“World of Grief and Doubt,” From Sept. 1 Sunday New York Times


Courtesy Sergei Ponomarev for NYT

For those who may have missed this story – “World of Grief and Doubt After an Adoptee’s Death” – it spoke to me on so many levels, even though the circumstances were different. The heartbreak of infertility, the arduous adoption journey to a distant foreign country, the uncertainty over the child’s medical condition weighing against the tug wanting to parent, the difficulties at home, and then tragedy.

I’ve been pre-occupied with moving and the possibility of a new job, so I’ll be back next week with more original posts!


2 thoughts on ““World of Grief and Doubt,” From Sept. 1 Sunday New York Times

  1. This article was incredibly biased towards the adoptive family — and, for me, raised more questions than it answered. The death of little Max Shatto tragic but there are so many unanswered questions:

    – If it takes the force of a car crash to sever a child’s bowel artery, how on earth did little Max manage to sever his own bowel artery on a playset in his backyard? An underweight 2 yo wouldn’t generate that much force, even if he took a swan-dive off a big kid playset. Why was the coroner (who is under investigation for incompetence, a fact not mentioned in the article) unable to identify the piece of equipment that Max gave himself a fatal blow with?
    – the article failed to mention that CPS was investigating the Shattos for neglect when Max died (someone had called in a tip, reporting the Shattos were neglecting the boys).
    – The Shattos were fully aware Max was prone to self-harm, functioned at a the level of 1 yo baby and was thought to have FASD and autism (as per Laura Shatto’s 911 call) – and yet left Max and his brother unsupervised, for 10+ minutes in the backyard. That in and of itself is child neglect (at least in my home state of NY); the fact that Max died would certainly meet the criteria for criminally negligent homicide.
    – Why did the pediatrician prescribe risperadol for a 2 yo who’d been home for all of 2 mos and wasn’t yet fluent in English? Why didn’t the Shattos follow up on therapies or with a child psychiatrist? Risperadol is not a first-line medication for a toddler. While there may well be toddlers that are severely ill enough to warrant putting on risperadol, it is generally 1) prescribed by a child psychiatrist, not pediatrician and 2) not warranted for a kid whose symptoms were pooping in the tub and throwing tantrums.
    – Why did the Shattos disregard a whole lot of sensible advice? By adopting 2 kids simultaneously (despite the fact that it significantly increases the odds an adoption will fail) and who were born to an alcoholic mother (when they’d insisted from the get-go that FASD wasn’t an issue they were willing to deal with).

    A beautiful little boy died under incredibly suspicious circumstances. Russia is legitimately upset that a crime has been swept under the rug.

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