More than a dozen Russian children have died in the hands of their American adopters.
"We have to be sure that our children which we send to the United States of America will be in a safety conditions in the new family," he said.
U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle said he also wants to investigate Artyem's case.
Several Russian families have come forward to adopt the boy, now Astokhov's preference. Beyrle said that might be acceptable, but Artyem is still torn between two countries.
"As soon as he sets foot on American soil having been legally adopted, he becomes an American citizen. So he now in Russia, maintains that American citizenship," he said. "We have responsibilities and we have some rights. But we have no doubt that he's being well cared for right now.
"Our main concern is making sure that Justin Artyem is in safe hands," he said, "and has a chance to put all this behind him and get on with a normal life."
A delegation from the United States is expected to arrive in Russia to begin discussing international adoptions and Artyem's case.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called the boy's abrupt return "a monstrous deed."
The Russian president told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview last week that he had a "special concern" about the recent treatment of Russian children adopted by Americans.
Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute in New York City, said, "On every level, putting a little kid on a plane and shipping them somewhere is horrific behavior. If you have a problem, you deal with the problem. It is certainly the equivalent of abandoning your child."
While he understand's the knee-jerk reaction in Russia to protect their children, Pertman said banning all adoptions isn't the way to go.
"There are lessons to be learned from this," he said. "Ensuring that all the other kids that need loving homes don't get them is not the way to solve the problem.
A friend and neighbor of Torry Hansen, who identified himself only as "Mr. Austin" said the Hansens were a nice family and the boy had been causing problems, including setting fires and trying to burn the house down.
Bedford County Sheriff Randall Boyce told ABC News that he had tried to visit Hansen Thursday and again Friday, but was told by Hansen's lawyer "they said they will meet with us later."
"This is a touchy deal and I'm not sure if anything illegal has been done or not," Boyce said.
Boyce said he intended to move slowly and carefully in his investigation.
"We're breaking new ground here," he said. "There may be no crime at all when you really get down to it. Maybe some bad judgment in the way she turned this child back."
The Tennessee Department of Child Services also is looking into elements of the case.
"DCS looks into child abuse and neglect," said Rob Johnson, the department's director of communications. "By statute we look into cases alongside law enforcement. We look at it from a child welfare point of view.
Of particular interest to DCS would be the safety of any children that may be in the Hansen home, Johnson said.
"We do not track international adoptions," Johnson said. "They are private adoptions."
According to government statistics, the number of Russian children adopted to U.S. families has sharply declined in the last 10 years, down from a high of 5,862 in 2004 to 1,586 last year.
ABC News' Zoe Magee, Desiree Adib and Kari Pricher contributed to this story.