SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An American woman who sent her adopted son back to Russia has been hit with a child support claim by an adoption agency, but her attorney asked a Tennessee juvenile court to throw the claim out.
Torry Hansen, who had been living in Shelbyville, sent the 8-year-old boy on a plane to Moscow by himself last April with a note saying that she didn't want to be his mother anymore because the child had psychological problems. The incident created an international uproar.
According to documents obtained by the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, Hansen's attorney filed a motion to dismiss child support claims made by Hansen's adoption agency, World Association for Children and Parents, in juvenile court in Shelbyville.
The newspaper reported on Thursday that Russian authorities want Hansen to pay about $2,500 a month to care for the child, who is living in an orphanage.
Hansen's attorney, Trisha Henegar, filed the response on Dec. 28. Hansen has since retained a different attorney, Jennifer Thompson, who declined to discuss details of the case when reached by The Associated Press on Thursday.
Henegar argued that the juvenile court lacks jurisdiction to order child support because Tennessee is not the boy's "home state" and said the termination of Hansen's parental rights is currently being handled by a Russian court.
Henegar said in the documents that Tennessee state law defines the "home state" as where a child lived with a parent for at least six months. She said the boy, who was named Justin Hansen, lived with the family in Bedford County less than six months before he was sent back.
Henegar wrote that the National Council for Adoption, an adoption advocacy group that joined in the petition against Hansen, has been trying to persuade a court in Moscow to postpone proceedings that would terminate Hansen's parental rights. Hansen "will not have to pay child support in Tennessee once her rights are terminated and will not be held criminally liable," Henegar wrote.
Neither Torry Hansen or her mother, Nancy Hansen, who put the child on the plane under the care of the flight attendants, have been criminally charged. Local authorities have said they have not been able to determine a crime occurred in Bedford County.
An attorney representing the adoption agency did not immediately return requests for comment on Thursday.
Information from: Shelbyville Times-Gazette, http://www.t-g.comTags: