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Adoption from Russia

Ella Royzman
I don't know the details of what went on in that house BUT from what limited information is available, I think that the fault lies with the Russian adoption officials. They need to do a far better job of psychologically evaluating the people they place these children with. I think that what happened to this boy is heartbreaking and that this "parent" is mentally unstable. She took a seven year old child, brought him to a strange country, changed his NAME, and immersed him in learning a foreign language in a home school environment. Did she expect a 7 year old to say "thank you" to her? What seven year old wouldn't act out under a far less stressful set of facts? He is not a dog - how can you change his name? How can you completely alienate him from everything familiar to him? How was he supposed to communicate, to express himself? Isn't it normal for kids to act out when they feel they have no control or when they are frustrated? I think maybe this kid was crying out for help. I have yet to read anything he did that was so outrageous. Saying he will burn the house down? So what - maybe he saw that in a movie. Did he actually try to light the house on fire? I just read an article that said the adoption agency followed up with her a few months ago, and she had no complaints.

Maybe the child does have psychological or emotional problems, I don't know. But what I think is certain is that if he didn't have them before being placed with this person, he will surely have them after the ordeal she put him through. I don't want to judge but I can't help finding her actions unconscionable. Did she even try to get help from psychologists, etc. before shipping this kid back to Russia as if he were a broken appliance she could just return?

I read that in the past couple of years, there have been several US adoptive parents that have killed the kids they adopted from Russia. Are the Russians doing ANY psychological evaluations before placing these kids? Heartbreaking any ... Read More »

Artem Saveliev. Review by American Lawyer

Natalia Gourari
The recent international adoption scandal regarding a Russian boy, Artem Saveliev, and his American adoptive mother, Torry Hansen has understandably received much press coverage. What Torry Hansen did – sending the child back to Russia as means to annul her adoption - wins her no sympathies. However, she is not solely responsible for Artem's misfortune. Adoptive parents are often blissfully unprepared for the difficulties of raising a child with a history of neglect and abuse.

However, the reaction of the Russian authorities to the situation has been blown out of proportion. Most likely, Ms. Hansen is but one unbalanced woman who should not have been approved to adopt a school-aged boy in the first place. Ms. Hansen, as a single mother and a believer in home schooling system, in my opinion, was not a candidate for adopting a Russian child with undiagnosed physical, emotional, mental and/or developmental problems.

The questions remain: whether Torry Hansen have access to appropriate parenting and therapeutic resources to help the child and whether she received proper support from the agency that placed Artem with her. Why did she choose to send Artem to Russia rather than seek respite care and, if that was not successful, an appropriate foster home for Artem in the United States? Stories of other disrupted Russian adoptions have been public for over a decade.

Notably, before sending the child to Russia, Torry Hansen consulted a Russian attorney, Karina Krasnova, who had advised her about the legal procedures in place to annul the adoption. But ignoring the advice, Torry Hansen chose her own way. Torry Hansen selected what she believed was the cheapest and quickest way to get rid of the child. She sent him back to Russia alone with a note to the Russian authorities, as if the note could justify her actions.

To adopt a child is a leap of faith. Legal adoption of abandoned Russian children is a relatively recent phenomena. In Russia, adoptions used to be... Read More »

Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions

Robin Bronen
Abstract: Any person who is not a United States citizen, including lawful permanent residents, can be deported because of a criminal conviction. Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, immigrants with criminal convictions have become one of the primary concerns of the Department of Justice and the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS). According to DHS, during FY 2002, the then-Immigration and Naturalization Service initiated deportation proceedings for 48 non-citizens who had criminal convictions in Alaska. This article provides information on the possible consequences of criminal convictions upon immigrants, including deportation; possible remedies for deportation; and examples of deportation cases in Alaska involving criminal convictions.

September 11, 2001 has profoundly impacted the immigrant community. The Department of Justice and the U.S. Congress have passed at least two dozen statutes and federal regulations since September 11 that circumscribe the lives of immigrants.
Immigrants with criminal convictions have become one of the primary concerns of the Department of Justice and the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS). According to DHS, during FY 2002, the then-Immigration and Naturalization Service initiated deportation proceedings for 48 non-citizens who had criminal convictions in Alaska. In Alaska, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, under DHS, has now implemented Operation Deep Freeze, which focuses on the removal of non-citizens with criminal convictions who are outside of the jail and prison system. This initiative prioritizes those convicted of: (1) aggravated felonies; (2) crimes of violence; and (3) other crimes rendering the alien deportable.
What Categories of Immigrants Can Be Deported for Criminal Convictions?
Any person who is not a United States citizen, including lawful permanent residents, can be deported because of a criminal conviction. Lawful permanent residents are im... Read More »


© 2010 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire, Miami Florida
In Volume 3, Number 4, “Come in From the Cold” (March 29, 2009), I discussed the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program specifically as it relates to offshore bank accounts. On my website STEINBERGTAXLAW.COM is an updated version of the article including coverage of the Frequently Asked Questions published and later updated by IRS.
The phrase “Come in from the Cold” refers to John Le Care’s novel turned into a 1965 movie, “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.” Richard Burton is Alec Leamas who is drawn in from the cold by his love interest, Clair Bloom. The phrase comes from the screenplay: Control says to Leamus: “We have to live without sympathy, don’t we? We can’t do that forever. One can’t stay out of doors all the time. One needs to come in from the cold.” Leamus goes back behind the Iron Curtain for one last mission only to find he has been duped by his own handlers. In the end, he chooses freedom of the soul over an emotionless life.
Roughly 14,700 taxpayers came in under the IRS public Voluntary Disclosure program by its extended due date, October 15, 2009. Those who made voluntary disclosure submissions are now going through the process of (1) receiving clearance from the IRS criminal division that they are tentatively accepted into the program; (2) If accepted, responding to document requests from agents assigned by the IRS audit division in Philadelphia, including the filing of amended Form 1040s and delinquent FBARs; and, (3) entering into a formal closing agreement (contract) with IRS regarding the tax, penalty and interest due and other obligations and agreements regarding the foreign accounts and income there from.

UBS is Switzerland’s largest bank. For one thing, in pursuing its cross border banking business with about 20,000 U.S. clients (IRS estimates that about 17,000 did not report the existence of the accounts or income earned) from 2000 to 2007, UBS was engaging ... Read More »

Invalid Divorce

Karina Duvall
I, KARINA KRASNOVA, being duly sworn, depose and say:

I am an attorney duly licensed to practice law in the Russian Federation. My registration number is 78/857. My specialty is matrimonial and family law in the Russian Federation.

I have been licensed by the Appellate Division, 2nd Judicial Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York as a legal consultant from Russia pursuant to Section 53(6) of the Judiciary Law of the State of New York, as limited by Part 521 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals, and in accordance with the rules of the Court. I am often called to testify in the United States courts as an expert on Russian laws.

My clients consist of individuals of all nations who need representation in Russia in matrimonial matters.
In the instant case I was asked whether the ex-parte divorce between the Plaintiff, XXXXXXXXXXXXX, and the Defendant, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, obtained in the city of Moscow, Russian Federation on XXXXXXXXXXXX is a valid divorce according to the law of Russian Federation.

I am writing this Affidavit in order to establish that the divorce is invalid according to the law of Russian Federation.

As an attorney in Russia, I am fully familiar with the facts and circumstances of the parties’ divorce action which was filed into Russian court. I reviewed a copy of the Divorce File.

The parties are Russian citizens. They were married in the City of Moscow, Russia. They have one child, who was born in Russia and currently resides in the United States of America.

It is not uncommon for residents of the United States to obtain a divorce in their home country, provided they meet jurisdictional requirements. Generally, in such cases the divorce decree does not include any incidental relief (i.e., equitable distribution, maintenance), only effects a change in marital status.

In order to establish whether a divorce between parties is a valid divorce in Russian Federation we need to apply Civil Procedural Code of Russia... Read More »
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