The husband of a foster mother who lost custody of two children after undergoing breast reduction surgery has had his own guardianship request denied.
Social workers in Yekaterinburg removed Yulia Savinovskikh’s two foster sons last summer over suspicions that she was planning to change her sex after a mastectomy. They pointed to Savinovskikh’s social media posts about the life of a transgender person using a male pseudonym as one reason for removing the children.
Alexei Bushmakov, a lawyer with the legal rights NGO Agora, told the news website Mediazona on Monday that a local guardianship agency denied her husband’s custody request.
Yevgeny Sokov and Savinovskikh have been married since 2011 and were raising two children of their own in a clean and comfortable two-bedroom apartment, according to the agency's report cited by the news website.
Despite being healthy, educated and earning a high-level executive’s salary at a commercial firm, Sokov was reportedly deemed unable to provide a living wage to the children.
The recommendation also concludes that Sokov is not eligible to apply for guardianship because potential adoptive parents face “higher moral demands” to “avoid inflicting moral trauma on children.”
Human Rights Watch has urged the Russian government to return the boys — one with cerebral palsy and another with a serious condition that requires close supervision — to Sokov and Savinovskikh.