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Russian boy’s death in Italy calls for psych tests for foreign adopters - MP

Russian boy’s death in Italy calls for psych tests for foreign adopters - MP
A senior MP has suggested all foreigners who want to adopt Russian children must be tested in Russia. The opinion was voiced after the death of a 5-year old boy in Italy, allegedly at the hand of his mentally ill adoptive father.

Deputy Head of the State Duma Committee for Women, Children and Family, Olga Batalina said a court can order additional checks on foreign citizens who want to adopt Russian children, but this only happens if officials discover some problems with the documents issued abroad.

In Russia, the final decision on adoption by a foreigner is taken by the top court of the region where the orphan lives.

But I think we can discuss the suggestion to make would-be adoptive parents undergo some of the tests in Russia from the very beginning. This can include the psychological tests and expert conclusions of certain medical specialists,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Batalina as saying on Monday.

The authorities could order all future adoptive parents to take part in special courses on parenthood in Russia. “Conversations with Russian teachers, psychologists, experts in children’s upbringing could give us a better understanding if these people are ready to take a Russian child into their families,” the lawmaker said.

A similar idea was suggested a short time ago by presidential plenipotentiary for children’s rights Pavel Astakhov.

Last week a 5-year old Russian boy was killed in Italy, allegedly by his 47-year old adoptive Italian father, who reportedly suffers from a mental condition. The man was detained and local police say he apparently had not taken his medication for several days before strangling the child with a pillow.

On Sunday legal authorities in Russia’s Far Eastern Amur region opened a criminal case against local officials concerning negligence in processing the adoption papers in 2012.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has written to the Italian Committee for International Adoptions demanding a fast and thorough probe into the details of the tragedy.