Russia Investigates U.S. Same-Sex Couple’s Adoption of Yegor Shetabalov

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The Russian Foreign Ministry is investigating the 2007 adoption of Yegor Shetabalov, now age 10, by a same-sex couple in America. Yegor was adopted by Ann Brandt of Texas who, Russian officials allege, deliberately concealed the fact that she was in a same-sex marriage with Beth Chapman at the time. Russian Family Code recognizes marriage as being between a man and a woman and considers Yegor’s same-sex adoption “unacceptable conditions harmful to his mental health.” It was referred to as an “immoral trick” by Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner on Human Rights Konstantin Dolgov.

Also this week a Russian mother made an appeal to President Putin to return her younger son, 2-year-old Kirill Kuzmin, to her after his 3-year-old brother Maxim was found dead last month. The boys were adopted from a Russian orphanage last year by Texas couple Alan and Laura Shatto. According to their adoptive mother she found Maxim unresponsive in the yard after he was playing outside with his brother. There were bruises on Maxim’s body, but the medical examiner had not determined if they were accidental or deliberate. Texas Child Protective Services are carrying out their own investigation and the Shatto’s have not been taken into custody.

Russian Children’s Rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov alleges Maxim, or Max Alan Shatto as he was called in America, died from physical abuse at the hands of his adoptive mother. He was first to report the death in Russia and claims that Maxim was beaten to death by his adoptive mother and before that he was fed psychotropic drugs. His birth mother Yulia Kuzmina, 23, says she fears for Kirill’s life. Kuzmina lost custody of the boys after being deemed unfit to raise the children due to her alcohol addiction.

Russian Parliament and Foreign Ministry urged the U.S. to publicly monitor adopted Russian children. After the State Duma in Moscow honored the little boy with a minute of silence on Tuesday, MPs demanded U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul’s report on the case of Maxim Kuzmin’s death. However McFaul is not bound to disclose any accounts to the Russian Parliament.

Developments are increasing the strain on U.S. and Russian relations. President Vladimir Putin passed a ban on American adoptions of Russian children January 1, after 20 years in which 60,000 Russian children were adopted by U.S. families.

Source: Voice of Russia