Mother in Adoption Scandal Was Trying for Second Child

Sheriff meeting with DA, hopes to charge Torry Hansen with endangerment.

ByABC News via logo
April 9, 2010, 12:18 PM

April 13, 2010— -- The Tennessee mother who horrified the adoption community when she put her 7-year-old son on a plane back to Russia was in the process of trying to adopt a second child.

Torry Hansen had turned to a second adoption agency to bring home a child from the Soviet Republic of Georgia, a source with the sheriff's department told ABC News.

She switched adoption agencies after the agency that arranged the adoption of her first child, World Association for Children and Parents, urged her to wait before adopting again, the source said. The association advised Hansen it would be best to settle in with the boy before adding to her family, the source said.

A few months later, Hansen, of Shelbyville, Tenn., and her mother, Nancy Hansen put 7-year-old Artyem Savilev on a plane back to Moscow in hopes of having the boy's adoption annulled.

In a letter pinned inside Artyem's pocket, Hansen told Russian officials that he was violent, had psychiatric issues and that she no longer wanted to be his mother.

The Tennessee sheriff investigating the case said both Torry and Nancy Hansen have notified him through their lawyer that they refuse to be interviewed unless they are charged with a crime. He said he is looking into possible charges against the women.

"Abuse has been mentioned," Sheriff Randall Boyce said.

Investigators are expected to meet with the district attorney today. Charges being considered for both Torry and Nancy Hansen include child abuse, endangering the welfare of a child and educational neglect.

The educational neglect charge stems from the fact that neither Artyem or his cousin Logan were registered for public school or home school. Torry Hansen's sister, Logan's mother, could also face charges for educational neglect, a misdemeanor.

Any charges against the women, however, may be difficult to prove since Artyem is now in Russia and Russian officials have told ABC News that it is unlikely that the boy will ever set foot on U.S. soil again. Because the boy is in Russia, U.S. investigators are unable to question him about any allegations. Perhaps more importantly, if the boy is not present in a Tennessee courtroom, any case against the women could be dismissed.

"This is an extremely complicated deal," Boyce said. "There's nothing simple about this."

Boyce said there haven't been any reports of trouble in the Hansen home from the police or the adoption agency Torry Hansen used. Hansen, Boyce said, was contacted by the agency in January and March, but didn't report problems at that point. In December Hansen was so thrilled with Artyem she began asking about a second child.

The status of the second adoption inquiry was unclear today.