An adoption involving a woman in the U.S. and a child from Russia ended in scandal, when the adoptive mother sent the 7-year-old boy back to Russia by himself. The woman decided that the adoption wouldn’t work, reportedly because she thought the boy had emotional problems. Her change of heart and how she sent the boy away became grounds for a precedent-setting child support lawsuit.
The adoptive mother, who lived in Tennessee at the time of the adoption, put her adopted son on a plane to Moscow with a note pinned to his shirt stating that the boy was violent and that she no longer wanted him. Outraged, the adoption agency took the adoptive mother to court and sued for child support.
A few weeks ago, the judge finally ruled in favor of the agency after continuous requests for a deposition were ignored by the former adoptive mother. The mother moved since the 2010 adoption and ignored requests from the court to appear regarding the matter. She now faces a hearing to determine just how much child support she will have to pay the boy, who is living in an orphanage in Moscow.
According to the adoptive mother, she believed that she had basically canceled the adoption when she sent the boy back to Russia. Ultimately, the ruling against her shows that despite her declaration that the adoption was “canceled,” she is still financially responsible for the boy like any other parent might be. Aside from that, it goes to show that ignoring requests from the court is never the way to go and can result in long-lasting, substantial consequences. While the court hasn’t yet ruled how much the woman will have to pay per month, she will be required to support the child until he turns 18.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, “Tenn. mom who sent Russian boy must pay support,” Kristin M. Hall, March, 7, 2012