exposing the dark side of adoption
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August 28, 1993

Janice Haidet

Dayton Daily News


The 2nd District Court of Appeals has refused to act on the Carroll family's attempt to get back two of its 10 adopted children, but other action is to be considered Monday in Greene County Juvenile Court.

In a decision filed Friday, appellate judges Thomas J. Grady, James A. Brogan and Mike Fain refused to grant a writ of habeas corpus, which would compel Greene County Children Services to bring the children to the court for a hearing. The case centers on Isaiah Carroll, 11, who was released from Children's Medical Center on Friday after a two-day hospital stay, and Samuel, 5. Both disabled youngsters were placed in foster homes Aug. 17 after a coroner's inquest into four suspicious deaths in the Carrolls' Cedarville home.

"We feel that the court has made the correct decision," said Greene County Assistant Prosecutor Robert K. Hendrix.

The court said it agreed with the prosecutors' position that the custody issue is best addressed in juvenile court and that a writ of habeas corpus should only be used when there is "no other adequate remedy at law."

John H. Rion, the lawyer representing adoptive mother Kathleen Carroll, said he understands the appellate court's position, and that he and Dennis E. Gump, lawyer for Mrs. Carroll's husband, Timothy, are ready to argue their case with Visiting Judge Richard T. Cole on Monday.

They have filed motions asking Cole to consider returning the children to the Carrolls.

Cole also is expected to consider Assistant Prosecutor Suzanne Schmidt's motion to remove court-appointed advocate Stephen Bogenschutz from the case.

Cole may also consider a request from the Dayton Daily News for access to documents and hearings involving the Carroll family, particularly criminal charges pending against the family's oldest adopted son, 17-year-old James. He is charged with delinquency by reason of involuntary manslaughter in the bleach-burning death of Hannah, 6, on Sept. 21, 1992.

Since then, scrutiny has focused on the care given to the children in the Carroll home. But since last week, the Carrolls have criticized the care given to Isaiah and Samuel in the foster homes in which Children Services placed them last week.

Greene County Assistant Prosecutor Stephen A. Wolaver, whose office represents Children Services, dismissed the criticism, saying it's all an attempt to deflect scrutiny from the Carrolls and onto Children Services.

Meanwhile, county officials say hospital tests on Isaiah showed no evidence that he suffered a seizure. The boy had become faint during a visit outside the agency's headquarters in Xenia.

Mary Ann Paloncy, the agency's executive director, said she believes the summer heat, along with the excitement of having 18 people present at a visitation, "contributed to whatever he experienced."

The visitors were family members and friends who attend the Carrolls' church, Ascension Life Center in West Alexandria.

As a result, Paloncy said the Carrolls' weekly visitations will be limited to immediate family.

1993 Aug 28