exposing the dark side of adoption
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By The Brussels Times with Belga

Created just after World War Two, institutions run by nuns took in underage girls and pregnant unmarried women until the late 1980s. These women were subjected to unpaid labour, humiliating conditions, and in some cases, sexual abuse.

During childbirth, some women were given general anaesthetic while others had to wear a mask – all ways to prevent mothers from seeing their child, who were immediately separated after birth. Some women were even sterilised. Others were forced to sign a document renouncing their child or were told the child was stillborn.

The children were then sold for large sums – between 10,000 and 30,000 Belgian francs (roughly between €250 and €750), sometimes much more – to adoptive families.

Unkept or destroyed files are now making reunion processes extremely difficult, says Debby Mattys (57), who was put up for adoption by the nuns and spent over 20 years looking for her birth mother. "My mother was 18 years old when she had an unwanted pregnancy," she told Het Laaste Nieuws.

2 couples adopted, fostered nearly 30 kids

DEWITT TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Four adoptive parents living in mid-Michigan are each facing numerous charges in an alleged scheme to adopt children for financial gain and subsequently and secretly abuse them.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office on Monday announced dozens of child abuse charges against couples Joel and Tammy Brown and Jerry and Tamal Flore. Nessel’s office said the charges were brought against the DeWitt, Michigan couples after evidence was obtained relating to the “abuse against eight of the dozens of children adopted through their homes since 2007.”

Each of the four adults are facing separate charges including varying degrees of child abuse, conspiracy to commit child abuse, and failing to report child abuse. Jerry and Tamal Flore face the most charges -- 11 and 17, respectively -- including several counts of first-degree child abuse, which is a felony charge that carries a punishment of life in prison.

According to officials, the couples conspired to adopt children for financial gain with the particular help of Joel Brown, who was formerly employed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service’s children’s services agency. Brown is accused of using “his expertise in the field of child abuse investigations and the child protection laws to circumvent detection of the ongoing child abuse in his own home and that of the Flores.”

MATT MENCARINI   Lansing State Journal

LANSING — The Michigan Attorney General’s Office has issued arrest warrants for two Clinton County couples in what the office has described as a conspiracy to adopt dozens of children and then cover up physical and psychological abuse "all for personal financial gain."

Jerry and Tamal Flore, and Tammy and Joel Brown are the subject of the warrants, the AG’s Office announced during a Monday afternoon news conference in downtown Lansing. All four had previously been charged, but those cases were dismissed by a prosecutor and judge.

"The allegations in this matter are heinous and egregious," Attorney General Dana Nessel said. "In the area of child abuse, the harms caused to an individual's mental health are often, unfortunately, overlooked. Abusive behavior by any parents — adoptive or biological — is unacceptable and will not and cannot be tolerated."

Nessel said her office is giving the Flores and Browns until Friday to turn themselves in to law enforcement.


The Michigan Attorney General’s office announced Monday that more than 30 criminal charges were filed against two Clinton County couples: Joel and Tammy Brown and Jerry and Tamal Flore, for organizing to adopt dozens of children from previously abusive homes for financial gain only to subject them to more physical and mental abuse.

“The allegations in this matter are heinous and egregious,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said during a news conference Monday, outlining some of the reports from the children, some of whom are adults now, including being beaten with a wooden oar.

“Abusive behavior by any parents, adoptive or biological, is unacceptable. It will not and cannot be tolerated. Our investigation has also highlighted just how much the law in these areas really needs to be amended to combat these types of crimes, which is likely much more prevalent in our state than any would care to admit,” Nessel said.

Both couples had been prosecuted before for child abuse, but the cases were dismissed.


Lansing — Attorney General Dana Nessel charged two Lansing area couples Monday with 36 criminal child abuse charges, months after other similar charges against the foster and adoption families were dismissed.

The DeWitt couples are being charged in relation to eight of the 30 children who have been in their charge since 2007. Nessel alleged the couples' collected more than $1 million tax free through the adoption subsidy program.

Those charged include Joel Brown, a former child advocate for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services who faces five criminal charges; his wife Tammy Brown, who faces three criminal charges; Jerry Flore, who faces 11 criminal charges; and Tamal Flore, who faces 17 criminal charges. Nessel indicated the charges encompassed only those not time-barred by a six-year statute of limitations on abuse charges

"The state believes that the Browns and Flores conspired together to adopt dozens of children who were removed from previously abusive biological homes and subjected them to prolonged, routine, and systemic mental and physical abuse under the guise of discipline and all for personal financial gain," Nessel said.

By Pocharapon Neammanee

John and Katherine Snyder were sentenced in the death of 8-year-old Adam, one of five Chinese children the Ohio couple had adopted.

An Ohio couple who were found guilty of abusing their children, including five they had adopted from China, were sentenced on Thursday in the murder of an 8-year-old boy, Hamilton County prosecutors announced.

John Snyder was sentenced to 29 years to life and his wife, Katherine Snyder, was sentenced to 31 years to life in the 2016 death of Adam Snyder, who had been adopted from an orphanage in China, prosecutors in the Cincinnati trial said.

According to court records reviewed by HuffPost, the couple faced a total of 26 charges and earlier this month were found guilty of murder, felonious assault and endangering children.

KEVIN GRASHA   Cincinnati Enquirer

As John and Katherine Snyder were sentenced to possibly spend the rest of their lives in prison, a large, framed photograph of the boy they were convicted of murdering was positioned on a stand in the courtroom.

The photo showed a smiling boy, 7 or 8 years old, missing a few front teeth. The couple adopted the boy, Adam, from China in 2016, the same year prosecutors say the Snyders killed him.

"I want you to see him," Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Wende Cross told the Snyders at their sentencing Thursday.

The husband and wife, who are both 52, faced the judge and the photograph of Adam as they stood in the courtroom, their hands shackled behind their backs. The Snyders wore jail uniforms because they have been held at the county jail since being found guilty Nov. 17 of murder, felonious assault and child abuse charges.

John and Katherine Snyder were found guilty of murder, felonious assault and endangering children.

By: Andrew Rowan , Anna Azallion , Molly Schramm

CINCINNATI — John and Katherine Snyder have been found guilty of murdering their 8-year-old adopted son, Adam, in October 2016.

The couple faced a total of 26 charges. They were found guilty of murder, felonious assault and endangering children.

According to the prosecution, all of the Snyder children were malnourished, deprived of medical care and more.

By Nicolas Fernandes | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A former U.S. Army major and his wife have been sentenced for the fourth time in the abuse of their three developmentally delayed adoptive children.

John E. Jackson, 48, and Carolyn Jackson, 46, were convicted of multiple counts of child endangerment in 2015 in the abuse of the children, who were all under the age of 4 at the time, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of New Jersey.

They were previously sentenced in 2021, with Carolyn receiving a 40-month prison term and her husband receiving 18 months of home confinement. The U.S. Court of Appeals then ordered a resentencing after determining that the district court failed to follow its directions to consider the children’s multiple injuries “holistically and in the context of the jury’s findings of guilt” in determining causation, officials said.

On Monday, Carolyn Jackson was sentenced to 11 years and 8 months and her husband was sentenced to 9 years.

Defense attorneys moved for mistrial earlier in day after learning of $55M claim on behalf of victim, his brothers

By Jessica Prokop

A Clark County jury Friday convicted two adoptive parents of homicide by abuse and second-degree murder in the starvation death of their 15-year-old son — after a chaotic morning in which the defense moved for a mistrial.

The legal motions came in a flurry after attorneys learned of a combined $55 million tort claim filed on behalf of Karreon Franks’ estate and his surviving brothers, now 16 and 17.

Seattle-based Davis Law Group filed the tort claims July 18 against the Washington Department of Health and Social Services and Department of Children, Youth & Families.