Abusive parents exist everywhere

Often when I talk to folks who say they've considered adoption, they tell me they thought about it, but then they heard some horror story that stemmed from adoption. I always wonder when I hear these horror stories how fair we are being in attributing the horror to the adoption, and not to the parents themselves. I've heard a lot of parent-child horror stories in my life, and it seems to me that the parents are always to blame, and the children are never to blame.

Consider the recent convictions of Carri and Larry Williams.[1] They abused their son and daughter, beating them, starving the daughter, and forcing her to use an outhouse. Eventually the daughter died of hypothermia after being locked outside through the night, in 40 degree weather.

Next, consider the case of Filiberto Garcia and Tracy Roach who are charged with killing their 13-month old by starving her to death.[2] Or the case of Carlos Rivera and Carmen Ramirez, who starved their 3 year old, who died weighing 11 pounds.[3] Or Jamie Beck and boyfriend Michael Naples who are charged with the death of Beck's 17-month-old who died of blunt force trauma to the head.[4]

Parents who abuse children… abuse children. They do not discriminate between internationally adopted children and biological children.

I'd also like to point out here that the reason we screen adoptive parents is to prevent the kinds of abuses endured by Hana Williams, Carri and Larry's daughter. But screening didn't help in this instance. And clearly parents like Garcia, Rivera and Beck need to be screened as well, but we put them in another more trustworthy category of biological parents. A badge they clearly don’t deserve.

The screening system is broken. Actually, to say that means it actually ever worked. We have a justice system for parents who abuse their children, let's use it! Trying to prevent crime by parents is a noble effort, but let's do it for all parents, not discriminatorily for adoptive parents only.


[1] http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-09-09/news/sns-rt-us-usa-adoption-homicide-20130909_1_homicide-charge-adoptive-parenting-book

[2] http://www.wistv.com/story/23425194/pair-charged-after-infant-daughter-dies-from-malnutrition-dehydration

[3] http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57602314-504083/pa-parents-charged-with-starvation-murder-of-3-year-old-daughter-who-weighed-11-pounds/

[4] http://woodstock.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/mother-former-boyfriend-arrested-in-woodstock-babys-death

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