Woman Returns Adopted Son to Russia
A Tennessee woman shocked the world when she put her adopted son on a plane back to his native Russia with just a note in his pocket. INSIDE EDITION reports.
The world is learning more about the woman who sparking worldwide outrage after she sent her 7-year-old adopted son back to Russia alone, with nothing but a note attached to him.
Torry Ann Hansen is a 33-year-old registered nurse. She is not married and she lives in a modular home in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Her house is right next door to her mother Nancy's -- the houses are connected by a white fence. Torry adopted 7-year-old Artyom Savelyev, who she renamed "Justin," after spending four days with him at a Russian orphanage in September 2009.
The backyard of the family compound looks like a child's fantasy world; there's a plenty of room to run around in, a large swing set, lots of toys, even a big trampoline. But life inside the house was far from fun and games for Hansen and her adopted son.
Authorities are investigating if Justin suffered from neglect or abuse during his time in America. Justin was never enrolled in school and Russian doctors say they found "some scars and some bodily injuries." In an interview with Russian TV, Justin says Hansen did not hit him but often pulled him by his hair.
Hansen says Justin was violent and dangerous and her mother Nancy says he hit, screamed, and spit at family members, and even threatened to kill them.
"He drew a picture of our house burning down and he'll tell anybody that he's going to burn our house down with us in it," Nancy told the Associated Press.
The Hansens are now coming under fire for the way little Justin was sent back to his native Russia. He was put on an airplane by himself for the 10-hour to Moscow. The family paid a man $200 to pick Justin up at the airport and drop him off at the Russian Education Ministry.
A letter was pinned inside the boy's pocket. Hansen wrote that Justin is "mentally unstable" and has "severe psychopathic issues. For the safety of my family, friends, and myself, I no longer want to parent this child...and want the adoption disannulled."
Russia has decided to freeze adoptions by U.S. citizens after Justin's treatment.
"I just can't believe that anybody, after seven months, would give up on a child," says Beth Harmon.
Beth and her husband Tom, who live near Hansen in Tennessee, are especially horrified by how Justin was treated.
"I can't understand how anyone would send a child, no matter how old, to get on a plane and say basically, 'Here, go back,' " says Tom Harmon.
They adopted their son, William, from Russia almost four years ago. The little boy is well adjusted and looks like an all-American kid playing baseball
They are devastated that other American families may not be able to fulfill their dreams after this adoption gone terribly wrong.
Last year 1,600 Russian children were adopted by American families. The government there is threatening to halt all adoptions. State Department officials are headed to Moscow to discuss the dispute.
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