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MOSCOW, December 2 (Itar-Tass) —— Pavel Astakhov, children’s rights commissioner of Russia under the Russian President, has reported the death in the United States of another child, adopted in Russia, at the hands of his foster father. The U.S. court acquitted the man.
Astakhov described it as “horrible news” in his microblog in Twitter. “Horrible news came from the United States. Another Russian child died at the hands of his foster father,” he wrote.
According to his information, on November 3 the district court of Johnson County, Iowa, acquitted Brian Dykstra, 35, who was accused of the premeditated murder of his adopted son from Russia Isaac Jonathan Dykstra, a year and a half old.
“The boy died on August 14, 2005, and the investigation had been going on ever since. However, the U.S. authorities did not inform of it the Russian diplomatic mission, the consulate or the Ministry of Education and Science, which handles the adoption of Russian children by foreigners,” Astakhov reported. The U.S. officials found it possible to make the case public only after the jury passed the verdict of not guilty.
“The Americans expressed regret over their inability to organize the timely information of the Russian authorities about the death of our little citizen (all the children, adopted in Russia, continue to be Russian citizens until they come of age), or the proper protection of the rights of the children, who fall victim to the offences,” Astakhov continued.
According to Astakhov, Isaac Dykstra died three months after he was adopted in Krasnoyarsk. “His foster father was accused of the boy’s murder, but he was bailed out for 15,000 dollars and did not spend in custody so much as a day. He claimed he was not guilty and hinted all the time at some disease from which the boy suffered and which eventually brought about his death,” he reported.
The Russian-American agreement on cooperation in the sphere of international adoption has not come into force so far because it was not ratified by the State Duma. “Even in the absence of the document the U.S. state bodies are fully responsible for the safety of our children, whose adoption by foreign nationals was allowed by Russia,” Astakhov stressed.
In his opinion, “the dangerous trend of the acquittal (this is not the first such case) and of keeping away from criminal responsibility of the American foster parents, who permitted the death of adopted Russian children deliberately or unintentionally, puts up insurmountable obstacles on the way of further adoption of Russian children by Americans and may result in its banning altogether.”
“We demand that the U.S. authorities take urgently the adequate measures for the protection of Russian children, who were adopted by American nationals and who now live in the United States. Their total number is some 60,000,” Astakhov stressed in conclusion.