Skip to main content

After Texas boy's death, Russian official continues call for ban on adoptions

By Phil Black, CNN
February 21, 2013 -- Updated 1433 GMT (2233 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Russian child advocate speaks at news conference
  • Astakhov's statement echoes others who have blasted the U.S. recently
  • The advocate also asked for the boy's brother to be returned

(CNN) -- A Russian government child advocate said Wednesday he may have spoken too soon when he said a 3-year-old adopted boy who died in Texas was "killed" or "murdered."

At a press conference Wednesday, Children's Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov said he tweeted those words based on the initial reports he received about the death. With the investigation still going, he's now simply saying the boy "died."

Still he said, he wants his country to ban all international adoptions of Russian children.

Astakhov's statement echoes others who have blasted the United States recently, and it continues an ongoing adoption battle between the once-Cold War foes.

Russians meet with adoptive parents of dead boy

Russia PM: Adoption crisis 'complex'
Russian adoption ban hits U.S. families

The 3-year-old's death has also thrown into jeopardy America's efforts to push through more than 500 adoption cases in which American families had already begun the process before Moscow in December passed a law banning adoptions by U.S. citizens, the State Department has said.

That pending law would ban adoptions by Americans ostensibly because of documented cases of abuse by adoptive parents. But critics say the Russian move is in retaliation for a U.S. law that places restrictions on Russian human rights abusers.

The boy was born on January 9, 2010, and died on January 21, 2013, Russian officials have said. They have also implied that the boy may have been beaten.

Authorities in Texas have not released such details but have called the death "suspicious." They have also offered some specifics.

Russia decries death of adopted boy in Texas

The child was found unresponsive at his residence and his mother called 911, Ector County Forensic Death Investigator Sondra Woolf said. He was pronounced dead by an emergency room doctor, she said.

Autopsy reports are still pending.

While softening his language about the boy's death, Astakhov made more demands at the news conference Wednesday.

The child advocate asked that the boy's younger brother, who was adopted by the same Texas family, be returned to Russia.

Moscow: Americans can adopt Russian kids until 2014

CNN's Zarifmo Aslamshoyeva and Chandler Friedman contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 2001 GMT (0401 HKT)
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
Do the Chinese really like to mix their Bordeaux with Coca-Cola?
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0938 GMT (1738 HKT)
Al Qaeda's new Syrian branch, Khorasan, is seeking new ways to attack America and Europe, with a top U.S. intelligence official saying it has "aspirations for attacks on the homeland."
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 0655 GMT (1455 HKT)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Liverpool and Ludogorets Razgrad at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool on September 16, 2014.
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
September 21, 2014 -- Updated 2344 GMT (0744 HKT)
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1549 GMT (2349 HKT)
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT