3-year-old girl from China adopted by Sabrina A. Banks aka Sabrina A. Stafford, died from asphyxia and several blunt force injuries.
On August 5, 2009 Sabrina Banks was arrested and charged with murder. While still going by the name Sabrina Stafford, she was the foster mother of Angelic Rose Clary, who died of neglect while in her care.
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother
Organizations: International Assistance & Adoption Project
LocationElk Grove, California
See map: Google Maps
|Woman gets 15 to life in Elk Grove slaying of adopted daughter, 3||2010-09-04|
|Former Foster Mom Arrested In Connection With Child's Death||2009-09-04|
|Ex-Bakersfield woman faces murder charge||2009-09-03|
|Discussion on adoption.com related to Lavender Banks||2009-09-01|
|Discussion on Bethany Christian Services forum related to Lavender Banks||2009-09-01|
|Mother arrested for child’s death||2009-08-11|
|Mother Arrested in Elk Grove Toddler's 2008 Murder||2009-08-08|
|Mother Accused Of Killing Daughter||2009-08-06|
|Elk Grove Police Department Press Release||2009-08-06|
|Former Elk Grove resident charged in 3-year-old's death||2009-08-06|
|Lavender's Adoption Days||2007-06-12|
|IAAP response to the death of Lavender Banks|
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Under the radar
Yet another adoption-agency approved "safe haven" for a child languishing in poor care.
That's some FINE pre-screening taking place!
How in the world does pertinent information, like foster-parenting experience... such as THIS... get lost, ignored, bypassed, or missed?!?
does pre-screening do anything?
How much pre-screening do you expect when an agency is working from Tennessee with an adoptive parent living in California? In such cases everything depends on a single piece of paper, the home study. With so much options to shop around for approval, anyone can adopt.
Here are some cases from the Golden State, where home studies weren't able to prevent children from abuse.
The Lavender Banks case is not just tragic, it is ironic too. Several years ago, the Chinese central authorities refused the adoption on the grounds that Sabrina Banks was African American, after which many adoptive parents rallied behind Sabrina Banks and wrote to the Chinese authorities to pressure them to approve the adoption. China caved in, but dropped the agency afterwards.
From China too
Like this is not the first case in California, this is not the first case involving Chinese children either.
Lavender Banks agency knew of earlier case
I learned today from a discussion on the Bethany Christian Service forum that to IAAP, the agency responsible for the adoption of Lavender Banks, the case of Angelic Rose Clary was known to the agency.
It seems to me that Lavender could have lived a full and happy life if someone had picked up on THAT little fact!
Dick Graham, Director IAAP:
I am certainly not defending Sabrina but we do need to look at the information that was and is available. She has not yet been convicted of this death. We have been in contact with the police since shortly after this happened and they have not even told us of all the evidence so no one else has any more information than we do.
We were as shocked as anyone about this. Let us let the police and the courts do their job.
Dick you can understand some of our horror because those of us in the online adoption community really went to bat for this woman. Taking the situation at face value and of course now the ongoing and long term damage she will have done for other AA families choosing to adopt in Asia. And of course the horror of a child's death something failed in the system.
Dick Graham, Director IAAP:
She had all the fingerprint checks as everyone does and it showed nothing. The home study agency approved her, the State of California approved her and the USCIS approved her.
It is a tragedy and hopefully the State will examine their procedures again to try to prevent this from happening in the future. That is the outcome we hope will come from this tragedy.
If you check the above, this
If you check the above, this is also not the first case where Bethany Christian Service failed the child by putting them in the hands of these terrible parents.
Background check anyone? anyone?...
Am I reading this right??? Then a background check didn't reveal anything in the past of this AP??? HOW?? WHY NOT???
A child is DEAD because of this little ...oversight? Did this agency get Hague Accredited?
No words to express my disgust regarding this awful awful life that this child lived. If this is not a call for adoption reform, then I don't know when?
Lavender you will not be forgotten!!! Rest in peace sweet angel.
Background checks are not as "extensive" as one might hope, assume or think.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services pages:
So, the candidate who abuses, neglects, or sexually molests, or engages in child porn, but does NOT get caught or convicted CAN in essence, pass a "Criminal Background Check".
In addition, the check applies to length of residency, which has it's own statute of limitation, as it is clearly written: "in every State in which each individual lived during the previous 5 years."
Let us not forget, each state is different. Different state, different rules, different requirements, making it much easier for a non-convicted criminal to fly under the radar, still free to foster and adopt.... AND receive all the financial benefits that can be received via foster/adoption credits and subsidies.
How's that adoption-plan lookin?