10 June 2011, 20:23

Another Russian orphan abused by US foster parents

Another Russian orphan abused by US foster parents

The absence of a Russian-American child adoption agreement continues to bear nasty fruit. The Russian Investigation Committee is looking into the case of a Russian orphan, named Ksenia, adopted 10 years ago by a couple in Georgia from an orphanage in Kemerovo in Western Siberia.

The absence of a Russian-American child adoption agreement continues to bear nasty fruit.

The Russian Investigation Committee is looking into the case of a Russian orphan, named Ksenia, adopted 10 years ago by a couple in Georgia from an orphanage in Kemerovo in Western Siberia. Her foster father Michael Gismore is now fighting Georgian charges of sexually abusing the girl by arguing she was already 16 at the time of the coitus, that is beyond the age of consent in Georgia.

The Russian children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov suspects Mr Gismore unlawfully obtained fake papers about Ksenia’s age from officials in Kemerovo:

"Had it not been for obvious inconsistencies in the girl’s papers, the Americans would have never informed the Russian side of the case. Many other child abuse cases involving Russian orphans in the United States go unreported to Russian consular officers. Unfortunately, such cases are many and involve multiple re-adoption as well as direct abuse. The main obstacle to openness is the absence of appropriate agreements between the two countries."

Astakhov has asked Kemerovo prosecutors to re-examine the documentation on Ksenia.

Russian-American talks about adoption agreements started in April 2010 and resulted in a mutually agreed draft this March. The signing, however, is yet to come. In the meantime, all American adoptions of Russian orphans are on indefinite hold. There are instructions about this from the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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