Sunday, August 29, 2010

Russian-born orphans abused by US foster parents

Russian-born orphans abused by US foster parents

Anatoli Kudryavtsev
Aug 29, 2010 19:24 Moscow Time

Pavel Astakhov. Photo: RIA Novosti
The Russian children’s rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has urged authorities in the United States to thoroughly investigate the latest instance of abuse of Russian-born adoptees by American foster parents.
Three teenage girls in the case were victims of beatings and sadistic torture at the hands of the Leszczynski couple, Larimer, Colorado. The man and wife, named Steve and Edelvina, are now facing criminal charges.
Astakhov accuses American social services of neglecting duty and failing to promptly detect the abuse.    

Indeed, the uncovered mistreatment goes quite some time back.     Four days before Christmas – the greatest of family occasions in good old America – one of the girls turned up for classes with a badly bruised face.
It turned out that her foster mother had hurled a heavy boot at her. A subsequent inquest also reported other abuse techniques, such as making the girls walk on their hands, stay outdoors in biting frost or pouring rain, run barefoot to 25 miles, punch one another in the face and do multiple push-ups on steel nails.
The arsenal also included threats to return the girls to their orphanages in Russia.In the community meantime, including in the Leszczynski’s church congregation, many describe the couple as God-fearing and law-abiding people, who might have been just a little bit too harsh in their child-rearing practice.
Harsh indeed, and not for the first time so with Russian-born orphans in the US. Many remember an incident last April, when an American woman simply shipped her 7-year-old adopted son Artyom Savelyev back to Russia. The boy arrived at a Moscow airport unattended, with a handwritten note of renunciation on him.All Russia-US adoptions are now on hold, pending a formal bilateral agreement on the matter.  

Good, but does that mean they have to give up the tax credits?  Probably not.

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