Adoption agencies adminster cruel and unusual punishment?
Over the years we have posted extensively about abuse in adoptive families, and within our archives collected information about many different abuse cases. Abuse in adoptive families comes in many shapes and forms, ranging from neglect to deprivation, sexual abuse, exploitation and physical abuse.
When looking at the physical abuse cases, there seem to be two patterns that often emerge. Children, especially babies, beaten or shaken violently, and cases related to so-called "discipline".
Just two weeks ago, the California town of Paradise, was shocked by the abuse taking place in their community, when Lydia Schatz was "disciplined" to death by her adoptive parents for the mispronunciation of the word "pulled".
Outrageous as it may sound, this is not the only case where a child received cruel and unusual punishment over mispronunciation. In 1988, 5-year-old mentally delayed Abert Smith was beaten to death by his foster mother for not saying his prayers correctly. And in 2006, Jane Cochran tortured her 4-year-old adopted son to death, again for incorrectly saying his prayers.
So far most cases of absurd discipline we were able to find related to devout Christian adoptive and foster families, but an excerpt in the complaint of Boe v. Christian World Adoption, shows not only adoptive families sometimes engage in ridiculous forms of "discipline", but adoption agencies sometimes do the same.
The Boe v. Christian World Adoption case, relates to the wrongful adoption of an Ethiopian boy, who allegedly was presented to the Boe family as healthy, but in reality had severe medical conditions, allegedly withheld by CWA. The Boe case was presented in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's documentary Fly away children, in September 2009.
In January of this year, the Boe's filed a formal complaint against CWA, making the following claim:
CWA wrongfully neglected Z.B. while he was housed in the CWA transition housing units by failing to give Z.B. proper medical care despite the fact that he had regular seizures and incontinence as a result of serious medical condition. CWA further wrongfully mistreated Z.B. while in CWA housing units when they disciplined him for incontinence related to his medical condition.
So if this allegation is true, representatives of CWA in Ethiopia beat up a child over a condition he had no control over.
When adoption agencies themselves don't know proper child-rearing methods, how can we expect them to find appropriate families to place children with? How can we believe agencies like CWA, effectively screen adoptive families for the use of cruel and unusual punishment, when allegedly they are guilty of it themselves?
Situations like these show how desperately proper regulation of adoption is needed. As long as anyone can start an adoption agency for any conceivable reason and without proper oversight, abuse in adoptive families will keep happening, certainly when adoption agencies themselves don't even set the right example.