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Vzglyad, Russia

He Wants to Become a Girl”

By Evgenii Romanov, Dmitry Shierbakov

Translated By Aleksandra J. Chlon

15 February 2013

Edited by Rachel Smith

Russia - Vzglyad - Original Article (Russian)

Russian politicians are calling for a child adopted by an American lesbian couple to be returned to Russia.

Moscow should make all possible efforts to provide psychological help for the 10-year-old Russian orphan, Yelena Afanaseva, deputy of the State Duma, told the newspaper Vzglyad. According to her, the child has already expressed a wish to change his sex. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed concern for the fate of the child yesterday.

Afanaseva, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and one of the authors of the “Dimy Yakolev law,” announced on Friday that Moscow should react immediately to the scandal around the young Russian Egor. In 2007 he was adopted by a U.S. citizen, Marcia B., who at the time was in a civil marriage with the American Beth C. Seeing as the Russian authorities do not give orphans to same-sex couples, Marcia filled out the paperwork and adopted the child on her own.

Afanaseva notes that the situation is becoming worse, as, according to some information, Egor has already expressed the wish to change his sex. “The child has a strong desire to change his sex. There you go, judge for yourself what happens when children are adopted by same-sex couples. They adopted a boy who now wants to become a girl. I think that it is necessary to get involved. Egor, an adolescent now, must receive immediate help, including psychological help,” Afanaseva told Vzglyad.

The day before, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Special Representative for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, Konstantin Dolgov, demanded on Twitter that U.S. authorities take Egor’s fate under special control.

“Yet another immoral trick from the Americans: Two lesbians from the U.S. deceived the court of law of the Russian Federation in 2007 in order to adopt a Russian child,” he said. “In 2009 their same-sex marriage fell apart, and the child became the object of ‘inter-family’ showdowns of two lesbians. The American court deliberately classified information in this process,” Dolgov is convinced. “It is clear that it is protecting the foster parents to a fault.”

The diplomat is afraid that “we could be dealing with psychological trauma inflicted on the child by this strange little family,” and says that “a suitable investigation is necessary.” The diplomat stressed that U.S. authorities should “take this issue under special control and guarantee Russian consuls access to the child.”

As is known, same-sex marriages are already legal in nine U.S. states.

Dolgov's statement was met with a reaction from the Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation, Pavel Astakhov, who promised to take the case under his control.

“We shall see who this child is, who took him out of the country, who made the decision, who deceived whom… Maybe he was adopted by a regular couple, and we know that about a third of children from our country who go to America to be adopted by foreigners immediately change families. In America it is a legal procedure when an adopted child switches from family to family,” noted Astakhov, adding that this is how Russian authorities have lost track of 2,000 adopted orphans.

Afanaseva called for Russian authorities to undertake efforts to get psychological help for Egor. “We have to see what happened in the family, how it affected the child, what happened to him on a psychological level, and try to return him to his home country,” the deputy is convinced.

His “Second Mother”

We will add that the newspaper Kommersant will give details of this adoption on Friday. The divorce proceedings of the two lesbians, Beth C. (plaintiff) and Marcia B. (defendant), have been taking place for two years. The women had lived together since 2002 without getting married. The decision was made to adopt an orphan from Russia after failed attempts to conceive with the help of a donor.

Four-year-old Egor arrived in America in 2007 and received the name Ian. Beth decided to take on parental rights. However, the family moved to a different state, where the law was different; she did not succeed in legalizing the documents, which is why officially only Marcia continued to be considered boy’s mother. While the couple lived together, Beth took care of the household and Marcia worked, which is why Egor-Ian called Beth “mom.”

In August 2008 the couple separated. The women moved to different states and the child, who at that point had entered first grade, visited his “second mother” only during the holidays. In the winter of 2011, after another visit with her son, Marcia did not return him, instead keeping Egor-Ian. She went to court in Indiana and California, demanding to be acknowledged as the boy’s sole adoptive parent. In response, Beth also went to court.

Hearings in various courts continued for nearly two years. Having examined evidence from both sides in a public trial, the courts of two states made the decision to leave Egor-Ian with Beth. In the ruling it was emphasized that it was she who “took the child into her home, openly and publicly acknowledged herself as his mother, always protected his interests and made the necessary efforts to raise and develop her adoptive son.”

From the ruling of this case, published on the website of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, it became known that Beth, to whom the jury had entrusted the child, had earlier been held accountable for driving while under the influence of alcohol. Beth herself admitted to this, declaring the previous conviction as the reason for being afraid to present documents to legalize her parenting rights.

It is worth noting that Section 7611 of the Family Code of the U.S., under which the case was examined, uses the notion of the “man presumed to be the natural father of a child,” but seeing as the matter concerned a homosexual couple, the court was forced to treat her as the “presumed mother of the child.”

Marcia made an appeal, which included the following argument: Section 7611 is too vague and almost any person who spends a lot of time with a child could as a result be considered the “legal father.” Aside from that, it said that Beth was not an official parent, which meant that the decision of the court promotes the development in society of a family without the official “parent-child” status.

Marcia noted that the court decision that Ian would live in Beth’s house was inappropriate because Beth did not have a house but rather lived in her parents’ house. The Court of Appeal in California judged these arguments to be insufficient and upheld the first court’s decision on Jan. 14.



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