Yesterday, Kimberly Emelyantsev, 34, was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for the March 2008 beating death of her adopted son Kolya. In August she was convicted of second degree child abuse homicide. At the request of the prosecutor, Emelyantsev was ordered to undergo a pre-sentencing psychiatric evaluation. Kolya was a “special needs” adoptee, with Down Syndrome and had lived with Emelyantsev and her husband Fyodor, a Russian national, for less than a month. The couple was also rearing K. Emelyantsev’s 10-year old DS daughter and two biological daughters without disabilities. Two months before Kolya’s placement they adopted a DS Russian baby, Luka.

That such a situation might prove “stressful” to the Emelyantsevs, especially stay-at-home Kimberly, was apparently overlooked or dismissed by their adoption agency About A Child, Reece’s Rainbow who listed him, and the home study hack, probably out of LDS Social Services, who passed the couple for adoption. (The Es are LDS). After all, Fyodor had a MA in genetics, was trained in handling disabled children, and worked as an RN. The couple took out a second mortgage to pay for Kolya. Who could say no to that package?

In August, the prosector promised that more details of the case, which has received little attention outside of Utah, would be revealed at sentencing. So far we have only a short article in the Salt Lake City Tribune to fill in some of the blanks:

[Defense attorney] Williams said Emelyantsev blamed the death of the boy on a stressful home environment and the “pressures of a husband [32-year-old Fyodor Emelyantsev] who would not participate in an extraordinary familial situation.”

Williams added that Kimberly Emelyantsev never wanted to adopt this child from Russia, but was afraid to say no to her husband and afraid of how it would look to others if she did not go through with the adoption

and details of the beating:

Emelyantsev initially claimed that out of frustration she deliberately dropped the baby twice to the floor on March 6. But during a recent diagnostic evaluation at the Utah State Prison, Emelyantsev admitted grabbing the child by an arm and a leg, slamming him to the floor, and then repeating the action.

Kimberly Emelyantsev did the deed and is worthy of the greatest punishment available to the state, But what kind of a man coerces his wife to adopt special needs children who he then refuses to help her care for? Nobody knows what went on behind closed doors in that house but the family. Perhaps if court documents and investigation reports are forthcoming that information will give us some idea. But, Fyodor Emelyantsev is complicit in Kolya’s death.

Unfortunately, Feodor Emelyantsev is off the hook. Though never charged in Koyla’s death, he and Kimberly had also been charged with child neglect for allegedly starving Luka, charges never fully substantiated and later dropped. At the time of Kolya’s beating, Fyodor claimed to be on his computer in a back bedroom and was unaware of any problem until his wife brought the baby, who police described as “unresponsive and breathing very slowly” to him. Now, I have a 10 room house, and I’m pretty sure, short of a motorcycle race running down my street, I’d hear a baby being thumped on my floor.

The SLT did not report the current whereabouts of Fyodor Emelyantsev or the other children who were last reported living with nearby relatives. Kimberly Emelyantsev has agreed to voluntarily terminate parental rights to her surviving children.

Most of the questions I brought up after Emelyantsev’s conviction have not been answered and are still relevant. Since this is Utah, they probably never will be answered.

  • What role (if any) did F. Emelyantsev play in the prosecution and plea bargain of his wife?

  • Why did About a Child allow the placement of Koyla with the Emelyantsevs so soon after they had taken custody of another institutionalized non-related Russian DS child ?

  • Did Adoption Ark who placed Luka, know that the Emelyantsevs planned to adopt a second institutionalized DS child from Russia immediately after Luka’s placement? (Reece’s Rainbow did.)

  • Has any agency been investigated by their individual state’s social services of attorney general?

and a couple more:

  • Was Kimberly Emelyantsev and/or the other children the object of domestic violence?

  • What is the current status of the surviving Emelantsiv children?

I have updated Forever Family–Forever Dead with this new information.


  1. “What kind of a man coerces his wife to adopt special needs children and who he then refuses to help her care for? Fyodor Emelyantsev is complicit in Kolya’s death.”

    He sounds like a control freak to me. Just as no woman should be forcced to bear a child against her wishes, neither should she be forced to adopt.

    This whole tragedy of Russian adoptees killed by their adopters reeks of pure, evil “wrongness.” It’s like being in a Quenten Taranteno movie…warped and bloody.

  2. I am not writing as an apologist for either of the Emelyantsevs. However, I have to point out that one should always look at a lawyer’s unsupported arguments (particularly at sentencing hearings) with a jaundiced eye. His job was to minimize his client’s sentence. Unless and until the husband is charged and tried, or pleads, there is little chance we will ever know what really happened in that household. Given her admissions while undergoing diagnosis, I’m not sure I would want to.


  3. I have heard enough, of the excuses,
    from adopters who kill. THEY are murderers! If one kills that’s what
    it is MURDER.

    As far as her being forced to adopt, that’s her way of justifying what she did to that poor innocent baby.

    I give her no slack just as those who adopt think they are the better parent, person or whatever their heads tell them to seek out babies.

    Natural parents are given no chances, no slack, and that’s fine. If they do the crime they should do the time.

    Horrified at the abuse this baby went through at the hands of “the forever” mother.

  4. I think a lot went on in that house that hasn’t been revealed–at least by news accounts. Court documents may shed light on those and investigation reports may say much more, but right now we just don’t know. I realized I left out that KE should not be cut any slack for this. I’m going back and adding something now.

  5. I agree a lot went on in that house. One tends to wonder why this family with one DS child was approved for another? The sickening part of this is how these countries are passing off special needs kids and dumping them on American families. Most charge as much as for non SN kids upwards of $26,000+.
    It makes no sense? Americans that feel compelled to help would be better served to start humanitarian and medical programs overseas for these children for a fraction of the cost.
    The US Foster Care system has thousands of SN kids paper ready -waiting for a family – yet these parents bypass our own to spend double the amount.
    I am sick and tired of US taxpayers having to pay the brunt of these mistakes in trial fees, disrupted adoptions and medical needs. Charity starts at home.
    Lets quit letting the sending countries laugh at us as a dumping ground for sick and disabled children. Especially when we do nothing to take care of our own.

  6. It makes me so ill to think of what that poor baby went through, and indeed the other children.

    It seems to me that there is a motivation of money for these adopters of *many*

    Add to that – that this guy was a Russian Nationalist, perhaps he felt he was proving himself to someone there ?

    I agree Robin a Quentin Tarantino Movie alright!

    There is NO Excuse for what that women did to that poor baby 🙁 And that loser husband of hers also deserves to do time for his role in the terror in that house !

  7. Fifteen years will give her seven or less of imprisonment. She already has some time served merely by being in custody for the innocent baby’s death. Fifteen years is nothing for a death.

    She looks so pained in her photo and the story about her hubby coercing her to adopt more special needs infants, I don’t believe it as most of the time its the woman that wants to adopt, and the man goes along as it.

    As far as I know there are no benefits to adopting a special needs child from Russia unless our government has somehow stepped into help. I bet they have and that would be the motivation to obtain more than one and if the husband’s forcing her to adopt is true this would make more sense. After all benefits just like those that adopt special kids in U.S.

    Either way taxpayers are picking up tab because of these two. Jail, courts, lawyers, and care for the other kids they acquired.

    Adoption sabes so much money.

    The legislatures are the ones that turned their backs while the stock markets practiced, freely, unregulated just as adoption does. And the tax payer pays I don’t know about you BUT I am tired of paying for others.

    Wealthy, greedy, individuals who’s only desire is to acquire a something that ISN’T theirs and will NEVER be theirs.

  8. No, there are no financial benefits for adopting internationally except the tax credit which covers part of the fees, travel etc.

    The point I think Bastardette is making is that the system needs to stop high risk families like this one from adopting in the first place.

  9. I agree, anonymous.

    I also think Marley’s fair to assume that the home study was done by LDS family services. Whoever, it’s clear that they didn’t pick up on signs that surely must have been apparent to anyone with a functioning antenna.

    To get LDS Family Services Services approval, a couple needs to have been married for two years, sealed in the temple, hold current temple recommends, have a Bishop’s endorsement and to have passed their state’s or province’s criminal background check.
    They got all that and it’s a no brainer.
    It would be hubris to look further.

  10. It looks like the thoroughness of the home study hasn’t changed since my children were adopted by a substance abuser and a redneck, “discipline” abuser. At least they are alive…damaged, but alive.


    You can hardly blame the adoption agencies, all they do is let people know who is available to adopt. It is up to the Government agencies who approve or disapprove the families for adoption.

    But the people who do these things a few, there are so many people who adopt and DON’T ABUSE OR KILL their children. Lets be careful how you ‘paint’ the agencies and people involved.

    I mean just because one person such as you seems less than educated hardly means that all people who blog are stupid!

  12. correct me if I am wrong here. I was under the impression that once a child enters the USA after adoption finalization in their land of birth….they ARE an automatic American citizen correct?
    As an “American Citizen” those children would therefore qualify for disability benefits for life as my retarded cousin has, even after the death of my aunt and uncle which pays for his housing in a special home and medical needs.
    This may vary from state to state but I am certain the new American citizen qualifies for disability benefits as any American citizen would.

  13. Fyodor is complicit in Kolya’s death! He forces his wife to adopt, then refuses to help her care for him. He’s a down syndrome child, Kolya needed a lot of attention, more than his wife could give, especially with her other DS children. He shouldn’t have forced her into adoption. Robin’s right. You can’t force a woman into bearing a child, and you sure as hell can’t force a woman into adopting a child either.

  14. It is well known that Mormons have a high rate of inbreeding and a high rate of genetic defects. Still, they keep having those poor disabled babies for the government benefits. I wouldn’t put it past them to adopt children with disabilities solely for the benefits too.

    Here is where we need big government, not in abortion clinics. Jesus fucking Christ, which kid would Jesus smack against the wall, huh, Mormons?

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