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4 Mar, 2010 02:04

Another adopted Russian boy beaten to death in US

Seven-year-old Ivan Skorobogatov, adopted by an American family from Russia's Chelyabinsk region, was allegedly killed by his adoptive parents, TASS news agency reports.

Ivan was adopted in 2003 together with his twin sister Dasha (Elizabeth) by Michael J. Craver, 45, and Nanette L. Craver, 54, and moved to Carroll Township in Pennsylvania.

In the US he was given a new name, Nathaniel Michael Craver.

On August 20, 2009, his parents brought him unconscious into the local Holy Spirit Hospital. They said that a day before he had fallen from stairs and hit his head on an oven head. The condition of the boy left no other choice but to put him on life support.

Four days later, the family insisted that Nathaniel be taken off life support. One more day he struggled for life on his own, but died on August 25.

An autopsy revealed that the boy's death was caused by a number of traumatic brain injuries. He had over 80 external injuries, 20 of which were to the head.

An investigation was launched. The Cravers insisted the boy had had a predisposition to destructiveness and self-mutilation.

It took half a year to collect evidence, and now the Craver couple has been arrested. They are accused of first-degree murder.

Preliminary hearings are set for March 31.

Police say the twin sister of the murdered Nathaniel Michael Craver is safe and being cared for.

In response to his death a Russian senator has forwarded a proposal to introduce a temporary moratorium on American parents adopting Russian orphans, information agency RIA-Novosti reported.

Valentina Petrenko, the Head of the Parliament’s Committee on Social Policies, said that the situation should be discussed with the US Department of State, but for the time being, no Russian children should be adopted by American couples.

Petrenko stressed that the life of a child is priceless and the damage can never be undone even if the guilty parties are punished.

Adoption agencies, however, are worried that this issue could become a political football.

“Every child has a right to a family, so a potential moratorium on US adoption may be ''counterproductive',” Aleksandra Panasova, from Spanish adoption agency AAIM, told RT. “Fifteen cases of children dying abroad have been registered over the last 15 years, which is far less than the number of orphans dying in Russia.”

Meanwhile Russia’s Investigative Committee has launched its own criminal investigation into the boy’s death. The committee’s spokesman Vladimir Markin also pointed out that it was not the first time when a Russian child adopted by an American couple dies, referring to the scandalous case of Dmitry Yakovlev.

Due diligence on its way

The Investigative Committee of Russia's Prosecutor General Office has announced plans to examine the legality of the adoption of Nathaniel Craver (Ivan Skorobogatov) and his sister by an American family.

As RIA Novosti news agency reports, the procedures leading to adoption are going to be verified, specifically whether an accredited adoption agency was involved in the case or the adoption was performed independently.

It was also noted that American officials have not reported the incident to their Russian counterparts within the legally required period. Any information concerning tragic events involving adopted children, family change or improper performance of parental authority in respect to adopted children must be handed over to the Russian side within five days time.

The US State Department is working closely with the Pennsylvania officials investigating the case and has already arranged a meeting with Russian diplomats to discuss the issue more closely.

Ivan, who was 7 years old, became the 15th Russian child since 1996 to die in the US after being adopted.

Read also – Russian Child Killed in US: Warnings Ignored