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Russian boy in U.S. adoption case back in orphanage, attorney says

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: August 12 U.S. hearing in case postponed
  • A boy adopted by a Tennessee family is back in a Russian orphanage
  • He was sent back to Moscow alone in April
  • A U.S. court hearing on guardianship is scheduled in the case next month

(CNN) -- A Russian boy who was sent back to Moscow, Russia, by his adoptive mother in the United States has been returned to an orphanage, an attorney of the World Association for Children and Parents said Friday.

Larry Crain said the National Council for Adoption will be traveling to Russia next week to meet with adoption authorities there. The delegation will evaluate the child, 8-year-old Artyem Saveliev, and provide information to a U.S. circuit court in Tennessee.

World Association for Children and Parents had coordinated the adoption.

In April, Artyem, then 7, was put on a trans-Atlantic flight from the United States to Moscow. He had been adopted by an American family in Tennessee, which arranged for a Russian driver to deliver the boy from the Moscow airport to the Russian Ministry of Education.

Artyem carried with him a letter signed by his adoptive mother, Torry Hansen of Shelbyville, Tennessee. In it, she said the boy was "mentally unstable" with violent tendencies, and that she had been misled about his mental condition.

"I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends and myself, I no longer wish to parent this child," the letter read. "As he is a Russian national, I am returning him to your guardianship and would like the adoption (annulled)."

Artyem is a U.S. citizen by virtue of an international adoption treaty, Crain said. Hansen's parental rights have not been severed, and she still is legally responsible for the boy.

Crain said that a local teacher has petitioned to serve as Artyem's guardian, meaning she would serve as a representative for him in court.

Video: Adopted Russian boy sent packing
  • Adoption
  • Russia

According to the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, the court will rule on whether a petition filed by the adoption agency to be appointed as a temporary guardian for Artyem will be moved to juvenile court. A motion by the agency last week asks the court to transfer the matter to juvenile court "for all further proceedings herein," the newspaper reported.

An August 12 hearing in the case had been scheduled, but has been postponed.

The case sparked an international uproar and led to a series of meetings between U.S. and Russian negotiators over a proposed agreement on international adoptions between their two countries.

The proposed agreement calls for a reduction in the number of U.S. adoption agencies accredited to operate in Russia,

Moscow's children's rights commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, has said. "Independent adoptions" will be abolished, and there will be a new Russian-American agency that will inspect any U.S. family adopting a Russian child, he said.

A senior State Department official has indicated that a possible provision of the new agreement would allow earlier and more frequent sharing of information both before and after adoptions. He said some American couples don't see details of a child's medical and psychological condition until a court appearance for final adoption approval.

CNN's Janet DiGiacomo contributed to this report.