Texas licensing officials are investigating a North Texas adoption agency that handled a West Texas couple's adoption of a 3-year-old Russian boy.
The Houston Chronicle reports the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is investigating the Fort Worth-based Gladney Center for Adoption. Department spokesman Patrick Crimmins said the agency is investigating whether Gladney screened Max Shatto's adoptive parents properly.
Gladney spokeswoman Jennifer Lanter declined to comment to the Associated Press, saying state law prohibits any adoption agency from confirming or denying any information relating to a family or an adoptee.
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Lanter later released the following statement to NBC 5
With an international lens on Max Shatto’s death, it is absolutely appropriate for the State of Texas to review our policies and procedures. When we learned about this tragedy, we immediately offered assistance to the Ector County Sheriff’s Department, the Ector County Medical Examiner office, the appropriate state and national contacts, and we reached out to the family. In addition, we provided background information to the authorities who are trying to determine what happened to Max. All of us at Gladney are deeply saddened about this child’s death, and we are hopeful the authorities will complete their investigation soon.
The child died at Medical Center Hospital of Odessa on Jan. 21. Russian authorities have alleged that the child died of abuse, but no charges have been filed and authorities have yet to release findings of an autopsy on the child.