Furor Over Russian Child's Return Jeopardizes Couple's Adoption

By Lita Beck
|  Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010  |  Updated 8:46 AM CDT
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Couple Anxious Over Russian Adoption Controversy

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The McClymonts hope to adopt a 7-year-old girl from Russia.

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Couple Anxious Over Russian Adoption Controversy

Families in North Texas are hoping Russia will allow adoptions to continue.
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A Bedford family is concerned their plans to adopt a Russian child could be put at risk by controversy over a Tennessee woman's return of her adopted son.

The adoptive mother placed the 7-year-old boy on a plane to Moscow from Washington, D.C. with a note that said she no longer wanted to adopt him. She said in the note that the boy was mentally unstable.

Steve and Melissa McClymont are in the last stages of adopting a 7-year-old girl from Russia. They submitted the last of their paperwork on Saturday and are now waiting for a date before a judge.

"We've already had several months to get our minds wrapped around this little girl being a part of our family," Steve McClymont said. "We really already consider her our daughter, and so it would be heartbreaking not be to be able to bring her home at this point."

The couple visited the girl in January.

"It was exciting," Melissa McClymont said. "It was stressful, and it was exciting. She attached to us very quickly."

"It's hard to understand when you're 7 years old to really understand," her husband said. "'These people came and saw me and now they're leaving,' and we tried to explain to her that we're going to come back, and she is going to get to go on an airplane ride."

Heidi Cox, the executive vice president for the Gladney Adoption Center in Fort Worth said the incident in Tennessee gives adoption a black eye. She said the case could complicate adoptions in North Texas, even though her agency has no connection to it.

"Thankfully, Russia has stepped back," she said. "There have been many calls within Russia to stop adoptions at this point to the United States, and we are so indebted to the Russian government for waiting and for talking to our government officials."

A State Department delegation is in Russia hoping to find a solution that will satisfy the Russian government.

The McClymonts said they are hoping and praying that things will work out.

NBC DFW's Meredith Land contributed to this report.

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