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Russian Boy Adopted by Americans Returns to Russia

Abnosov showing his American passport to journalists while sitting beside his grandmother in Cheboksary. Nikolay Alexandrov

A teenager adopted by an American couple at age 12 has returned to Russia alleging that his mother treated him badly, according to reports from Russian media with close ties to the Kremlin.

News reports said 18-year-old Alexander Abnosov returned from a Philadelphia suburb to his 72-year-old grandmother in the Volga River city of Cheboksary. In an interview with popular daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, Abnosov complained that his adoptive mother "yelled at me for every small thing."

The teenager said, however, that he was on good terms with his adoptive father, who he said gave him $500 toward the plane ticket back to Russia.

The Russian government in December passed a ban on all American adoptions of Russian children in retaliation for a new U.S. law targeting alleged Russian human rights violators. Its passage has been accompanied by a fierce campaign in state media dwelling on what they describe as numerous cases of parental cruelty to adopted Russian children in the United States. Some 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by Americans in the past two decades.

Abnosov's grandmother told Rossia television for a segment that aired Tuesday that she was refused custody of her grandson after the boy's mother died when he was 10.

"I've been asking them to give me the boy," she said, referring to child welfare officials. "But I was very ill then, and they told me I was too old and ill to raise him."

Abnosov said in the newspaper interview that he had left home for Philadelphia after an argument with his American parents, and that they turned him away when he eventually came back. It was not clear when the boy flew back to Russia.


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