Saturday, April 10, 2010

UPDATES: Atryem/Artyom Savilliev and his Abandoner Torry Hansen

The agency responsible for placing this child into the hands of this ill-prepared single mother has been identified as WACAP. Their statement appears here.


WACAP has placed approximately 1,000 children from Russia since 1995. To ensure the safety of each adopted child and a positive adjustment for their adoptive family, WACAP offers all of its families ongoing support and classes to help them with the transition of bringing a new child into their home.

On April 9, 2010 we were saddened to learn that a child adopted from Russia traveled to Moscow without his parent. We were alerted to this situation by our branch office in Moscow, Russia and are shocked and saddened by this turn of events. Upon learning this news, WACAP immediately notified all of the proper authorities. In rare cases of an adoption dissolution (1%), WACAP has always supported and worked closely with adopted parents to assist the child in moving into a new adoptive family.

Due to laws of confidentiality pertaining to adoption cases, we cannot provide any additional details at this time.

Why did Torry Hansen not tell them she was having problems? Why had she reportedly "consulted" with a psychologist but did not take Artyom to any?

These are just two of many unanswered questions. Etta's blog asks several more compelling questions this case raises:

What was Ms. Hansen's motivation to adopt?

What education and training did she receive?

What were the qualifications of the home study worker? How many home study visits and meetings occurred? What questions were asked and issues explored? Were any difficulties identified?

What did Ms. Hansen understand about the inherent risks of adopting an older child? Did she understand the challenges of being a single adoptive mother?

What was her understanding of the losses that a child of Artyom's age experiences when leaving his country of birth and everything familiar to him? What did her placement agency and home study provider teach her about the expected adjustment difficulties a child would experience and what she could do to mitigate them?

What information did Ms. Hansen receive about Artyom? Was the information honest and complete? Was there a history of abuse? Did she have ample time to consider the referral? Did she have the opportunity to seek consultation with medical and mental health professionals about the referral?

Did Ms. Hansen have plans for support and for seeking assistance, if needed, after placement?

Did she understand cultural identity? Did she understand the ramifications of changing Artyom's name? Were translators available during Artyom's first months in the US? What opportunities did he have to be with Russian speakers and role models?

What was the nature of the post-adoption visit in January? What questions were asked? What supports were offered? Did Ms. Hansen have an opportunity to discuss concerns and ask questions? Did the worker meet with Artyom alone? Was there any indication during that visit that things were not going well?

What were the first signs of difficulties? When did they occur? To whom, if anyone, did Ms. Hansen reach out for assistance? What did she do to try to avoid dissolution of the adoption?

And the most important questions:

WHEN will we as a nation stop commodifying children by allowing their transfer to be handled by those more interested in collecting a fee than in the best interest of any child?

WHEN will all transnational adoptions be stopped and countries focus their resourses on caring for their pone children and families in crisis?


Lena said...


Many children are physically and emotionally abused and malnourished in Russian orphanages. Many of them are seriously sick (not to mention various types of disabilities), but do not receive an essential medical care and end up dieing. The conditions in Russian orphanages are outrageous! In addition, child prostitution flourishes in Russia and other parts of the former USSR. Russian authorities do not provide care or support for the hundreds of thousands of their own disadvantaged children who are in need. Therefore, they must be grateful when Americans and other generous and caring people adopt their neglected children. In fact, medical records are usually forged, so potential parents do not know the truth. Everything is so corrupt in Russia that in many cases children are simply sold i.e. there are numerous significant "fees" at different levels of the process...The adoptive parents should know one important thing - these children have gone through a lot! I have seen some of the adopted children and it was hard to imagine that they came from their native country - one of the most powerful countries in the world and not from a Nazi concentration camp! Some American parents want to maintain their Russian language. Many of these children are horrified if someone speaks Russian to them (I have been asked a few times to do this, but it was always a bad idea) because Russian is associated with unimaginable trauma they had suffered. I do not know enough details to judge the Tennessee woman, however I do know enough to judge hypocritical Russian authorities who want to freeze all American adoptions. Shame on them and their corrupt system!

Mirah Riben said...

May I ask who you are and the source of your information?

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget