A Grave Memorial
been taken away
from his birth parents at only 20 months old due to alcoholism and
neglect, Alex Geiko lived in an orphanage in Russia, for almost five
before he was considered, by his friends, to be lucky enough to get
by an American couple. Alex would have his named changed to Alex Pavlis
and he was moving to America with his five year old sister Alexei.
1995, Dino and
Irma were married. The couple suffered through two miscarriages before
making the decision to adopt. In 2003 they saw a photo of a child on an
adoption website. Overwhelmed by the $20,000. fee it would cost to
him, the couple decided to use and independent adoption agency. After
$11,000. and after several trips to Siberia, they brought home
and Alexei Geiko, in November of 2003.
and Irma Pavlis
would adopt Alex and his five year old sister, Alexei and take them to
America to live. Less than two months later, Alex was dead at the hands
of his adoptive mother. Irma claimed that Alex was a difficult child
was not able to use the bathroom problem and often soiled himself. She
also claimed he hit his own
said that Alex
would become violent and throw himself against the wall and bang his
on the floor. She said she didn't know how to deal with his outbreaks
didn't want to ask for help because she was afraid Alex and Alexei
be taken away from her.
December 18, 2003,
Irma called 911 and told them that Alex was not breathing. Alex died on
December 19, 2003. Upon his death, Alex had 32 bruises, scars and cuts
on his body. Reports would indicate that he MIGHT have given
injuries to himself. Irma Pavlis was charged with involuntary
in the beating death of Alex. During her trial she would claim that she
loved Alex, but, she stated that he was mentally unstable and at times
he was even suicidal.
played in court, had Irma admitting to hitting Alex in the stomach and
slapping him on the face. Shannon Lynch, Irma's attorney said that she
had to discipline Alex, but, said that his brain injuries and his
behavior were brought on by fetal alcohol syndrome due to his mothers
of alcohol during her pregnancy.
she was sentenced,
Irma had some advice for other parents who were considering adoption,
said they should seek as much information as they could about the
they were planning to adopt:
learn from what happened to me,"
said that while he believed Irma was sorry for what happened to Alex,
was unwilling to accept that she was responsible for his death. She was
trying to put the blame on the adoption agency for not disclosing the
extent of the problems Alex had. Irma received a short sentence of only
12 years for beating Alex to death. She would be eligible for parole in
2009. The sister of Alex, Alexei was removed from the home and placed
foster care. Dino Pavlis was not charged with anything in this case.
case of Alex
Pavlis would continue, though, in America and in Russia. In late 1980,
Russia was going through massive political and social reform and the
of orphaned children doubled. Foreign people were all of a sudden
to adopt these children due to the boarders being opened up. In
5,865 children were adopted out of Russia by American families, this
to about 1% of the children adopted there.
over Alex's death caused the Government of Russia to take a closer look
at allowing American's to adopt children from Russia. Alex's case was NOT
the first case of a Russian child coming to America and then dying at
hands of adoptive parents. Politicians are saying that foreign
are taking away Russia's most precious resource, the children.
were considering limiting the number of American's who were able to
children from Russia.
called for in response to this is a shutdown, a moratorium, which would
proposal was brought
before the Russian Government by General Vladimire Ustinov on May 5th.
He wanted agreements to made with countries of those citizens wishing
adopt Russian children. The agreement would include keeping track of
children adopted out of Russia and brought overseas and the right to
action against the families if the children would be abused by their
who is the founder of the New York
Happy Families International Center said that if the
ever put into place, foreign adoptions would stop
way the United States will give Russia control over their adopted
43,000 Russian children have been adopted by American families. Of
43,000, 12 children have died at the by the hand of their adoptive
happen with biological or adopted children. Child abuse happens
hard to predict."
say that the success of adoptions out number the deaths and that almost
anything is better than the children who remain parents. Homeless
in Russia commit suicide at the rate of about one in every three,
to an international group called Kidsave which has an office in Moscow.
Kidsave, Terry Baugh said the proposed agreement aren't even necessary
because a multilateral protection agreement is already in place called
the Hague Adoption Convention. Russia has licensed agencies that demand
post adoption placement reports which happen twice the first yea and
for two years after. The reports are filed by a social worker who
the children after they go to their American homes. Terry feels that
adoptive parents need more education about the children before bringing
so eager for blond-haired, blue-eyed kids they don't really listen to
said that children coming from orphanages or foster homes have already
been through neglect and abuse of some kind and that brings on a range
of problems. Natasha doesn't feel that Russia should bar foreign
a stigma about adoption in Russia, not to mention adopting disabled
to salary and
housing requirements, it is hard for Russians who want to adopt these
to do so. Natasha believes that Russian children would be unfairly
by the efforts of the Government to make it mandatory that children
in the regional databank for eight months instead of the three months
required. This is the time they must wait to be put in the intentional
data base of children waiting to be adopted.
her agency Kidsave is trying to adopt more children from Russia into
to move more kids into Russian families and get laws changed,"
incentives and easing up on restrictions of Russians trying to adopt
Another suggestion was for the prospective parents and the orphans to
able to meet and get to know each other before they actually become a
meet these kids, they fall in love and stay connected. And that's what
these kids need."
is June 13, 2014 and while searching for
information about Alex's case, I found that Irma had been paroled in
occurred in the state of Illinois
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