Russian officials today proposed a suspension on all American adoptions, hoping that a block of babies from their country going to parents in the United States would stop instances like the upsetting tale of a 7-year-old boy who was recently returned to the country. After a few months of care, the adoptive mother in Tennessee sent the boy back to Russia alone on a plane, with a note claiming the child has psychological problems. A note. From the Times:
The case of the boy, Artyom Savelyev, who was named Justin by his adoptive American mother, attracted widespread attention here, underscoring the acute sensitivity of the issue. Russians feel humiliated that their country, which they perceive as a world power, cannot take care of its own children and has to give them up to foreigners. Russia was the third leading source of adoptive children in the United States in 2009, with 1,586, following China, with 3,000, and Ethiopia, according to State Department figures.
Apparently fourteen Russian children have died of abuse by American parents over the past fourteen years. While that's a tiny proportion, the Times explains that these tragedies have had a strong affect on Russian perception.