Tuesday, July 29, 2008


First the press says they're out of Russia; then it says they're in. AdoptionLand wants to know what's going on, but EAC isn't talking.

As of 10:00 pm tonight, EAC hasn't posted a word on its webpage about the investigation that the Russian Ministry of Education and Science is running it through over the agency's alleged failure to inform timely, officials of the death of Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison as required by Russian law. All we find is a gratuitous we-feel-your-pain-cover-your ass note on Dima's death at the top of its webpage which ends with:

We are currently assessing the situation and continuing to work with the Russian Federation in this matter.

houldn't that read: the Russian Federation is currently assessing us?

As far as the public face of EAC is concerned, everything is snug as a bug in Strongsville,

According to the EAC- friendly blogger at Russian Adoption Journey, who finds herself a tad frustrated at the agency's lack of communication, EAC isn't sharing much information with anxious paps who ask.

From "Mixed Media Message,"July 21, 2008 (emphasis mine):
Despite internet articles and blogs to the contrary, our adoption agency told me this afternoon that by all indications, they will keep their license. A formal ruling is expected Thursday. Apparently, three agencies have been banned from further Russian adoptions, but have no relevance to this case whatsoever.

Then, "No Word Yet," July 24, 2008 (emphasis mine)
So far, we've received no word from our agency, EAC, regarding the outcome of their hearing today. However, I did find this article online which sounds promising.


Rather than sit here and speculate though, I'm just going to wait and call them tomorrow.
I'm a little frustrated though that they haven't updated their website or sent out an e-mail as promised! At the very least, I feel like they should put "no decision yet" or something to keep people from going crazy due to our lack of information!

And finally, "Still on Hold" July 26 (emphasis mine):
I called the agency Friday. Although there was a meeting scheduled, one of the main Russian decision-makers is out of town on vacation, pushing any possibility of news at least two more weeks into the future. EAC did say however, that they are still receiving referrals from Russia!?!

Of course, it is! Why should a little matter of a government investigation stop high-end bottom feeders such as EAC from busine$$ as usual? What, after all, are a couple of death-by-adoptions in the global redi$tribution of children into Forever Homes and pap and adopter dollars into the EAC family purse? It's not like agencies tell anybody what they do anyway.

See, it's kind of a cult. They break you down and then build you up buttercup baby. You get a second mortgage on your house and sell your old clothes on Ebay. Your church raises $1400 for your adoption fund. Your mother-in-law loans you another $10,000 that she knows she'll never see again. You turn it all over to the agency, and it gives you baybee-saving God-endorsed entitlement to Sasha, Dasha, Pasha or Masha even if you've never seen their picture and don't know the difference between styl and stol.

The agency owns your soul and "your" agency-created child, and it can do anything with them it wants. And it will.

Welcome to the silence!

At least we now have a vague timetable of when events may play out. In 10 days or so we could know if EAC is in or out (barring the possibility that some other official will decide to take off to Latvia on a fishing trip or a week in the village). Will EAC tell us or will we have to learn it off a blog?

Read Beware BBAS: An Experiment in Literary Investigation by Dan and Elizabeth Case to see just how bad it gets.

UPDATE: JULY 29, 2008

I have updated Forever Family - Forever Dead to include new information I' e acquired on several cases: Logan Higginbotham, Jacob Lindorff, Luke Evans, Maria Bennett,and Liam Thompson, I've also added/fixed some links and clean up language and a few typos. Go to the bottom of the blog to read them. This is the first entry.

If anyone has any new information on James Lindorff I'd appreciate hearing about it. I couldn't find any today. According to the latest report, which came out in September 2007 he and his mother-in-law had been charged with soliciting a hit man to knock off a witness!

Monday, July 28, 2008


Last week I found a great Russian blog: Russian Videos from Russia hosted by Svet and Kyle Keeton in Moscow. For an expat in need of a daily dose of real life Russia, this is an ideal site. Documentaries, cartoons, liturgy, Soviet pop, ducks--they've got it all. I added Svet and Kyle to my Blog Catalog as a "friend" and linked their blog to this page.

Over the weekend, much to my surprise Svet and Kyle posted some Russian news videos about the Kolya Emelyantsev and Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison cases as well as a story on Russian domestic adoption. If you look quick you'll see a possibly heretofore unpublished picture of Viktoria Bezhenova/Nina Hilt in the video (1/1).

The videos are in English or with an English voice over. There is also a link to a new Russian advertising campaign encouraging domestic adoption. There's no separate URL for the videos, just scroll down to July 27, 2008.

большое спасибо

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Curious minds wonder. Just how much does European Adoption Consultants, the placing agency of two Russian children who ended up dead at the hands of their Forever Families,* rake in each year? Since I'm not an accountant, I'm not going to pretend to interpret their IRS 990s, available on Guidestar (free registration required). There's a lot more than these figures: salaries, expenses, inventory. Perhaps somebody else can elaborate. In the meantime, here's a sample:

2004: $7,568,621
2005: $8,197,469 (adjusted to $8,257,994 on 2006 990 form)
2006: $ 7,809,150
TOTAL: $23,565,240 (adjusted to $23,635,765)

2004: $890,593
2005: $1,044,505
2006: $890,141
TOTAL: $2,835,229

EAC Director Margaret Cole-Hughes' salary:
2004: $194,000 + $70,000 in benefits and deferred compensation
2005: $194,000
2006: $194,000
TOTAL: $582,000+70,000

I guess the day of the kindly but poor social worker played by Beulah Bondi has gone the way of...well...Beulah Bondi.

EAC is a Hague Accredited by the Council for Accreditation, It is a member of The Joint Council on International Children's Services and the National Council for Adoption.

*Logan Higginbotham, November 25, 1998
Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison, July 8, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008


Blogger Baby Love Child, using the tragic death of Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison as a focus, has written an excellent piece on the objectification and com modification of adoptees. The essay begins with a review of what I have posted about the case here and on The Daily Bastardette. She then moves into her analysis of linguistic objectification, depersonalization and co-option of adoptees, and finally the silencing of adoptees' voice within the American adoption system.

With her permission I am reposting it here.


I've been neck deep in Vietnam and Guatemala adoption related research, and thus have gotten behind on much of the coverage I'd been working on. This past week has quite possibly been one of the worst weeks I've tracked. Hopefully over the next week I'll begin to catch up, with luck,
I hope to be getting some of the details from over the past week up in various posts.

That being said, Bastardette has been picking up some of the slack. She's been tracking many of the details relating to Dmity Yakolev, and the aftermath of his death.

Allow me to point out three of her recent posts:


From this past Monday, July 21rst, '08. In which she writes about the defense attorney hired to take on the Harrison case.


From Wednesday the 23rd, In which she writes about the Monday indictment by a Fairfax Country (Virginia) grand jury on the manslaughter charge. Bastardette points her readers toward this Washington Post article, Father Indicted in Toddler’s Death in Hot SUV, also
from Wednesday which includes the following:
Harrison waited in the audience with his family until his
case was called. Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Ian M. Rodway
asked Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Marcus D. Williams to set a $10,000
bond for Harrison.

Williams set bond at $5,000, and Harrison was handcuffed
and taken out of the courtroom by sheriff's deputies. Harrison did not
speak during the brief arraignment. Greenspun declined to comment afterward.

Harrison posted the bond and was released yesterday afternoon, Fairfax
jail officials said.

Quoting Bastardette's posting:
One new piece of information was revealed in court
documents: Harrison arrived at Project Solutions Group at about 6:45 AM
which means that Chase/Dmitry was left in the hot sealed- up SUV for
approximately nine hours. Temperature inside the Yukon could have
reached as high as 180 degrees.

According to, Leesburg Today, Harrison's next court appearance is scheduled for August

Finally, we come to Bastardette's Third posting,


From today, Thursday the 24th. In which Bastardette points readers towards this July 22nd Fairfax Times article, Purcellville toddler remembered

Note that paragraph three reads:
Born Oct. 1, 2006, in Russia, Chase was the son of Carol and
Miles Harrison.
It is not until paragraph seven that readers learn Chase/Dmitry was adopted (or in the process of being adopted? We're still unclear whether the adoption was finalized or not at the time of Dmitry's death.)

It remains unclear whether his biological mother and father have been notified of his death or not.

The article continues:
"It's not what we gave him but what he gave us," said a
family friend, who eulogized the smiley toddler with blond
Once again, we see that myth of 'adoption as purely an act of altruism' raising its proverbial skirts just a bit to give us a glance of what lies beneath, child desire, and what adopting a child can mean for those both family and friends affected by such.

Perhaps had more thought gone into what they could give Dmitry, instead of what he 'gave others', he might still be alive today.

It is not an adoptive toddler's responsibility to "give" to those surrounding their adoption. It is the responsibility of those adopting (and the community they welcome around them) to "give" to the adoptive child. That is what they legally signed on for when they entered the process of trying to become adoptive parents, they agreed to provide for a child. Be that a home, food, relationships free from abuse, or simply attention- attention enough to not be left to bake in car for almost nine hours.

But those who view children as 'there for the adults' are part of the problem in all this, not a part of the solution. It is precisely these attitudes that lie at the heart of some of the adoption paradigm, that we as one time children were supposed to 'be there for' the adults, or that our presence was supposed to somehow 'complete' them, etc. This becomes adoption as something no longer focused on the needs of a child, but instead on the needs, psychological or otherwise of the adults.

And all too often, that's the dirty little secret that hides beneath the 'adoption as altruism' paradigm's skirts.

I am not speaking specifically of the Harrisons in this, but rather the broader underlying cultural assumptions that many seem to walk around with, that treat adopted children as accessories, as the latest 'in' thing, or even as a way of 'completing' their adopters.

Or as Miles Harrison's letter read at the service described Dmitry:
Chase would "always be our perfect gift."
Children are not gifts. Not things. Not objects, be that a "gift" from a family of origin in Russia, nor "gift of god". Adoptees are people. And depersonalizing and depersonifying language such as "gift" is part of the underlying attitude that leads to things such as children being left in cars. After all, if you forget to drop off the dry cleaning (an inanimate object) on the way to work, it's no biggee. You leave a "gift" in the backseat, even in the summer heat, and it's no biggee.

But you leave Dmitry, a child in the backseat, in the summer heat, and suddenly everthing's different. Because now we're talking about Dmitry, a dead child. and that's larger than I have words for. It's massive. (Oh, and an international incident.)

Dmitry was a person, and in his memory, the very least that could be done to honour his memory would be a careful reevaluation of the linguistic mess that makes such mistakes(?) easier to commit.

Those modes of thinking about adoptees are disasters waiting to happen. Adoption needs to be about the adoptees themselves, and their lifelong needs.

Which is why I find the final element to Bastardette's blog entry so chilling. The Harrisons want contributions to go to 'project sunshine c/o European Adoption Consultants', (EAC) which is to say, the agency that placed Dmitry with the Harrisons.

From an adoptive couple's perspective, I suppose it makes some degree of sense, 'give donations to the agency we got our (now deceased) child from'.

But from an adoptee perspective, Dmitry would likely still be alive in Russia had it not been for EAC and the adoption and Mr Harrison being given Dmitry that morning. 'Give donations to the very agency that was part of the chain of events that led to his death'?


But where is that adoptee perspective ever expressed? Where would anyone ever even see it?

I'm not claiming to be a voice OF Dmitry in these matters, I'm just an advocate FOR Dmitry and kids like him. I'm an adoptee, and I find the prospect revolting. Genuinely sickening.

If the Harrisons went through an EAC screening process as part of the adoptive process, then EAC is the agency that deemed them 'fit' to have Dmitry. No matter what happened the day Dmitry died, mistake or otherwise, that particular day Miles Harrison did not have Dmitry's best interests at heart, or on his mind. Call it an almost nine hour long 'momentary lapse' if you must, but Dmitry was simply not foremost on Miles Harrison's mind that day, and Dmitry was his responsibility.

EAC placed Dmitry with the Harrisons. They are to some degree part of that process that led us here.

EAC should not be monetarily rewarded for placing a child who died as a result of his (potential?) adopter's actions.

Doubly so when this is the second child EAC has placed that has died as a result of the actions of those that adopted them. (See Logan Higginbotham.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008


James Marsh from ChildLaw has created a new blog: Omens.

The Omens that appear there are of Masha Allen, the Russian girl sold into sex slavery by the American adoption industry, now abandoned once more, and disappeared into the child welfare system under highly mysterious circumstances.

Marsh was Masha's attorney and advocate until he was no longer allowed to be. These entries are taken from court documents and transcripts, correspondence, news articles and other in-their-own-words publicly available primary sources. They are called Omens because they were harbingers, red flags, warnings of what was to happen to Masha after her rescue from pedophile Matthew Mancuso.

Marsh writes in his introduction:

Starting today I will begin posting noteworthy harbingers with the hope that readers will consider this from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: "we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." I will refer to these tidbits as omens; something either good or evil that is believed to foretell the future.

For those unfamiliar with Masha's case look at my entries on this site under her name (labels). For a update on what has happened to Masha--as far as anyone knows--go to One Child's Unending Abuse--From Disnsey World Girl to Drifter by Christoher Witkowsky and Julian Assange. Marsh will be posting additional Omens regularly.

I call Masha the Rosetta Stone of corrupt international adoption--and now domestic adoption.. How many others are out there whose stories we don't know? Masha, I hope you see this.


Services for Chase Harrison/Dmitry Yakolev were held last Wednesday (July 16) at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Purcellville. The Tuesday edition of Leesburg Today published a full account, "Purcellville Toddler Remembered."

Miles Harrison remained hospitalized, but a letter from him to Chase was read at the service:

“I want you to know how much I love you and how much I will always love you,” Miles Harrison wrote, saying Chase would “always be our perfect gift.”

He wrote of how he and Chase would sing together and how he would put Chase on his shoulders and march along to the Ohio State marching band...

Chase was buried in Ebenezer Cemetery in Round Hill.

So far, so good. I really don't have much more to say about this incredibly sad event...


Memorial donations may be sent to Project Sunshine, c/o European Adoption Consultants Inc., 12608 Alameda Drive, Strongsville, OH 44149.

Excuse me while I get sick.

There now, I'm back

Just when I thought the adoption industry couldn't get any lower...

Chase/Dima is the second EAC Russian child to die at the hands of Forever Families. In November 1998, Logan Higginbotham died of massive head injuries. Her adoptive mother Laura claimed the toddler accidentally hit her head on the floor of an upstairs bedroom, but three years later medical experts concluded that her head had been intentionally slammed into a wall. Laura Higginbothman spent one year (yes, one year!) in prison. I wonder if EAC made money off her her death, too.

I want to make it clear that I do not put this case in the same category of those children who have been murdered, and even tortured, by their adopters. But I simply cannot get over the the cheek, the audacity--I don't know what to call it--of shilling on the grave of this child. Perhaps some readers can come up with better words than I can.

Obviously, the Harrisons made this decision, but who whispered in their ear?

Has EAC no shame?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Miles Harrison was indicted Monday on a charge of manslaughter in the July 8 death of his son Chase Harrison/Dmitry Yakolev. According to the Washington Post and other metro media, Harrison, came to the courthouse directly from the private psychiatric hospital he's been holed up in since Dima's death.

At the brief arraignment Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Ian M. Rodway asked Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Marcus D. Williams to set bond at $10,000. The court refused defense attorney Peter Greenspun's request for signature bond, but agreed to reduce bond to $5,000. Harrison was immediately arrested and cuffed. He bonded out in the afternoon. Harrison declined comments to the press. Greenspun, speaking of Harrison said, ""He's doing okay, but he's still pretty fragile."

One new piece of information was revealed in court documents: Harrison arrived at Project Solutions Group at about 6:45 AM which means that Chase/Dmitry was left in the hot sealed- up SUV for approximately nine hours. Temperature inside the Yukon could have reached as high as 180 degrees.

According to Leesburg today, Harrison's next court appearance is scheduled for August 27.

I have other news on the case, which I will post separately in a little while.

Monday, July 21, 2008


This morning's Washington Post reports that the Fairfax County Grand Jury could indict Miles Harrison on manslaughter charges as early as today. Harrison, reportedly suffering from nervous collapse at the scene of Dmitry/Chase's death, later upgraded to a heart attack, remains in a private psychiatric hospital and has not been arrested. Herndon authorities agreed not to serve Harrison with a manslaughter warrant until his release, but Friday Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh said they can't hold off indefinitely. In the meantime, Herdon police have removed computers, a backpack, prescriptions, life insurance policies and Dmitry's adoption information from the Harrison's home and are re-checking information from interviews taken earlier.

Miles Harrison has retained high profile Fairfax attorney Peter D. Greenspun to represent him. Greenspun previously defended Washington DC Sniper John Allen Muhammud, sports announcer Marv Albert, and Potomac, Maryland civic leader and "internet child predator" Rabbi David A Kaye.

The April 2002 Washingtonian rated Greenspun the 14th best lawyer in Washington, DC, just below Ken Starr (#7), Monica Lewinsky's attorney Plato Cocheris (#9) and Robert Bork (#13). A year and a half later, the Washingtonian named Greenspun one of the top 30 lawyers in the Washington DC metro area (#10) and the top defense attorney in Virgina.
Cases that end with a plea or a
conviction can be some of the most satisfying cases because you
know they’re going to get help.”
Cases that end with a plea or a
conviction can be some of the most satisfying cases because you
know they’re going to get help.”
conviction can be some of the most satisfying cases because you
know they’re going to get help.”
[clients] the help that they need. Cases that end with a plea or a
conviction can be some of the most satisfying cases because you
know they’re going to get help.”
When asked what motivates him to do criminal defense
work, Greenspun cites the opportunity that criminal cases
provide to help challenged people get assistance such as dru
a past president of the Association of
Criminal Defense Lawyers,

Peter D. Greenspun (Greenspun & Mann). Many of his best-known cases have been defeats—but how do you represent the sniper John Muhammad and win? The Fairfax-based criminal-defense lawyer wins most of his cases you don’t hear about and some you do—as when he got TV sportscaster Marv Albert off virtually scot-free from an assault charge. Somebody has to represent the most despised defendants, and Greenspun ends up with many, frequently at personal cost. For that he deserves much credit. He’s the best criminal-defense lawyer in Virginia and one of the best in the nation.

Greenspun is the past president of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

According to WaPo, Greenspun said he didn't understand the urgency to bring Harrison to court.
"I have seen some pretty difficult and very tragic situations in 30 years of criminal defense practice," Greenspun said. "The sadness here is as bad as it gets for Mr. Harrison and his family and friends. This is a good man who has the unwavering support of his entire family. They are all dealing with their grief in this most difficult of times."

This seems typical of Greenspun's approach. In a profile published in the November 2007 Mason Law News, Greenspun says that being a defense lawyer gives him the chance to get the help his clients need. "It's a chance to figure out what went wrong, and get them help. Cases that end with a plea or a conviction can be some of the most satisfying cases because you know they're going to get help."

And no doubt, "professional help" for Harrison will play a big part in the defense. Since we really don't know what's wrong with Miles Harrison, if anything, staying in the hospital is his first line of defense.

Greenspun can spin all he wants but he knows exactly what's so urgent about getting Harrison into court: the Russian Bear breathing down the back of the State Department, and the State Department breathing down the back of Fairfax County officials. With Harrison hospitalized and now lawyered up with Greenspun, the chance of a quick "settlement" is nil. Look for a protracted investigation and plea bargain down to negligence or some related charge. The real test of a good lawyer is in the penalty, and there is no way leaving a toddler to roast in a car will fly, even with the best defense in Virginia.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


European Adoption Consultants is attempting some damage control on it's website. Mouring Dmitry, they say they are "currently asssessing the situation and continuing to work with the Russian Federation on this matter."

No doubt!


New information on Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison was published in the Russian press today.

The English language online edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda fills in some details of Dima's history prior to his transport to the US--and in a few short words tells us something about the care of women and children in post Soviet Russia (something I could write more on, but won't at this time). It also contradicts somewhat an earlier report in the Russian language Gazetta that authorities had been unable to place Dima domestically due to a "series of serious diseases." Moreover (not mentioned in the article), the placing agency, European Adoption Consultants is a major Adoption Russian Style money generator, and if the orphanage director had the chance to pick up a hefty "donation" from the Harrisons, its Russian customers would be shown the door.

According to Komsomolskaya Pravda:

Dima had made a long journey from Russia's Pechor Pskovsk region to the U.S. His new family lived in Herndon, Virginia outside Washington DC. First, it seemed that fate had dealt the boy a second chance. His biological mother had put him up for adoption immediately after his birth — even though she too was raised in an orphanage. Dima was moved straight from the labor ward to the Pskovsk Regional Orphanage for children with a damaged central nervous system.

"We received Dima in 2006 straight from the labor ward," said Natalya Vishnevskaya, the head doctor at the orphanage. "His 18-year-old mother signed a refusal of the child and disappeared. It's unclear where she is now. She is a mentally disabled, lonely young girl who was also raised in an orphanage."

RIA Novistii reports comments from the Russian Foreign Ministry:

We hope that American law enforcement authorities and the court will exhaustively look into all the causes and circumstances surrounding this tragedy and take a just decision. We also hope that the relevant U.S. social services will draw the necessary conclusions from this.

Baby Love Child has excellent commentary of the Yakolev/Harrison case including thoughts on these two articles. Since I don't want to be repetitious, I recommend you check out her last two blogs.

That said, I want to bring up a subject that she did, too: the allegation from Russian authorities that they learned of Dima's death several days after it happened, and then only from reading about it in then in the newspaper. This, of course, ties in to reports, which imo, are mistaken, that the accreditation of European Adoption Consultants has been lifted due to failure to report Dima's death immediately to the Ministry of Education and Science as required by Russian law. There simply would not have been enough time to investigate and remove EAC, who has been in Russia for years and undoubtedly has friend$ in high place$, between the time officials learned of the death and when news reports of its so-called expulsion were published. This does not mean that EAC isi not on the way out (which we'd all like to see), but that it hasn't happened yet.

According to
Kosmoslovkia Prvada:

Interestingly, the boy died Tuesday — one week ago. But news of the tragedy reached Russia only several days later. Employees of the Russian Embassy in the U.S. only learned what had happened from the papers.

For what it's worth, here's the news reporting timeline I have. This timeline is based on online news accounts only, and I have no idea when the Ministry or Embassy actually heard the news. I can very well imagine, though, that Embassy and Consular officials got the news from the July 10 WaPo, like most of us did, though Fox 5 and the Fairfax News had done a report on the 9th.

Death: July 8,2008
Fox 5
- July 9, 2008
Fairfax News
- July 9, 2008
Washington Post
- July 10, 2008
Washington Post
- July 11, 2008
Novistii -
July 11, 2008

Not until the July 11 WaPo were any Russian comments on the case published, so it appears nobody knew about Dima's death until the 10th:

Yevgeniy V. Khorishko, press officer for the Russian Embassy, said consulate officials are "trying to figure out the details of this accident."

We are in contact with U.S. officials in this case," Khorishko said. Russian officials are also working to determine whether the boy still had Russian citizenship, he said.

That same day, the state-run RIA Novistii reported the death--the first Russian news report I've found online, but with no Ministry comments. The Russian language RCP News, also on July 11, reported the death and said that EAC and two other agencies had been kicked out, but did not source the claim. Same for the July 12 Russian language Gazetta except it sourced the Ministry via ITAR-TASS. I have been unable to find a story on the case on the English language ITAR-TASS site, though it may on the Russian language site which I can't search. The first solidly sourced comments that I've found came in Monday's English language Moscow Times--nearly a week after Dima died. (The sourcing is one of the reasons I believe EAC is only under investigation right now, not expelled).

From the Moscow Times:

Two U.S. adoption agencies have been barred from operating in Russia, but authorities denied Monday that the decision was linked to the recent death of an adopted baby in the United States.

The Education and Science Ministry said it had withdrawn the accreditation of the two agencies -- the Cradle of Hope Adoption Center and Family and Children's Agency -- after inspections found that they had violated the law.

The ministry supplied a list of the purported violations, which primarily focused on failures to keep the ministry informed about the well-being of adopted children.

"For the first three years, they should inform the Russian education ministry about the situation regularly," ministry spokesman Andrei Nedrov said.

He said the ministry was considering toughening the conditions for agencies seeking to reapply for licenses after being barred.

On July 15, a full week after Dima's death, the Russian Foreign Ministry released an official statement (click on "News in English" to get to news site) which reads in part:

And even if in this case, as distinct from several previous, no deliberately cruel treatment of an adopted child is claimed to have been involved, but criminal neglect leading to a tragic outcome, the fact remains – a small citizen of Russia has died. We will duly track the entire course of the investigation and seek to ensure that it is fully objective.

We expect that American law enforcement bodies and the court will thoroughly look into all the causes and circumstances of the tragedy and adopt a just decision. We also hope that the appropriate US social services will draw the necessary conclusions from it.

We have repeatedly called on the American side to conclude a special bilateral agreement on adoptions. Such an international legal document will ensure more effective control over the fate of Russian children taken by adoptive parents to the US. We will persistently keep this issue on the agenda of Russian-American dialogue.

Clearly this is not going to go away. And the fact that it took so long for Russian officials to be informed of Dima's death does not sit well with the already tense situation regarding Russian-US adoption. European Adoption Consultants, of course, has made no statement. Would we expect less? NCFA and JCICS must be buzzing.

ADDENDA: July 16, 8:00 AM: Here's an interesting tidbit from today's Examiner.com:

A spokesman for EAC declined to comment Tuesday, saying that the company is still trying to figure out what action the Russians have taken.

Reasonably, it would be assumed that if EAC doesn''t know what the Russian government has done, then it has not been expelled. Or are they stonewalling their customers? Or are the Russians just playing tit for tat?

Monday, July 14, 2008


The English language Moscow Times reported four hours ago that European Adoption Consultants, contrary to earlier news reports in RPC News and Gazetta, has not been banned from operating in the Russian Federation. (see Forever Family--Forever Dead memorial blog below.) The agency, however, is under investigation over its failure to immediately report the death last week of Dmitry Yakolev (adopted name Chase Harrison) in Virginia. The Moscow Times also said that the accreditation of two other agencies, The Cradle of Hope Adoption Center and Family and Children's Agency has been withdrawn over failure to keep the Russian Education and Science Ministry informed on the well-being of adoptees placed by them as required by Russian law. Vladimir Kabanov, head of the ministry's adoption department denied that the agencies were connected to the Yakolev/Harrison case, saying they are guilty of separate violations.

EAC director Margaret Cole refused to comment as did officials from the other agencies.

Having spent a lot of time in Russia myself, I was curious at the speed in which the ministry had reportedly booted EAC. Usually the apparatchiki grinds as slow as a babushka picks through the rynok. It's hearening to know that the ministry is on top of the Yakolev/Harrision case. Hopefully confusion about the case will clear soon.

July 15, 2008 ADDENDA: According to Examiner.com, as of Monday, Miles Harrison is still in the hospital.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I have updated Forever Family - Forever Dead here and on The Daily Bastardette to include new information on Chase Harrison, including his original name and place of adoption. If more information becomes available I'll add it. I have also updated information on the Jessica Albina Hagmann case. Thanks to the hard work of Niels, more is known about her death now--and the incredible decision of the judge who let her adopter walk with probation. Go to the first blog here to read them--and feel free to make comments.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Another Russian adoptee has died, this time in Herdon, Virginia.

Tuesday, Chase Harrison, 21 months, of Purcellville, died after being left in his adoptive father's Yukon for "several hours." (here, here, and here. ) The father, Miles, Harrison, 49, was supposed to drop the boy off at daycare, but drove to work instead, "forgetting" that the boy was in the car. Chase was discovered around 5:00 PM last night when a co-worker reported he saw something in Harrison's SUV. (The windows are tinted.) Yeterday's temperature reached 91 degrees. According to a study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the temperature inside the Yukon would have ranged from 131-172 degrees.

Miles Harrison is the managing relocation manager for Project Solutions Group. He collapsed in the parking lot and has been hospitalized since Chase was pronounced dead. Police expect to charge him with manslaughter, which carries as much as a 10 year prison term. The adoptive mother, Carol Harrison, 45, is not implicated. They have no other children.

Chase was adopted three months ago, but no further information on the adoption has been released.

I will be adding Chase to Forever Family--Forever Dead, but am waiting for more information before it goes up in a formal form.