Russian Ombudsman to Help California Couple to Return Child

MOSCOW, April 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russian children’s rights ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov, said on Sunday he will help Alex and Anna Nikolayev of Sacramento, California, to return their baby boy, who has been seized by authorities in the United States.

“We will offer the parents to file a complaint to return the child. The process will not be quick but I think we will succeed in this,” Astakhov told RIA Novosti. “The case has been certainly taken under control,” he added.

Five-month-old Sammy has been in protective custody since April 24 when police and Child Protective Services took him from his mother after the family had a dispute with the baby’s doctors.

After Sammy was treated for flu symptoms last week, doctors at the Sutter Memorial Hospital decided that he needed an immediate heart surgery. The parents argued with the doctors and took the child to another clinic for a second opinion without a proper discharge, saying they did not like the care Sammy was getting.

Sammy’s parents said they have known about Sammy’s heart murmur since he was born, and the child was regularly seeing a Sutter cardiologist every two to three weeks. They said no one ever gave them any reason to think Sammy’s health was in any imminent danger.


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