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Entries in Adopted (4)

Friday
Mar012013

Adopted Russian Boy's Death Ruled Accidental in Texas

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The death of an adopted 3-year-old Russian boy has been ruled an accident in Texas.  This just a week after Russian officials accused the boy's adopted parents of killing the child.

Authorities said Friday that Max Shatto, who had been adopted by Laura and Alan Shatto in November, died of a self-inflicted wound on Jan. 21.

An investigation into the boy's death was opened after he was rushed to Medical Center Hospital's emergency room shortly before 5 p.m. on Jan. 21 and later died.

Friday's announcement contradicted a top Russian official who accused the boy's mother of murder last week.

Pavel Astakhov, Russia's children's rights commissioner, wrote on Twitter last week: "An adoptive mother has killed a three-year-old Russian child in the state of Texas. The murder occurred at the end of January."

"The boy died before an ambulance called by his mother arrived. According to a report by medical examiners, the boy had numerous injuries," he added.

The tweets were later deleted, but Astakhov continued to blame the boy's adoptive parents for his death. On Thursday, he said he was told by a Texas social worker that the mother was responsible for the boy's death.

Texas officials denied those claims and the Shattos denied any role in their son's death, but declined to comment further about the issue.

Friday, the Ector County district attorney and sheriff's department announced the findings of Max Shatto's autopsy report, which showed that he died from a lacerated artery in his abdomen from self-inflicted bruising, and that the boy had a mental disorder that caused him to harm himself.

No drugs were found in the child's system, and four doctors reviewed the autopsy report, ruling out the possibility that Shatto was fatally injured by his parents, officials said at the press conference.

The ruling could put to rest the outrage in Russia over what officials there called another example of why U.S. parents should not adopt Russian children. Astakhov's accusation of murder provided fuel for those in Russia who supported Russia's decision to ban adoptions to the U.S.

The ban was part of Russia's response to a set of human rights sanctions that President Obama signed into law in December, but it cited the cases of 19 children who had died after being adopted by Americans.

After the accusations surfaced in Russia, Max's death became the top story in Russia. The boy's birth mother emerged and, in a tearful appearance on state-run television, said she had cleaned up her act and wanted Max's younger brother Kristopher back. On her way back from the interview in Moscow, however, the mother was reportedly kicked off a train after a drunken brawl.

On Saturday, thousands are expected to turn out for a rally in central Moscow calling for Kristopher to be returned to Russia.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec062012

Utah Custody Battle: Adopted Baby's Mom Wants Tot in Good Home

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Tira Bland, the Utah mother who gave up her baby for adoption, only to have a judge order the girl returned to her biological father, says that she feels sorry for the couple who adopted her daughter.

A judge ordered Utah couple Jared and Kristi Frei to return the adopted toddler to her biological father, Terry Achane, after it was revealed that Bland gave up the child without the father's knowledge or permission.

"Her well being is all that matters to me," Bland told ABC News referring to her child.  "I want to see her successful.  I want to see her in a home, a good home."

She is sorry that her ex-husband is challenging the adoption.

"I'm hurt for the Fries," Bland said.  "They're great people."

Achane, 31, a staff sergeant in the Army and Bland's ex-husband, was transferred from Texas where he lived with Bland to South Carolina.  The staff sergeant claims that in 2010, without his knowledge, Bland put the child up for adoption through a Utah agency.

When Achane learned last year that the child, who he calls Teleah, was being raised by the Freis, he asked a court to give him custody.  Last month, a judge did just that.  

The Freis now have less than 60 days to return the 21-month-old girl, who they call Leah, to her father.  But a lawyer for the Freis told ABC News earlier this week that they don't plan to return the toddler, and will appeal the judge's ruling.

Bland says the Freis took her in, and agreed to the adoption after Achane left Texas and moved to South Carolina with the Army.  Both sides agree he knew Bland was pregnant, and that he still had to move for work.

Bland says that she and Achane had discussed adoption, but in the end, she says, he abandoned her and that's why she turned to the Freis.

"They cared about me and the well being of Teleah when he wasn't there, when he didn't care," Bland said.  "He showed no interest in me being pregnant.  When he left me, he didn't leave me with an address.  I didn't have a home address on him."

Achane's lawyers deny that, saying he was paying Bland's bills, and wanted to take care of their unborn daughter.

"The judge heard [Bland'] story, and completely ruled against her.  He did not find that her story was credible," Wiser said.

Bland now says that she wants what she thinks is best for the baby.

"My heart was comfortable with her being with the Freis," she said.  "I'd rather see her with me struggling first before she goes with him."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb162011

Doctors Struggle to Heal Boy Burned by Father in Acid Attack

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Doctors are having difficulty treating a 10-year-old boy whose father doused him with acid because they cannot determine precisely which chemicals were used to burn him. He was found in the same truck where the man allegedly hid the remains of the boy's dead sister.

The boy, Victor Doctor, is in critical condition at a Florida hospital suffering from burns below the waist. His physician, Dr. Walter Lambert, told a Florida court that the boy's condition is worsening because doctors have not figured out what chemicals they are trying to neutralize.

Police on Monday were called to investigate a pickup truck pulled over on the side of Interstate 95 near West Palm Beach, Fla. Inside the cab they found the boy and his father, Jorge Barahona, 53.

Both were covered in chemical burns and gasoline and overcome by toxic fumes.

Hours later, while cleaning the truck of toxic chemicals, they discovered the remains of Victor's twin sister, setting off an investigation into the children's adoptive parents and revealing missed clues that Barahona was abusing his children.

Barahona now faces charges of aggravated child abuse, with more charges likely to follow. He remains in the hospital.

Barahona and his wife adopted two other younger children. All four children were foster kids before their adoption.

On Wednesday, a Florida court held a hearing to determine the custody of Barahona's two other children.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov142010

Daughter, Two Others Charged in Fatal Attack of Michigan Parents

Paul Skinner, of Yale, Mich., was killed defending his wife, Mara, when two intruders broke into their home and attacked them as they slept, police said. Photo Courtesy - ABC News(YALE, Mich.) -- A Michigan couple's 17-year-old adopted daughter and two other people were charged Sunday in connection to Friday's brutal attack on the couple. Police are still investigating the incident that left the father dead and the mother in critical condition, according to officials.

Jonathan Aaron Kurtz, 18, James Leslie Preston, 18, and Tia Marie-Mitchell Skinner, 17, where charged with open murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder, according to Sgt. Daniel Drake of the Michigan State Police.

Paul and Mara Skinner were in bed around midnight Thursday when two people in Halloween masks broke into their Yale home through a bedroom window and began stabbing them as they slept, police said. Paul Skinner, 47, was able to rouse himself to fight with the attackers, and was eventually able to drive them out of the house.

The couple's son, who was sleeping in the basement at the time of the attack, heard the commotion as his father was fighting the attackers out of the house and came to help, but too late, police said. Skinner's son tried to revive him, but was unable to.

Mara Skinner, a 44-year-old junior high school teacher, was stabbed more than 20 times, but was expected to recover, police said.

Michigan State Police Det. Pat Young said the Skinners had disapproved of a relationship their adopted daughter, who is their niece, was having, and that "may have been a factor" in the attack.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio