Support The Moscow Times!

Adoptive American Mother May Face Contempt Charge

SHELBYVILLE, Tennessee — An American woman who sent her 7-year-old adopted Russian son back to Moscow has been ordered by a judge to appear in court to face a possible motion for contempt.

Attorney Larry Crain — who represents the adoption agency and the boy, Artyom Savelyev — said the mother, Torry Hansen, has not appeared for three depositions.

A Tennessee judge ordered Hansen to appear on March 7, when it will be decided whether to hold her in contempt of court. He also will consider a motion for a default judgment against her.

The adoption agency, World Association for Children and Parents, is suing Hansen for breach of contract and for child support for the boy. Artyom now lives in Russia, but Crain says he still is an American citizen and that Hansen still is legally his mother under U.S. law, although the adoption was revoked in Russia.

Hansen has moved to California, although her exact whereabouts are unknown, Crain said.

She has refused to talk to investigators since April 2010 when she sent the boy, then known as Justin Hansen, alone on a plane to Moscow with a note saying he had psychological problems. No criminal charges were ever filed.

The case drew international attention with Russian officials threatening to suspend adoptions to the United States, though negotiators have been conducting talks since on reaching a new adoption accord.

The child has been living for the past few months at SOS Village in Tomilino outside Moscow, according to SOS Village Director Anatoly Vasilyev.

Vasilyev said Artyom "tries to forget about his life in the States," and that's the reason why the orphanage does not allow media to see him. He added that the child gets along well with other children, has almost forgotten English and doesn't seem to want to speak it.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more