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Two Russian women struggle to adopt baby boy with horrific burns after incubator fire

January 28, 2016, 18:04 UTC+3 TULA

Two adoption candidates have never challenged the same child in Russia's judicial practice

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Natalia Tupyakova

Natalia Tupyakova

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

TULA, January 28. /TASS/. A court in Tula, central Russia, is choosing between two women struggling to adopt Matvey, a baby boy who suffered terrible burns when an incubator caught fire just days after his birth.

"Such a case is being heard in Russia for the first time," a court spokesman said on Thursday. "Two adoption candidates have never challenged the same child, we have no such practice. Adoption cases are usually not made public."

Matvey, born in November 2014, was abandoned by his parents, having received 70% burns to his body at a maternity hospital in Tula. The boy survived but still requires treatment and much plastic surgery.

Natalia Tupyakova, a multi-child mother from Moscow, has been seeking to adopt the boy since summer. Her bid is backed by activists from a "Save Matvey" online community accusing the court of dragging out the case. The second candidate to adopt Matvey also comes from Moscow.

A representative of the boy’s mother, who has not been stripped of her maternal rights, said before the trial that the woman was planning to take Matvey home, according to media reports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his December 17 news conference that he was following developments and hoped the boy would find a family.

"I know that some people, some families, not just want but are struggling for the right to adopt Matvey. And I wish them good luck and want to thank them for this. I hope this problem will be solved in the near future," Putin said.

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