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Dmitry (Dima) Yakolev/Chase Harrison and the 3 agencies; new details emerge

The verdict in the Miles Harrison trial has been handed down since this article was originally written. Please see my later post entitled No, no justice for Dmitry for more up to date information concerning the verdict. The article below appears as it was originally posted.


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This is one of a series of posts about Dmitry’s death. Please follow my Dmitry Yakolev tag to read more.


If readers have not read my previous article, now renamed “*Updated* The death of Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison and the Russian announcement; 2 agencies accredations pulled, & a 3rd under investigation” (including the important update at the bottom) you will want to begin there.

The post below is a round up of new details that are emerging. The quick summary:

* the names of the other two agencies (the two who have been banned,) the third, European Adoption Consultants are currently under investigation,

* Dmitry was relinquished immediately after being born, by his Mother who had herself been raised in an orphanage,

* apparently a Russian couple considered taking him in at one point as well,

* Dmitry’s adoptive father, Miles Harrison apparently suffered a heart attack and was thereafter transferred to a private mental hospital,

* apparently the Harrisons “signed a statement prohibiting child abuse” in the course of the adoption,

* and the ‘bombshell’, apparently the Russian authorities found out about Dmity’s death several days after the fact. The Russian Embassy learned of the death from the media. (Under Russian law, Russian authorities were required to be notified by the agency who placed him, European Adoption Consultants.)

As I updated to the bottom of my previous post, the English language Moscow Times put out a story yesterday that contradicted the original claim (made in sources such as RPCNews, Gazetta, and the State-run RIA-Novosti) that there were three agencies banned.

We now learn that two agencies, the Cradle of Hope Adoption Center and Family and Children’s Agency have been banned (had their accreditations withdrawn) due to violations of Russian law and that a third, European Adoption Consultants, the agency involved in Dmitry Yakolev’s (Chase Harrison’s) placement is currently under investigation.

The Education and Science Ministry said it had withdrawn the accreditation of the two agencies — the Cradle of Hope Adoption Center and Family and Children’s Agency — after inspections found that they had violated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

Officials at the two U.S. agencies declined comment. The agencies were among 33 licensed to operate in Russia.

State-run RIA-Novosti and other media outlets have linked the ban to the death of Dmitry Yakolev, a 21-month-old boy who died last Tuesday after his adoptive father left him in a hot car in Virginia. But Vladimir Kabanov, head of the education ministry’s adoption department, denied any connection. “They were banned because of numerous violations uncovered during the checks. This has nothing to do with Dima Yakolev’s death,” Kabanov said.

(Note: When I blogged about Dmitry’s death originally the names of the two agencies were not available yet, so naming the two is a new development.)

He adopted the boy through the European Adoption Consultants, not one of the banned agencies, Kabanov said. His ministry is now carrying out a check of the European Adoption Consultants, he said.

The agency’s executive director, Margaret Cole, declined to comment on the case Monday.

The death could raise fears about a clampdown on international adoptions. Russia tightened controls over adoptions a few years ago after several children died at the hands of U.S. parents.

Boris Altshuler, head of The Right of the Child group, said 14 Russian children have been killed by their adoptive parents in the United States over the past 15 years, compared with 12 in Russia.

Adoption agencies must be held accountable for their work, said Moscow ombudsman Alexei Golovan. “If they fail to meet their responsibilities, they should be barred from operating in Russia,” he said, adding that he would like to see more Russian parents adopt children.

Other articles have also come out in the past 24 hours filing out a few more details.

This piece, His foster parents wanted to give Dima the world. But he died instead… speaks a bit to Dmitry’s (Dima’s) origins:

An American family adopted the two-year-old Dima Yakolev last March from the Pskovsk Regional Orphanage. The boy died when his father stopped by his office and left him in a parked car all day long.

And a scant few details about his Mother and the child’s health:

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.”

Dima’s parents could have been Russian, but the potential foster parents reconsidered due to problems with his health. The boy had a cardiac murmur. However, the condition isn’t severe. Doctors report the medical condition can be found in one of two babies during a detailed health check.

“The doctors discovered a heart murmur,” Vishnevskaya said. “And although the boy was sweet, it was likely this diagnose together with his background that frightened the Russian couple.

We also learn more about the disposition of his adoptive Father, Miles H. Harrison:

When the vehicle was opened, Dima was no longer breathing. His father tried to resuscitate the child and someone called the police. After the tragedy, Carol requested that no one interfere with their personal life and restricted herself to: “We’re mourning.”

Michael ended up in the hospital. He fell into shock and had a heart attack. He was transferred to a private mental hospital. He is charged with manslaughter and faces up to 10 years in prison.

Apparently Dima’s earlier health issues had passed by the time the Harrisons came to Russia for him:

“The boy was friendly, calm and good-natured. And he wasn’t capricious at all. He was almost completely healthy when he was adopted.”

Then there’s the ‘bombshell’ an important detail I hadn’t seen elsewhere:

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.

If this is true then it should come as no surprise that European Adoption Consultants have come under investigation. Under Russian law, Russian authorities are to be given word about the disposition of Russian adopted children from the agencies that placed them, not the media. As I blogged earlier, by Friday, July 11th, the Washington Post was certainly reporting Russian Embassy involvement in the case.

(The final paragraph appears to have a translation problem “accuse” appears to have been intended to be “excuse”.)

Commentary from Officials

“We find no accuse for the actions of the foster father,” said Valentina Chernova, head of adoption at the State Department for Social Development in the Pskovsk Region, and Nadejda Kulgavova, regional operator of the Parentless Children’s Database. “He lost consciousness only after seeing the child. This means he was functioning well enough to have remembered the child up until that point. We received character sketches from people close to the couple. They were all positive. One wrote: ‘I’m lucky to have two wonderful friends who I would unconditionally trust with my own child.’ The foster parents also signed a statement prohibiting child abuse. The pair have adopted nephews from Guatemala. The agency hasn’t lost its license yet as far as we know. It has already worked 10 years or so with the region. There were never any problems. We’re working with them now on one adoption case. But it’s probable it will be postponed.”

Finally, in this third article, from RIA Novosti, Russia calls for full probe into death of adopted baby in U.S. calls are made for a thorough investigation:

Russia hopes U.S. authorities will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding last week’s death of a baby adopted from a Russian orphanage, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.


The ministry said in a statement: “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.”

The article repeats the now apparently false claim that European Adoption Consultants has already been banned:

After the incident, Russian authorities banned European Adoption Consultants Inc., the agency responsible for placing the child with the Harrisons, for failing to immediately report the death. Two other agencies also had their Russian licenses revoked.

The Russian Foreign Ministry statement went further:

The Russian Foreign Ministry said: “We have repeatedly called on the American side to sign a special bilateral adoption agreement. Such an international legal document would allow us more effectively to control the fate of Russian children taken out of the country by foster parents. We will ensure that this issue is included in the agenda of Russian-American dialogue.”

As I said in my original blog piece about the case, there is a history here, and Dmitry’s death is unfortunately only the latest of a number of Russian adoptees who have died through the actions of their American adopters.

Again, I urge readers to explore Marley/Bastardette’s “Memoriam to Russian Adoptees Murdered by their Forever Families,””


(Nobody is forgotten. Nothing is forgotten.)

2 Responses to “Dmitry (Dima) Yakolev/Chase Harrison and the 3 agencies; new details emerge”

  1. Baby Love Child Says:

    Also see Father of dead adopted boy still in hospital from earlier today.

  2. Baby Love Child Says:


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