Aide to Vladimir Putin tells MailOnline parents are shirking their responsibility amid row with US over adoption

EXCLUSIVE: Kremlin brands American couple who want to void adoption of ‘mentally ill’ Russian boy and girl as ‘despicable’ and demands to see children
Couple, from Long Island, adopted children, then six and eight, in 2008

At time, the youngsters were reportedly described as ‘healthy’ siblings but parents say they are now mentally ill – and not brother and sister

Parents have gone to court to overturn the adoption in rare legal move

Russian officials now want access to the children who are in state mental health facility, saying ‘they are our citizens’

Russian diplomats are to demand access to a boy and a girl from Russia whose American parents want to reverse their adoption, claiming the children are ‘mentally ill’.

Vladimir Putin’s commissioner for children’s rights has told MailOnline that the move by the unnamed couple from New York, as ‘despicable’ and said his country’s consul must be allowed to see its citizens.

The couple have gone to court to ask a judge to end their legal parenthood of the 12- and 14-year-old, who are being cared for in state mental health facilities in New York.

They claim that when they adopted the children six years ago, via two adoption charities which then worked in Russia, they were not told the children had severe mental problems, and were falsely told they were brother and sister.

Russia’s children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov (left), a key aide to Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin (right), has said Moscow’s diplomats will demand access to two Russian children adopted in the US whose parents want to overturn the adoption, claiming the boy and girl are mentally ill.

The couple claim that although the children were reportedly described by the agencies as ‘healthy and socially well-adjusted’ siblings, the opposite was the case

A judge is to begin hearing their case next month. Their identities have been kept secret by the court.
However, Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov has now called for immediate access to the children, and accused the parents of failing to bring them up properly.

Astakhov made clear he wants the Russian consul in New York to meet the children, though under present arrangements there was no way they could come back to Russia until they reach the age of 18 and choose to do so.

‘They remain two underage citizens of Russian Federation,’ he said.
‘They are protected by our laws. The Russian consul has a right to meet them, to access them. This is what must be done right now – to get access to these children.

‘This is what the Russian Consulate in New York must be occupied with now ~ to meet and chat with them.