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Adoption Annulment Request Rejected by Pskov Court

A Pskov regional court turned down a petition by regional prosecutors and social services to annul the adoption of Kirill Kuzmin, a 2-year-old boy currently living in the custody of his U.S. adoptive parents in Texas whose brother, Maxim Kuzmin, died in early January.

Maxim Kuzmin's death sparked an outcry by Russian officials, many of whom suspected the boy's mother, Laura Shatto, of abuse. The Texas medical examiner later deemed the death an accident, with internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma.

The Pskov prosecutor's petition sought to annul the adoption of Kirill by Laura and Alan Shatto that was approved by the court last September, but the court ruled against the annulment, citing insufficiencies in the complainants' case.

"The documents presented by the Pskov regional prosecutor cannot be accepted by the court as a rectified petititon, since they do not confirm that there was cruel treatment of Maxim Kuzmin by Laura Shatto, and inactivity on the part of Alan Shatto, meaning they don't provide any basis for the action indicated in the prosecutor's petititon," Yulia Pron, a spokeswoman for the court, told Interfax on Thursday.

The complainants now have 15 days to file an appeal.

In February, the Pskov court deferred acceptance of the prosecutor's first petition due to "insufficiencies" in the statement and gave until March 25 to submit new evidence.

Kirill Kuzmin's biological mother, Yulia Kuzmina, appealed to social services in Pskov in early February to help her restore custody over Kirill, or Kristopher Elvin Shatto, as he's now known in the U.S.

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