Skip to main content

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

By Phil Black, CNN
updated 9:33 AM EST, Thu February 21, 2013
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
updated 2:18 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 11:54 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would undoubtedly be "complicated." Can the U.S. Secretary of State's visit change that?
updated 10:38 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
The death of an American from Ebola fuels fears of the further global spread of the virus.
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
updated 7:08 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Nearly two weeks after MH17 was blown out of the sky, Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage. How useful will it be now?
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Moscow -- but will they have any effect?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT