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Zavgorodnyaya Case to Go to ECHR
December 8, 2012 22:42


Russian officials say they will go to the European Court of Human Rights over the actions by the Finnish socials services that have told the court to strip Russian mother Anastasia Zavgorodnyaya and her Finnish husband of her parental rights and hand over all of their four children to a foster family.

‘No choice’

For the time being, the children are staying with their father in one of care centres. But his vacation is soon over, says Zavgorodnyaya, but even if he quit his job, he won’t have the finances to raise the children, at least that's what the social workers say. “They have left us no choice,” Zavgorodnyaya was quoted by the Russian NTV channel as saying.

She also said that the social workers have accused her of being unable to cook for the children and washing her hair the wrong way.

The court must convene before December 15 to pass the final decision.

She said there are a lot of parents in Finland who got into the same trouble. It’s a real business in Finland, she adds, since foster parents get as much as 1,800 euros a month for every child, and there are many people out there who want to get this kind of money.

In an interview with the Russian News Service radio station, she said that this Tuesday  a group of sympathizers will come out to rally outside the Finnish Parliament to attract the attention of legislators to the case.


It all started when Zavgorodnyaya turned to the authorities of the school where her daughter was studying to look into the alleged beating of her child.

During the questioning the girl mentioned that her father slapped her once on her buttocks. That was the cause for an inquiry by social workers who just took away all of Zavgorodnyaya's children, including her newly-born baby.

High profile defenders

The case has resonated in Russia, with the children’s ombudsmen, Pavel Astakhov, saying the case will passed over to the European Court of Human Rights for assessment.

Pavel Astakhov has been a staunch champion of children’s rights ever since his appointment in late 2009.

He was the main force behind the Russia-U.S. adoption agreement that came into force in November, a legally binding document that would make the adoption process more transparent and give Russian custody officials access to probes into cases of child abuse by foster parents on the American territory.


Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Anastasia Zavgorodnyaya adoptions in Russia Russian-US relations Pavel Astakhov  

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