A Tennessee woman who outraged many in the adoption community in 2010 when she put her 7-year-old son on a plane back to Russia alone in hopes of having his adoption annulled, has failed in her bid to avoid paying $150,000 in child support for the boy.
Torry Hansen, who now lives in California, had asked a judge to set aside the ordered child support payment, claiming it would get lost in the Russian bureaucratic system and not benefit the child. But Circuit Court Judge Russell Lee decided to uphold the payment he had previously ordered from Hansen.
The order to pay the child support was the result of a lawsuit brought against Hansen by the World Association for Children.
Adoption officials in both the United States and Russia were horrified when the child landed alone in Moscow with a note addressed to Russian authorities pinned inside his jacket pocket.
“I no longer wish to parent this child,” read the letter. “This child is mentally unstable,” Hansen wrote to the Russian Ministry of Education. “He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues/behaviors. I was lied to and misled by the Russian orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability and other issues.”
But Pavel Astokhov, Russia’s children’s rights commissioner disputed those claims in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in 2010. “No, no this is not true” he said. “How can you imagine this, [that] a 7-year-old boy can be dangerous.”
“All medical exams was done before the adoption procedure,” he added, “and Torry Hansen knew about Artyem, everything.”
As a consequence of the case, Russia decided in 2010 to delay some adoptions of Russian children by U.S. parents, and Monday Russia ratified a new agreement with the U.S. giving Russia greater oversight and control over international adoptions.
Hansen had no comment on the ruling, but her attorney Edward Yarbrough said that litigation is not over and that his client still has options including appealing the order or requesting that it be modified.
Artyem now lives in a group home in a Moscow suburb.
The Associated Press contributed to this report