U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., founding co-chair and board president of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and co-chair of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, today released the following statement on the tragic death of Max Shatto, a three-year-old child adopted from Russia.
"The death of any child is a tragic and unexpected loss. The circumstances in the death of Max Shatto, a three-year-old adopted child from Russia, are unclear at this time. As is required by Texas law, a full investigation is underway and will be completed in approximately two weeks, at which time more facts will be known.
"Contrary to current Russian opinion, child protection laws in the U.S. protect both biological children as well as adopted children, and this case is no exception. Neither this case nor others that have so much media attention in Russia recently should provide an excuse for that government to close intercountry adoption and relegate thousands of their own children to vapid lives in institutional care. Russia's step to encourage domestic adoption is commendable, but every child in the world deserves and needs a loving and protective family, including Russian children.
"When all the facts are in on this tragic case, all appropriate legal actions will be taken."