Biological mother of dead Maksim wants her other son back from the US
The biological mother of Maksim and Kirill, whose parental
rights was suspended in 2011, now wants to raise her younger son
herself. Deprived of her rights because of her life style, then
21-year old Yulia Kuzmina had to give her older son Maksim to an
orphanage. Later her younger son Kirill was taken away from her for
the same reason. In September 2012 their adoption by a US couple
Now Yulia says staff from a local Department of guardianship
asked her to become a surrogate mother for a childless couple when
she was pregnant with Kirill.
“But then they just took him away from me,” Yulia said in
the interview to tabloid publication Lifenews.
“I did not know that my children were abroad,” Yulia told
the tabloid. “TV [news] reported that my son was killed in the
US, I was shocked. I cried – this is my fault too that he died. It
is because of me children were in adoptive family. I was young back
then, stupid. Now I grasped everything.”
Now 23-years old Yulia says she has a job and has no problems
“I ask people to help me return my Kirusha [diminutive for
Kirill] back home, restore my rights. I have changed, I cannot
allow that my second child dies. I missed boys and I don’t want to
believe Maksim is gone. This is too awful to be true,” Yulia
Yulia Kuzmina has addressed Russian children’s rights ombudsman
Pavel Astakhov, asking for help in the restoration of her
Astakhov promised on Tuesday to legally pave the way for
Kirill’s return, as authorities are now looking into repealing the
adoption and returning the little boy back to Russia.
“I believe that we have good cause to demand for Kirill’s
return to Russia. The child has grandparents in Russia and Russian
citizenship, so we have the right to insist on the return of a
Russian citizen,” Astakhov said at the
Social care officials insist there are sufficient legal grounds
to take the boy from his American adoptive parents, citing charges
of child abuse, among others.
According to the plaintiffs, the death of one of the siblings
meant that his living brother could be repatriated.
It is still unclear though if Yulia Kuzmina will be allowed to
raise her younger son Kirill, but authorities noted that many
Russians have empathized with the tragedy and there are at least 10
families willing to adopt Kirill.
Washington urges ‘not to jump to
Little Kirill, or Christopher Elvin as he was called in the US,
is now living with relatives of his adoptive father in Texas. After
the death of his older brother came to light, he was moved from the
house of Laura and Alan Shatto.
The Shattos adopted two Russian boys in November 2012, just
two-and-a-half months before the tragedy occurred. Three-year-old
Maksim, or Max Alan Shatto, died in Texas on the 21st of January.
Both Shattos are yet to be detained, with no official autopsy or
investigation results released. Suspicions of what role Maksim’s
adoptive parents may have played in his death arose after
unexplained bruising and injuries were found on his body.
Russian diplomats were only made aware of the incident in the
middle of February, having to source the information through their
own channels, rather than being notified by US authorities.
Russia’s adoption ombudsman Astakhov, was the first to report about
Maksim’s death, which in Russia became known almost a month after
In Moscow senior officials have slammed Washington for its
apparent reluctance to report the a death of another Russian child,
who has officially become the 20th child to die in adoptive care in
US Child Services are also investigating claims that the child
was severely abused, but thus far cannot verify anything, stated
Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) spokesman Patrick
Speaking on the tragedy in Texas, US State Department
spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declined to comment on when and how
Washington learned of the boy’s death. She called not to “jump
to a conclusion about the circumstances until police have had a
chance to investigate.”
The Russian Parliament’s upper house, the Federation Council,
has called on the US Congress to pinpoint all Russian children,
adopted in the United States between 2011 and 2012, and agree joint
moves to protect them.
The Russian Investigative Committee has filed 11 criminal cases
over the violations of rights of Russian children who have been
adopted in the United States.
Some in the Council suggested banning adoptions of Russian
children by parents from abroad, not only from the US.
However, Russia’s presidential press-secretary did not agree
with the proposal saying that Russia has no problems with other
“The ban is because Russian authorities are unable to control
the life and conditions of adopted children in the US. But there
are no such problems with other countries,” President Vladimir
Putin’s press-secretary Dmitry Peskov remarked.
There have also been calls to return all children adopted by
American families back to Russia.
Less than a month before the tragedy Putin signed off on the so-called ‘Dima Yakovlev Law’, which banned the US adoption of Russian children. The law was named after Dima Yakovlev, an 18-month old Russian boy who died after his adoptive American father left him locked inside a vehicle for an extended period of time on a hot summer’s day. As in case of Maksim Kuzmin, no official report of the death was released by the US State Department, notifying Russian authorities.
Child protection experts continue to add that adequate
monitoring of child adoptive services is impossible when adoptions
in the US are handled at state level. Niels Hoogeveen of the Pound
Pup Legacy in the Netherlands shares that belief. In an inverview
to RT he said that "the federal government has no control over
what happens in adoptions. No system in place that checks parents
better - before and during the adoption. There is screening, but
it's not properly done. And post-adoption monitoring doesn’t exist
in America because of the right to privacy."
Others, like Roelie Post of the Foundation Against Child Trafficking, also believe that the split between Federal and State laws in the US puts children under increased risk.