Returning adopted son

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AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568
Returning adopted son

Ohio Couple Indicted for Returning Adopted 9-Year-Old Son - ABC News

I have seen this story a few times over the last few days. I am torn on the verdict. Part of me feels that if a child was badly hurting my other children, himself, it might be best to admit that he needed more than I could give him.

I would much rather a parent go to child protective services with their child then to hear the stories of mothers drowning their children in a bath tub or driving them off a cliff.

Debate questions - Do you think the court is right? What other things could the parents have done?

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

I think these parents are horribly wrong. They had raised this child from birth, how can they just be done with him? He sounds like he needs a lot of help, but they signed up to give him help when they adopted him. I do not see adopted children being any different then biological children.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

"mom3girls" wrote:

I think these parents are horribly wrong. They had raised this child from birth, how can they just be done with him? He sounds like he needs a lot of help, but they signed up to give him help when they adopted him. I do not see adopted children being any different then biological children.

I understand what you are saying, but even in a biological child there are times when a child becomes too much. My aunt used to work in a children's home. There were many kids there that for whatever reason could not be with their parents. They were violent or had emotional problems or whatever else. To me, it does not have anything to do with the fact that he was adopted, but that he had deep problems that they could not cope with.

I think this sends a very wrong message. That if you can not cope with your child, that if you try to find a safe place of help for them that you will be arrested. Those parents that find themselves in that position will abuse or neglect the child. If a parent is not going to love and take care of the child, I would rather them give them to someone else who will. There is no point in forcing someone to keep a child they do not want. In that situation I believe it is in the best interest to find them a good home where they will be loved and given the help they need.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I understand what you are saying, but even in a biological child there are times when a child becomes too much. My aunt used to work in a children's home. There were many kids there that for whatever reason could not be with their parents. They were violent or had emotional problems or whatever else. To me, it does not have anything to do with the fact that he was adopted, but that he had deep problems that they could not cope with.

I think this sends a very wrong message. That if you can not cope with your child, that if you try to find a safe place of help for them that you will be arrested. Those parents that find themselves in that position will abuse or neglect the child. If a parent is not going to love and take care of the child, I would rather them give them to someone else who will. There is no point in forcing someone to keep a child they do not want. In that situation I believe it is in the best interest to find them a good home where they will be loved and given the help they need.

There are good ways to deal with this and ways that are absolutely wrong. Telling DHS they cant do it anymore is not the right way. They could have found him a good group home, but they didnt. The completely abandoned him, abdicated their responsibility. I know first hand about parents that are the end of their rope, I have seen first hand parents that had to make super rough choices about what to do with their kids.
The other thing I do worry about is the message is send their other kids. Hey if you misbehave your mom and dad will drop you off where they dropped off your brother.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

"mom3girls" wrote:

There are good ways to deal with this and ways that are absolutely wrong. Telling DHS they cant do it anymore is not the right way. They could have found him a good group home, but they didnt. The completely abandoned him, abdicated their responsibility. I know first hand about parents that are the end of their rope, I have seen first hand parents that had to make super rough choices about what to do with their kids.
The other thing I do worry about is the message is send their other kids. Hey if you misbehave your mom and dad will drop you off where they dropped off your brother.

I am not denying that it is a traumatic situation all around.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

I have some mixed feelings on this. If the parents were deemed unfit in some way, the child would have been removed from the home. Being unfit isn't a crime per se (disability/mental or physical illness). But just saying I'm unfit to continue to care for this child results in a charge of "non-support of dependents."

Sorry, but this is one of my biggest pet peeves: [quote] "You don't get to give back. You have to accept them and give them unconditional love when you have the means and ability to provide for them. You may not have to love them, but it's your child, period," he said." We know the child is a boy. He is 9 years old. Hardly an "it." I find it insulting and demeaning in this case.

What's going to happen to this child? Is he better off being returned to this family? What happens if he is reunited and something violent happens?

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I agree with Bonita. It is a terrible situation, but if parents truly and sincerely cannot cope with a child then I would prefer to see them give the child over to the state rather than abuse or neglect them or worse. I'm reminded of a case that happened recently (within the past year I believe) where a woman had a daughter with autism. The daughter was physically violent to her and their other children,to the point where the mom had been hospitalized several times from injuries that the daughter had given her. The family had tried everything within their means to get the daughter help, but none of it worked and they were out of resources, so the mom took the daughter out and tried to kill them both (herself and the daughter.) I believe that parents should be able to surrender responsibility before they get to that level of desperation. It should be not be a first resort, but it should be a safe and legal option. Saying "this is your child so you simply must cope" doesn't actually solve the problem, it just leaves some children (and their families) in very unsafe situations.

ETA: I'm on my phone and it's hard to post links, but the mom's name was Kelli Stapleton if you want to google it.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

I think another side of this is access to mental health services. IIRC, in the Kelli Stapleton case, their daughter had been at a residential facility for as long as their insurance would cover it. It's really sad that they could only afford to keep her there one month when all the doctors said she needed eight or nine months but insurance wouldn't pay. So a violent autistic girl was sent back home before she could get the full benefits of the program, and her despairing, despondent mother felt the only way out was to kill them both.

But it doesn't sound like that's entire the case in the OP. The couple says they tried to get the boy help but he refused, which I just don't buy. He's a nine-year-old. You don't make it an option. You take the kid where he needs to be and get him the help he needs. Period, end of story. But they didn't do that, they used it as an excuse to get rid of him, and I'm glad to see they are being charged for it.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I don't know all of the specifics of this particular case, and what the parents tried or did not try, I'm just saying that I think that at some point parents should be able to surrender custody of their children to the state if they are reaching a point of desperation. Ideally the parents would be able to work with the state prior to reaching that point and get help and resources to keep them from ever getting to that point in the first place (therapy, parenting classes, a case worker, whatever), but to me the bottom line is that if it's against the law to surrender a child to the state, parents that are reaching their breaking point may be more likely to do something worse than surrending the child instead. For the kid's sake, there should always be a legal safety net where we say "If it gets to that point, don't do anything crazy, bring them in. You won't be in trouble, just bring them in safely." They may be rotten parents and rotten people for doing it, but it doesn't really benefit the kid to try to force rotten parents and people to keep him when they are desperate to be rid of the child.