In 2008 a New York couple believed they were adopting healthy siblings from Russia. It wasn’t long after they got their children home that they became aware that the two children not only were not siblings, but they had suffered abuse and neglect and were suffering from severe mental and psychological disorders. Their problems were so severe, in fact, that both children had threatened to kill the parents many times. After six years of working to help the children and keep the family intact, the parents have placed them in an institution and are asking for the adoption to be vacated. If this happens, the children will become wards of the state and will remain institutionalized or possibly become eligible for foster care.
With this situation being made public, several concerns are surfacing. Agencies misrepresenting the state of the children is dangerous for both the child and the parents. And while no one expects a “warranty” on children, it is expected that there will be full medical disclosure for the adoptive parents. There has been a series of negative news in regards to Russian adoptions in the last several years. 60,000 Russian children have come to America to adoptive families in the past 30 years, and 18 of them have died through violence in their adoptive homes. In addition, there has been media coverage regarding Russian children whose adoptions have been disrupted.
Although the courtroom will be open in the case of this New York couple and their children, the judge has asked the media to not reveal their identities.