanov, told Russian television he had learned only at the last moment that he was supposed to pick up the boy, not Ms. Hansen herself.

The family apparently came to its decision about what to do with the boy without seeking the help of the United Way of Bedford County, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and a social service agency in Shelbyville. All said the Hansens had not contacted them.

And the agency that conducted home visits before and after Justin’s adoption, Adoption Assistance, in Smyrna, Tenn., released a statement Monday saying the Hansens had not told its social worker about the severity of their concerns. In January, the statement said, a social worker found that “the child appeared to be adjusting to his new home and family and his mother was enthusiastic about his accomplishments.”

Nancy Hansen has said the boy became a problem later. Adoption Assistance said, “If this mother would have contacted us when the adjustment problems began, we would have worked with her on the issues or arranged alternative placement.””

Shaaron April 13, 2010, 11:36 AM

I thought a child that young could not travel alone (rules of the airlines)? Seems to me there might be many at fault for this situation. And I am sure we don’t know the whole, true story about his adoption. Doesn’t she also have a girl that she kept after having some counceling? Or is that another woman? Aren’t their laws that protect such children? And wouldn’t our Child Protection Services have gotten involved? Just wonderding about all this.


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