Couple accused of disturbing abuse on adopted children

Date: 2011-06-29
Source: kfor.com

Jesse Wells Reporting

EL RENO, Okla. -- A Canadian County couple accused of brutally beating their kids and locking them in dog kennels have their day in court. During Wednesday's preliminary hearing, graphic testimony came from one of the victims.

The parents face a half-dozen counts of child abuse and neglect.

Investigators call it one of the worst cases of abuse they've ever seen.

In court, John and Sonja Kluth sit for hours as their teenage son details nightmarish claims of abuse.

The alleged victim told the judge, he and his two siblings were often forced to stay in small dog kennels at the family home in Yukon.

The teen also told prosecutors his parents sprayed him with urine, burned him, routinely strangled him, smashed his hands and feet with a mallet, even squeezed his penis with pliers.

The mother allegedly committed a majority of the abuse, supposedly telling the boy she wanted to see him bleed and be miserable.

The victim also testified he would be confined at the family home for months at a time, never be allowed to socialize with others and said his mom encouraged him to commit suicide.

For their part, the defense painted a picture of the boy as a troubled kid who would lie, steal and cause trouble.

The accused parents had little to say leaving court.

"Do you have anything to say?" asked one reporter.
"No," Sonja said.
"Did you use pliers on his penis?" the reporter asked.
"No," Sonja said.
"So he's making this up?" he asked.
"No comment," Sonja said.

The investigation began after the victim ran away from home in February.

At the end of the hearing, the judge ruled there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

Both parents remain free on bond pending trial.

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How does an Adoptive Parent respond?

According to testimony, the victim claims his parents sprayed him with urine, burned him, routinely strangled him, smashed his hands and feet with a mallet, even squeezed his penis with pliers.

The victim also claims the mother ("allegedly") committed a majority of the abuse; "she wanted to see him bleed and be miserable."

Testimony also shows the victim would be confined at the family home for months at a time; he was not allowed to socialize with others and it's claimed his mom encouraged him to commit suicide.

The parents seem to maintain the boy was a troubled kid who would lie, steal and cause trouble.

How many would be troubled under those circumstances?

Let us remind readers, this was an adoptive home. These are/were vetted, trained adoptive parents.... CHOSEN to care for troubled kids put in-care.

A reporter asked the accused parents, "Do you have anything to say?"

The mother offered "No".

It was asked if the victim was making false accusations, like using pliers on his penis.

The mother offered "no comment"

I too find myself speechless... and without words.

Is this what "troubled kids" have to look forward to when it comes to adoptive parenting?

In some cases.... yes.

Lovely adoption experience, isn't it?

Ugh

Hopefully these people will not live in free society again.

Unfortunately there are

Unfortunately there are terrible people in this world. Some of them are adoptive parents and some of them are biological parents. I hate that the primary focus of all these articles is that the children were adopted. We have adopted children and the minute they were put in my arms my momma bear instincts to protect them were there. The focus should not be on the fact that these children WERE adopted, the focus should be on the terrible abuse situation from a parent.

poor taste

I assume you suggest that we should all forget that the Kluth's were approved as a "loving family" by a licensed social worker in their state, who wrote a favorable home study about them. We should forget about the post-placement monitoring that saw no wrongs or was simply neglected.

There is a qualitative difference between becoming a parent through birth and becoming a parent through adoption. An adoption is approved by a judge (a public official) based upon recommendations of licensed professionals, while birth happens without any state intervention.

The point is not to single out the Kluth's or any of the other abusive adoptive parents for their misdeeds. The point is how the placement system has failed children. The goal to place children with another family, in their best interest, has failed miserably when those children end up being abused.

We may not be able to prevent all child abuse, but we certainly could make a much better effort to protect those children on whose behalf legal decisions are made. As it stands now, home studies, irrespective of how intrusive they are, almost always lead to approval. The screening process, doesn't screen, it only syphons money out of adopters pockets without actually protecting children.

Finally, it's not alway about you and your feelings. In fact, I think it is in poor taste to pit your feelings about adoption, against those of children who have been through hell and back.

Famous last words.

We have adopted children and the minute they were put in my arms my momma bear instincts to protect them were there.

If I had a nickel...

To be fair....

let's not forget, just as there are some who have a natural ability to love and nurture others, there are many who has no momma-bear instincts to speak of.  This applies to Amothers, as much as any other sub-set of the mother-types.  [And there are plenty of father's who lack the ability to love and attach, as well... biologic AND step/ adoptive, alike.]

I believe The Wannabes are the parent-figures who allow abuse to take place in their homes... they are the parent-figures who lament how hard they work, how hard they try to do the right thing, and how disappointing their (adopted) child is (because the child had some fault, making it impossible to love and protect as a good momma bear would). 

Why such creatures adopt, I will never know for sure, but I'm inclined to think adoption in these cases has much to do with profound immaturity and insecurity... perhaps related to fear that goes with infertility. In any case, kids know when mom is protecting out of love, or showing-off because she needs some added attention, and a kid knows when the new dad is just a miserable man. 

Advocates for the adoption industry pontificate the "right" a child has to a family, assuming all Aparents are right in their heads.  It's simply not true that all Aparents are equipped to BE good loving nurturing protective parents.   Good parenting is part instinct, and part guided education.  Both aspects are required to be good for a child.  The truth is, there are far too many broken, dysfunctional people passing checks because they are functional enough to seek favors from other people,and capable enough to pass basic minimum tests.  This minimum pass-score is NOT enough.  This topic deserves more attention and discussion, but it needs to be in a way that the average adopter does NOT get over-sensitive and defensive.  Remember, adoption is done for the child, not for the person who wants to see him/herself as "world's greatest ____"

Finally, I've had this discussion many times with other abused adoptees, and the consensus remains the same:  most would rather never be adopted at all then be adopted by a  wanna-be...a person who has no parental protective instinct, or a person who blames all wrongs on the child.   All in all, it has been said many many times, it simply sucks (growing-up not having a momma's safe ferocious love).

Tough one, wonder how to do it

The truth is, there are far too many broken, dysfunctional people passing checks because they are functional enough to seek favors from other people,and capable enough to pass basic minimum tests.  This minimum pass-score is NOT enough.  This topic deserves more attention and discussion, but it needs to be in a way that the average adopter does NOT get over-sensitive and defensive.  Remember, adoption is done for the child, not for the person who wants to see him/herself as "world's greatest ____"

This is a good point, because once those massive defenses are up, there's no point in trying to talk to them at all. How do you get around it, when everything in that world is designed to reinforce what sad victims they are of their circumstances, and then (in the case of state actors, agencies, brokers, etc.) exploit those emotions.

Pound Pup Legacy