Russian officials and the sheriff in Shelbyville, Tenn., have both raised questions about whether the 7-year-old boy sent back to Moscow by his adoptive mother and grandmother last week is really a United States citizen.
But they appear to be wrong. Tennessee adoption lawyers and national experts said Monday that the boy became an American the day he reached American soil last September and that, legally, he should be returned to the United States.
“This child is a U.S. citizen,” said Chuck Johnson, acting chief executive of the National Council for Adoption, which is working with the State Department to place the boy if he returns. “The parental rights are still in effect.”
A tug-of-war over the boy’s nationality has begun. As prosecutors in Tennessee consider whether the adoptive mother, Torry Ann Hansen, and her mother, Nancy Hansen, will be charged with abandonment or neglect — and as new details emerged about their interactions with social workers — the international dispute over what will happen to the boy they named Justin has intensified.
On Monday, Russian officials said the American government had no right to be involved because the boy they call Artyom Savelyev was not an American citizen.
Posted via LiveJournal.app.