We have been talking about a particularly difficult situation involving an American family that lives outside of Minnesota. A couple adopted two children (siblings) from Russia a couple of years ago, and they are now suing to undo the adoption.
They claim that the adoption agency pulled a "bait-and-switch" on them by introducing them to one child but delivering a different child when the paperwork was complete. They claim, too, that the agencies involved lied about the children's physical and mental health.
Once the children arrived in the U.S., it was just a matter of weeks before the new parents figured out that both had medical problems and psychological issues. According to court documents, it was then that they learned that both were survivors of sexual abuse and that, in fact, the two were not related. The last shoe dropped when they discovered that one of the birth fathers had not consented to the adoption -- the agency did not have the authority to put the child up for adoption.
The children's behavior was erratic and violent. After trying for several years to work with them, the couple placed them in a state mental health facility.
Adoption is not a process for the faint of heart, and agencies do not guarantee that every child is free of medical or psychological issues. What this couple is saying, though, is that they were not prepared for the extent of the children's difficulties. Had they known more details beforehand, they may not have gone through with the adoptions. They claim this in addition to charging that the agencies concealed the truth and misrepresented at least one of the children's identities.
Courts will generally not vacate an adoption unless there is somewhere else to place the child. In some cases, for example, adoptions are vacated and the children are returned to their birth parents. It is not clear that a court would order the children to return to Russia. And, even if the children did go back to Russia, the couple could still be on the hook for their living expenses and medical bills.
The next hearing is scheduled for December. It could be months before the case is resolved.
Source: The Daily Beast, "Couple Sues Over Russian ‘Bait-and-Switch’ Adoption of Disabled Kids," Tina Traster, Oct. 30, 2014