Allegations of Child Abuse Spur Questions of Adopted Services Oversight

Date: 2011-05-19

Child services officials say the licensed foster care mom accused of abusing her six adopted children passed all of the checks and balances that were required by the state.

By Lauren Maxwell

The head of the State of Alaska Office of Children’s Services says it’s too early to tell if the system failed six children whose adoptive mom is now charged with their abuse.

Anya James was a foster mom for more then ten years and state officials say she passed every check and balance required to keep children in her care. 

After James finalized the adoption of her sixth child, the state says they had no legal reason to keep tabs on the family.
“At that point it’s as if the children are biologically theirs,” says OCS Director Christy Lawton, “and we have no more right to intervene in their family then we would have in the average person's family.”
But Lawton’s agency is charged with protecting children and also to respond to reports of suspected abuse, and they got them.
Lawton says in the last two years they received several complaints from neighbors, which she says they didn’t hesitate to check out.
“We did receive calls and we did go out and do a number of assessments and I can tell you in general terms that if we had allegations of malnutrition or that a child had suffered sexual abuse or physical abuse then it would be a routine part of our evaluations to get some medical evaluations,” says Lawton. “ And we would also look for some medical recommendations as to whether it really was abuse causing what we were seeing or not.”
Lawton says she’s not at liberty to talk about specifics in the case but that the details will come out in court. Until then she says it’s clear that the children suffered harm but whether the system was at fault is still to be decided.

No way

Excuses, excuses. The neighbors called. The state claims they went out. Then what did they do? Nothing. If you read the comments written after some of these articles two of her adult children are speaking out. Their comments are very revealing. Another commenter said Anya was friends with someone high up in the state agency and therefore he believed she could do no wrong and no action was taken to help the kids.

This is a case where people did the right thing by alerting the authorities, but when the authorities actually protect the psycho Amom, what chance do the kids have? They could have been rescued years ago!!


 when the authorities actually protect the psycho Amom, what chance do the kids have? They could have been rescued years ago!!

Bingo.  Just because someone passes the "checks" required to foster/adopt, that fact does not mean the person deemed appropriate to parent is in fact a good decent parent who will neither neglect or abuse. 

This is the very aspect of "child protective services" I despise.  Proper checks are not done on children put in-care, period -- whether the care-taker is a bio-parent, extended family member, or paid employee at an institution -- no one is really checking on the children.  There is something intrinsically wrong with that.


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