Here is the story about the Harrisons.
Father acquitted of manslaughter in July death of adopted toddler
By Scott McCabe
Examiner Staff Writer 12/17/08
Fairfax County Judge R. Terence Ney ruled that Miles Harrison’s conduct did not meet the
legal standard for manslaughter, which requires “negligence so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a callous disregard for human life.”
Harrison’s actions were “tragic” but the new father was “dutiful and devoted,” Ney said.
“The only atonement can take place in his heart and soul,” Ney said.
Harrison, 49, of Purcellville, testified that he forgot to drop off 21-month-old Chase at a day care center in Ashburn on July 8. He then left the toddler inside his GMC Yukon for nine hours while he went to work at the Project Solutions Group in Herndon.
At about 5 p.m., when a co-worker told Harrison that Chase was in the SUV, he ran from his work desk to the parking lot, threw open the car door and tried to revive his son. Chase was a Russian-born child who had been adopted by Harrison and his wife, Carol, only three months earlier.
That evening at the hospital, a Fairfax County detective and hospital employees overheard Harrison calling out with remorse.
“I want my son. I left my son, I left him in the car. Look at what I did. I left him in the car,” Harrison could be heard saying, according to court documents. “I can’t live like this. How did this happen. ... God take me. He should not have taken my son.”
Prosecutors argued that Harrison might not have wanted to harm his son but he wasn’t willing to take on the responsibilities of being a father.
The death of Chase, born Dmitry Yakolev, sparked strife between Russia and the United States over adoption regulations. The Russians opened an investigation into European Adoption Consultants Inc., the company Harrison and his wife used to bring Dmitry to Virginia.
Russian officials called on the United States to tighten its standards and banned two other unnamed international adoption agencies.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
You see I look at this different and probably similar to the Russians on this. I know that adoptive parents are not perfect. However, they are held to a higher standard that everyone else. They owe it to not only the children to do it right but also to the natural parents of that child to get it right. The adoption agencies however do not see it that way. All they see is the profit that these agencies make. The agency involved was European Adoption Consultants. This is the second child that they placed that has died in the care of adoptive parents. One really has to wonder if they are doing their jobs according to standard. Somehow I do not think so.
Here is what the Russians are saying about this so called trial:
Russia to toughen adoption rules for U.S. over Harrison acquittal
MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will toughen adoption requirements for U.S. nationals following the acquittal of Miles Harrison over the death of his adopted Russian-born son, a senior education and social protection official said on Thursday.
Harrison, 49, was acquitted on Wednesday of the involuntary manslaughter of his 21-month-old son Chase (born Dmitry Yakolev), who died of heatstroke after being left in a vehicle in the hot sun for nine hours in front of his adoptive father's workplace in Virginia.
"We are outraged by the court ruling and believe it to be totally unjust and unacceptable," Alina Levitskaya was quoted by the Education and Science Ministry as saying. "It questions the reliability of the U.S. system of protection of adopted children's rights, and will lead to tougher requirements for U.S. nationals in Russia."
Levitskaya said the ministry would demand that authorities in the United States step up monitoring of children adopted from Russia. She said the education ministry and the Russian Embassy in the United States would seek a guilty verdict for Harrison.
"When a tragedy occurs, even if through an involuntary action, a severe punishment should be inevitable," Levitskaya said.
Explaining the ruling, Fairfax County Judge R. Terence Ney said Harrison's conduct did not meet the legal standard for manslaughter, which requires "negligence so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a callous disregard for human life."
"No prison term is going to cause more pain than that which he has already suffered. The only true atonement here can only take place within his heart and soul," the judge said.
Over the last 10 years in the United States there have been approximately 230 fatal cases of parents locking their children in cars on a hot day.
Three adoption agencies, including that which organized Dmitry Yakolev's adoption but failed to inform Russian authorities of the baby's death, were banned from operating in the country in July.
Several calls for tighter controls on adoptions have been made in Russia in recent years over a series of scandals, notably the killing of a two-year-old girl from Siberia by her adoptive mother in the U.S. The woman, Peggy Sue Hilt, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in May 2006 for beating the child to death.
Around 120,000 Russian children were adopted both in Russia and abroad in 2007, a 6.4% increase on 2006, according to the Science and Education Ministry.