Children adopted by Douglas and Kristen Barbour

A 6-year-old boy and an 18-month-old girl, adopted from Ethiopia by Douglas and Kristen Barbour, were severely maltreated by their adoptive parents. The boy was malnourished and had skin lesions and the girl had signs of multiple skull fractures (abusive head trauma)  which caused her to be blind in one eye and partially paralyzed.
Date: 2012-09-14
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Fundamentalist faith: yes



Franklin Park, Pennsylvania
United States
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DocumentDatesort icon
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DA opposing reduced sentence for abusive mom 2014-10-07
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Franklin Park couple faces child-abuse charges 2013-01-17
Franklin Park couple face more charges2012-11-20
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New charges added against Franklin Park couple accused of abusing two adopted children2012-11-19
Franklin Park Couple Face New Charges in Child-Abuse Case2012-11-19
Hearing postponed, couple facing new charges in child abuse case2012-11-19
Lawyer: Deputy attorney general and wife ‘frustrated’ by child-abuse allegations2012-11-19
Hearing postponed for couple in child abuse case2012-10-23
Franklin Park couple's hearing continued in abuse case2012-10-23
Adoption gone awry is a troubling mystery [opinion]2012-10-23
Adoption saga ends with charges for Franklin Park couple2012-10-21
Judge: Couple cannot visit adopted children after abuse charges2012-10-15
US family charged with abusing adopted Ethiopian children2012-10-07
Pennsylvania prosecutor, wife charged with abusing adopted Ethiopian kids2012-10-06
State prosecutor and wife 'abused adopted Ethiopian children found near death with skull fractures and bruises'2012-10-05
Pa. deputy attorney general, wife charged with abuse of children2012-10-05
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Deputy Attorney General, Wife Charged With Abusing Adopted Children2012-10-04

Outcome of case

The Barbours pled guilty to child abuse charges in June 2014, and they were sentenced September 15, 2014. Kristen Barbour received 4 years probation and six months in a residential facility. Douglas Barbour received 5 years probation. As an attorney, Douglas Barbour will face disciplinary proceedings following his conviction and sentence. He had already been fired from his position as an assistant attorney general. The Barbours' adopted children were adopted by a physician and his wife. The doctor spoke frankly at the Barbours' sentencing hearing about the abuse the children endured, and about the long term problems the little girl will have as a result of her skull fracture.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court imposed an indefinite suspension

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court entered an order indefinitely suspending Douglas Barbour's license to practice law in Pennsylvania today.


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