By Conor Sweeney
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A top Russian official said on Friday he hoped to quickly place an adopted boy into foster care one week after he was sent home alone from the United States, sparking a halt to all U.S. adoptions by Russia.
Artyom Savelyev, who celebrated his eighth birthday on Friday in a Moscow hospital where he is under observation, arrived by airplane with a letter from his U.S. mother asking for his adoption to be annulled on the grounds he was mentally unstable, triggering a furious reaction in Russia.
"Next week Artyom will be discharged from hospital and will go to a foster family in Moscow," said the Russian President's Ombudsman for Children's Rights, Pavel Astakhov, after visiting him in hospital with birthday presents.
While children left without parental care usually face an uncertain future whose fate is not quickly solved, Astakhov said a decision was taken on Friday so everything possible would be done in Savelyev's case, he said on his website rfdeti.ru.
Savelyev was adopted from an orphanage in Russia's Far East in 2009. After six months, his adoptive mother, a single nurse from Tennessee, bought him a one-way ticket to Moscow. In an attached, typed note she described him as mentally unstable and violent.
Within around three weeks Astahkov said he hoped the "most suitable family" would be found for the boy, who has been in hospital since his return from the United States.
Astakhov said Savelyev was in a good mood and smiling on Friday.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev described the affair as a "monstrous deed" and Russian media has followed the case closely, expressing outrage at the boy's experience.
Lawmakers drafted a bill on Friday that would formally suspend adoptions to the United States in line with an earlier Foreign Ministry announcement, Interfax reported.
Russia is the third largest source of foreign adoptions to the United States, with 1,586 children adopted last year, according to the U.S. State Department.
The U.S. embassy in Moscow said on Friday the child was "in good spirits" when a consular officer visited to give him a present. It added that Savelyev holds dual U.S. and Russian citizenship.
(Reporting by Conor Sweeney; Editing by Ralph Boulton)