Press Release


Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman has been quoted in numerous U.S. news outlets, including all three major television networks, as well as internationally by the BBC, Voice of America’s Russian news service and others. A sampling of the interviews, with links:


ABC News

Aired: April 9, 2010, Interview with Pertman
Tennessee Mother Ships Adopted Son Back to Moscow Alone

“…While there is no behavior that can excuse child abuse, Pertman said orphans in Russia are often institutionalized and, as a general rule, institutionalized children suffer higher rates of attachment and behavioral disorders.

“You can not live in an institution for years and suffer no consequences,” he said. The answer, he said, lays with foreign countries minimizing damaging environments for the children and U.S. adoption agencies doing a better job of vetting and education potential adoptive parents.

“Of course your heart breaks for this child,” Pertman said of Artyem. “People should not get the impression that all Russian kids have these problems.””

New York Times

In Tenn., Reminders of a Boy Returned to Russia
Published: April 10, 2010

“…But, Adam Pertman, executive director of Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, said the Hansens had a responsibility to seek help. He acknowledged that adoptive parents often have incomplete histories for the children they bring into their homes. And he said that for children like Justin, born Artyom Savelyev and raised in a Russian orphanage for much of his early life, the challenges can be immense.

“Institutionalized children in particular tend to act out, he said, with the worst cases involving verbal abuse or children striking parents… “Kids who are beaten and neglected…kids whose parents drank heavily when they were pregnant; kids with severe disorders – they can cause real disruptions in a family,” Mr. Pertman said.

“”You need help if you’re having problems. There is this weird lingering myth that love will conquer all. Guess what, it doesn’t in biological families and it doesn’t in adopted families.””

NBC Nightly News

Aired: April 11, 2010, Interview with Pertman

Good Morning America

Aired: April 10, 2010, Interview with Pertman
Adopted Boy Sent Back to Russia Showing No Signs of Violent Behavior, Russian Officials Say
Published: April 12, 2010

“…Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute in New York City, said, “On every level, putting a little kid on a plane and shipping them somewhere is horrific behavior. If you have a problem, you deal with the problem. It is certainly the equivalent of abandoning your child.”

“While he understand’s the knee-jerk reaction in Russia to protect their children, Pertman said banning all adoptions isn’t the way to go.

“There are lessons to be learned from this,” he said. “Ensuring that all the other kids that need loving homes don’t get them is not the way to solve the problem.””

New England Cable Network

Aired and Published: April 10, 2010
Grandmother: Russian Orphanage Lied About Boy, Interview with Pertman at link

“…Adam Pertman, the Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, said it is not just as simple as returning an adopted child.

“”Adoption is not child rental. The parent is responsible for the child, period, however we get our children,” Pertman said. “If your kid is having problems you don’t put him on a bus. You find a therapist, you find a support group, you go to your family. You do something to help resolve that problem.””

A Closer Look at the Russian Adoption Scandal, Interview with Pertman
Aired: April 12, 2010

Christian Science Monitor

Published: April 13, 2010
Returned Russian Child Spotlights International Adoption Problems

“”…There is a lot we don’t know about this case,” says Adam Pertman, executive of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. “But I am concerned already that people are going to look at this story and say, ‘Look what happens,’ and strike Russia off their list or choose not to adopt at all.”

“”One story should not negate the good that happens to tens of thousands of children,” he says.

“Mr. Pertman says that in general, institutionalized children have higher rates of behavioral disorders. There are about 600,000 orphans in Russia right now.

“”We have to learn the lesson that this aberration should not drive us, but inform us,” says Pertman. “We must conclude that we adults have to do a better job, not that these kids have to be left in orphanages.””