'Return to Sender' Doesn't Work With Children
Child endangerment, child abandonment, child neglect...all charges that could be brought against Tory Hansen, the adoptive mother of seven year old Artyom Savelyvev from Russia. Ms. Hansen adopted the little boy, changed his name to Justin, and brought him to live in the U.S.
I do not dispute her honorable motivation in adopting this little boy...I'm sure she wanted to give him a good and loving home. But the boy is clearly troubled, with a violent temperament, and in obvious need of professional counseling. He was, after all, abandoned by his mother, left in a Russian orphanage, and shipped to the U.S. to live with strangers. Anyone in that situation would have "anger management" issues. But although Ms. Hansen sought advice from psychologists, Justin had not ever met with one. Was this a difficult child to deal with? Of course? Could he have gotten better with help? Maybe. But what is clear is that parenting of all children --especially of one so troubled-- is never easy. We're their parent not their friend after all. We're supposed to love them but also discipline them and get them the help they need, whether that's in the form of a tutor or a psychologist.
Money and means to pay for these services is always an issue, but there is no indication that Ms. Hansen reached out for that help before shipping Justin back with a note saying "I no longer wish to parent this child." Secretly, no parent "wishes" to parent day after sometimes grueling day. Most parents at some point would love to be fired (for just a minute) from that non-paying job. But that's not our role. Our role is to persevere in the child's and our best interest. At the very least, a child is not a piece of baggage to be sent to "address unknown."
Lis Wiehl is a Fox News legal analyst and former federal prosecutor.
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