Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Can a child be a sociopath?

A mother sends her adopted son back to Russia with the note: "I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends, and myself. I no longer wish to parent this child. As he is a Russian national, I am returning him to your guardianship. . . . He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues."

There are a few fun things about this piece of news. First, like Octomom, this is a subject on which everyone seems to have an opinion, from those that think that this is part of a plot by Russia to export its sociopaths to the U.S., to those that think that all you need is love to make him turn good. Second, the kid's life is probably ruined now that he is outted for eternity as a psychopath, but it is a good cautionary tale for other misbehaving child sociopaths, particularly those with foreign citizenship. Third, this video:


  1. Looking back, it’s oh so obvious that I've always been this way.

    That's not to say that this kid won't become one if he isn't already, since once you get tagged and tagged really hard, like this kid did, the only way to survive might be to become the monster everyone thinks you are.

    Then again, if he wasn't one and spent his whole life trying to prove isn't by being a model citizen, everyone might just say "oh he's doing this to appear like everyone else but he's an evil sociopath and this is a lie!"

    Any way you look at it, because of this, this kid is most likely fucked until he dies.

  2. This actually angered me on several levels. As a mother this adoptive parent should be ashamed of herself. If she undertook the responsibility to adopt a foreign older child, she should assume any scenario. The worst thing she did for this poor kid was to abandon him & send him back to Russia.

    Children are not pets & you don't get to send them back if they don't arrive perfect. Whether you adopt them or birth them. Shame on this American mother.

    If this poor kid has pyschological issues, then I can't imagine what this stupid woman has done to him that will only deepen his problems. Oh, well...not her problem now, right? She can wipe her hands clean of this problem. Hmmm...who's the sociopath??

    Oh my goodness this is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

  3. I have to respectflly disagree on that. I think there should be some type of foster arrangment set up before you permenantly take a child away from their country exactly because of situations like this. Im sure there are aleady bonding stressors on adopting an older child, that coupled with the fact hes from another county AND a psychopath. Im thinking that would be just a bit too much of an adjustment for any normal empath to make.

  4. Tragic story and the adoptive mother was wrong in how she handled this without question and had never reported any issues with this kid? Please.

    Not much is said about issues with adoptive kids this but at the link scroll down to "Ranch raises hopes for adoptees" weird stuff.

  5. I would've tortured the kid progressively until he broke. If I failed, I'd have shipped him back to Russia, too. Smart woman.

  6. I would've tortured the kid progressively until he broke.

    Although mine didn't "break" me, I either sucked it up, or found ways to avoid getting beaten as I grew older. Sometimes for parents, it's hard to tell.

  7. Children are not pets & you don't get to send them back if they don't arrive perfect.

    Is this to say that it's acceptable to treat animals other than humans as disposable objects then?

    It's always interesting to me how selective and anthropocentric empathy is, yet so many pride themselves in having it, as if it defines them as human beings.

  8. If you stop misbehaving in ways that get you beaten, you've been broken.

    I abhor violence, though. I was thinking feeding the kid progressively less, messing with its sleep, etc.

  9. Ishtar, I have to say that agree with you completely. I've heard a few people say (about this particular situation) 'he's not a dog, he's a human being, you can't just send a human being back'. Since when was it okay to treat an animal like this? About a year ago I adopted a dog from a shelter and for the first 6 months he was a complete fecking nightmare, but not once did it cross my mind to return him and, according to some, I'm a 'person with responsibility issues'. I'm just hoping that the woman concerned is never again allowed to assume responsibility for anything with a pulse.

  10. but who knows what the kid was doing
    maybe sometimes you have to return them
    maybe it will work out better for him too

  11. Ishtar & Anon:

    Sorry, but as a mother of two...yes, I see a difference between a pet and my children.

    If that makes me a monster or somehow lessened as an empathetic human being in your mind, then so be it.

    I do hope that things work out for this child. It just seems that the mother's defiance in not talking to the media or anyone else, indicates that she reacted in anger and not with love for her child she chose to adopt. I have to wonder if all other options were exhausted (such as counseling, family therapy, etc.) I do agree with Anon...hoping that she will never be endowed with this type of responsibility ever again.

  12. 'Any way you look at it, because of this, this kid is most likely fucked until he dies.'

    Though I agree with the rest of your comment I have to question this remark. Look at Karla Holmoka (Paul Bernardo's xwife). Shes quite obviously a sociopath, who else would give their little sister as a "gift" to their husband, resulting in her death? Well, she seems to have gained quite a bit of notoriety and fell in "love" to a prisoner from another prison after her release. See... all is not lost.

  13. If that makes me a monster or somehow lessened as an empathetic human being in your mind, then so be it.

    It doesn't lesson one as an empathetic human being, it lessens any claims one has of being a morally superior individual compared to even me. But, at least you're willing to accept that, which isn't something I can say for most people.

  14. I do hope that things work out for this child. It just seems that the mother's defiance in not talking to the media or anyone else, indicates that she reacted in anger and not with love for her child she chose to adopt.

    i'm guessing the reality wasn't anything like the fantasy.

    if someone took me away everything and everyone i knew and put me in an alien world in the arms of people who couldn't speak my language and who expected me to forget my entire life before them, i might be violent too.

  15. You know... I kind of agree with you Zoe.

  16. The kid might not have been all that bad. Being torn from everything you know at such a young age could be pretty traumatizing. If I were a kid, I don't think I'd deal well with being moved to china, with parents who only spoke mandarin, being forced to adapt to their culture. I'd probably burn their house down at the first opportunity.

  17. exactly.

    we moved from Europe to North America when i was six. different culture, different language. at that age you've already absorbed a lot of your own culture. i remember standing in a circle with my little friends and in the middle was this kid just back from AMERICA and bragging how much better everything was "over there". we were so jealous! we hated the little bastard.

    so moving was exciting but nothing could have prepared me for the shock of losing everything familiar, and having to sit in silence and not being able to understand a single thing in school. that was huge. your whole world is turned up-side-down, yet you're just a little kid and no one really takes you seriously because they assume your feelings are little too. but i still had family, familiar toys and familiar food, a connection.

    for kids who are in an institutional setting and who have already experienced loss, to lose their culture and a complete connection to everything they have ever known must be overwhelming. i imagine it's more than some can cope with.

  18. A childs brain isnt developed so how can a child be diagnosed as if they are an adult? The brain of a child is nothing like the brain of an adult, everyone knows that.

    Most children start out psychopathic and at some point become more and more empathetic, or not. But there is a stage in childhood where the child only really knows themselves and everything is about them. Their whole world revolves around them and they have to learn to value others one by one.

    That being said usually an empath shows some signs of empathy towards their mother or father by age 6-8ish. If a child is adopted this doesn't really help with the diagnosis because that could very well mess any child up and in all likelyhood this specific child had psychopathic traits to begin with and never had the chance to learn empathy because of the environment.

    It's probably too late to teach it. Empathy is something that has to be taught at a very young age, just like counting and reading.

  19. BizyLizy if the child has psychological problems and is violent, the child should be in a hospital in Russia.

    The USA is not the place to raise a violent child. That sort of child wont survive in our country and would get killed in a driveby before they reach adulthood.

    Also they've been labeling children like this since the ADHD generation and still are. I was labeled ADHD and labeled APD. There is always some label out there for any child but the difference is I was never a violent child.

  20. How about they screen for psychopaths so that we don't ever adopt psychopaths from foreign countries?

    PROBLEM SOLVED! Psychopaths can stay in their home countries, it makes no sense to welcome them to the USA as potential citizens. Our prison population is big enough and she did the right and ethical thing and the honorable thing for her country. The USA looks bad enough as it is. We mistreat the psychopaths we already have, we don't need more. I reckon it should be illegal to adopt a child with psychopathic tendencies from a foreign country. I reckon it should also be illegal for psychopaths to immigrate into the USA.

    How many of you agree?If you are a psychopath do you want more competitors?

  21. why does everyone assume these children are psychopaths? they were plucked out of their homes and deposited in an alien, ethnocentric environment, and expected to forget everything and everyone they loved.

    look at it from their perspective. if you're in an institution then the other kids and caregivers there are your family, yet these family ties are not acknowledged by your society. when you're adopted into a family in a foreign country, you're suddenly made to cut your ties with everything and everyone. no one really explains to you why. it's just the mysterious way of the adults and their rules. and you can't even talk about it because no one around you speaks your language. these kids are acting out as a way to cope with their loss.

  22. I'll first start by saying I am a little embarrassed, I don't know anything about Blogging. So, I don't know how to post a question or communicate on a blog at all. So, if this is not the proper way to ask questions it would be great if you could school me on what to do! Also, I will just say up front I feel very uncomfortable asking questions as after reading some of the blog I realize I am no where near the IQ level of most of you. So, forgive me if I sound dumb, the fact is I'm sure I am when it comes to Sociopaths. My husband and I have adopted a girl who is 11...she has been with us since she was 9. She has been diagnosed with ADHD, PTSD, ODD, and RAD. Of coarse they didn't tell us we would be raising a Sociopath. I'm not sure that would have deterred us..however, I am learning that while, I have been trying to turn my daughter into a 'normal' child, it is highly unlikely that will ever happen. I feel as though I have made enormous mistakes and do not know how to raise her. If I had known from the beginning that she would never be 'normal' and that she is in fact a sociopath, I wouldn't have wasted so much time, and made she and my husband and I so miserable up to this point. So, now that I know that I don't NEED to make her NORMAL, my questions are: How should I parent her to best help her live a peaceful life. (peaceful for her not necessarily for me). Why would a sociopath not want to become normal? It seems sooo much more difficult to live in her brain than mine..why wouldn't you just do something right instead of wrong, just for the peace of it? And ... she has unusal tendancies toward animals and insects...humanizing them, but then makes comments about them like "it's just a cat or a dog, it's just an insect who cares?" She will trap them to the point that they die or are killed by other animals...she captured a bird and kept it in a bucket and left it where the cat lives, the cat found it and ate it...she separated water striders the babies from the mamas and daddies (her words), and said it was because the mamas and daddies wouldn't do what she wanted them to but the babies would. The list goes on and on...last week I found spider nests in her bedroom..she had taken fabric softner sheets then lined them with fabric from one of her shirts that she cut up with scissors, and put spiders in them in little pods, she twisted the tops closed so the spiders couldn't get out and was collecting them in a bin in her closet (they of coarse were all dead). I am so curious as to what you all make of it? What does it all mean .. why do you think she is doing it? It doesn't freak me out and though I may ask her why she does it, I don't think it is normal, I wonder if I should be doing something about it? If so what? (We try to act as if this is no big deal to us at all, however when she kept capturing the birds and trapping them and taking the nests with eggs in them and hiding them from the mama birds...we had to make her stop, I did ask her about the water striders but acted as if I wanted to know only for informational purposes and then with the spiders (baby hobo spiders) I just never mentioned it)(there are so many instances like this I couldn't count or document them all at this point) She also writes in her journal (she doesn't know I read it) that she wishes I were dead and that she doesn't want me to just die like in a car accident but she wants me to suffer like from cancer', so what do you make of that and what do you think I should do about it? Any help would be greatly appreciated! But go easy on me, I am a newby! (wink)
    Tami D.

  23. I don't know if you can officially label a child a 'psychopath', but your empathy for these kids is misplaced. I would recommend the documentary 'Child of Rage', describing the true story of a little girl who never bonded with her primary caregivers and was hideously abused, was adopted by a loving couple, and basically by the age of 7 was a serial killer in the making; tortured animals, probably would have killed her biological brother if she hadn't been removed from the home. There is a window of opportunity for kids to bond; if that is missed, they don't develop the ability to connect with people. Not their fault, but I agree with removing them for the safety of the other members of the family. The moral of the story is; do your research before you adopt. I don't think this woman's experience is uncommon.

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  25. I am very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation t hat's at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best posting. |

  26. Lol I'm adopted from Russia and I'm a sociopath lol maybe ur right about the Russian plot to send sociopaths to US but Russia has enough anyways. Lol



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