WASHINGTON, July 2 (UPI) -- The children of Russian couples jailed on U.S. spying charges face uncertainty about where they'll live and who their family actually is, officials say.
The children of the four imprisoned couples range from 1 year old to adulthood, and each child is a product of a spy couple manufactured in Moscow, CNN reported Friday.
In a complaint filed Monday, federal prosecutors said the accused were living fabricated lives as part of a program for trained operatives labeled, "illegals."
"Illegals often operate in pairs -- being placed together by Moscow Center while in Russia, so that they can live together and work together under the guise of a married couple," the filing said. U.S. officials said they "will often have children together; this further deepens an illegal's 'legend,'" or cover story.
The children of the accused spies most likely will be turned over to whomever the parents designate for guardianship, CNN reported.
The female member of one couple operating in Arlington, Va., has arranged for their two sons, ages 1 and 3 to be taken back to Russia. A couple arrested in New York has a 30-year-old son who, his father says, can take care of a younger teenage half-brother, CNN said.
Children of a New Jersey couple arrested for spying may end up in the state system and the destiny of two sons of Massachusetts spy illegals remains unclear.
"It's always in the interest, for the most part, for them to be with blood relatives," said Terri Braxton of the Child Welfare League of America. "I couldn't say for sure, but if the parents wanted them to go back to relatives in Russia, I am sure that the agencies would try to make that happen."