The Russian Foreign Ministry has said it is to look into a custody case of a Russian child adopted by a US lesbian former couple who allegedly hid their marriage in order to adopt the child.

Konstantin Dolgov, the ministry’s special representative for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, said that the adopted boy had incurred moral harm because of the circumstances surrounding his adoption.

“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 went on to say that hiding the marriage constituted an attempt to bypass Russia’s constitution, which states that marriage is only valid between one man and one woman.

According to Dolgov, the couple split up in 2009, and therefore a custody case started over 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 Consulate General in San Francisco, and the Russian Embassy are attempting to make efforts to ensure consular access to the child, which had been refused so far, was allowed.

Earlier in February, the Russian children’s rights ombudsman said that allowing French gay couples to adopt Russian orphans would be “unconstitutional”.

The Russian State Duma also recently adopted the first reading of a homophobic censorship bill which would impose federal sanctions for the promotion of “gay propaganda”.