MOSCOW, February 21 - RAPSI. The Foreign Ministry is looking into the circumstances surrounding an American same-sex couple's adoption of a Russian boy and their custody battle over the child. According to Konstantin Dolgov, the ministry's special representative for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, the boy has incurred moral harm.

"We are seriously worried about the situation concerning the Russian child Yegor Shatabalov, who was adopted in 2007 by US citizen Marcia Ann Brand upon the Kemerovo Regional Court's decision," he said. "According to the Russian Embassy in Washington, she was living in a same-sex marriage with a woman named Beth Chapman during the adoption process, but she hid this information deliberately."

He said in doing so the woman attempted to bypass Russia's Constitution, which states that a marriage can only exist between a man and a woman.

Dolgov said the couple split up in 2009 and a legal action ensued for custody of the child.

"The boy became involved in the sorting out of a relationship of a questionable moral character," he said. "We believe Yegor was kept in conditions that forced him to incur moral harm on his psychological well-being. We are certain that this runs counter to his best interests and he needs adequate living conditions and parenting in a full family."

The Russian Embassy and Consulate General in San Francisco are making efforts to ensure consular access to the boy, which so far has been refused, Dolgov said.