exposing the dark side of adoption
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A 14-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl were found locked inside of a shed on Monday evening

By Charna Flam

Donald Ray Lantz and Jeanne Kay Whitefeather are in police custody after two children were allegedly found locked in a shed in Sissonville, West Virginia, the Kanawha County Sheriff's office said in a press release.

Deputy H.K. Burdette responded to a call to the 200 block of Cheyenne Lane in Sissonville just after 5:45 p.m. local time on Monday afternoon, the department said. The caller saw a man open the shed, speak to the minors and then lock the shed behind him, authorities said.

“Deputies had to force entry into the barn where they located a juvenile male and juvenile female locked inside an approximate 20x14 foot room,” reported the sheriff's office.


Donald Ray Lantz, 63, and Jeanne Jay Whitefeather, 61, both of Sissonville, were charged with felony gross child neglect creating a substantial risk of injury, according to a news release from the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they were called to the 200 block of Cheyenne Lane in Sissonville where two children were found locked in a 20x14 barn following a welfare call.

The caller told dispatchers they believed the children were locked in the barn for days at a time, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

The caller also told deputies they’d seen Lantz open the door to the barn, say something to the children and then close and lock the door back, deputies said. The caller also alleged the children were made to do farm work and not allowed in the home.

Adoption agencies said some countries are just now lifting their restrictions for adoptions after the pandemic. With other agencies closing nationwide, children are aging out of the process in greater numbers than ever before.

International adoption agencies are scrambling to help families after Dillon International announced it will no longer offer adoption services.

Dillon said there are several reasons for their closure, including the rising cost to maintain its accreditation.

Adoption agencies said some countries are just now lifting their restrictions for adoptions after the pandemic. With other agencies closing nationwide, children are aging out of the process in greater numbers than ever before.

Kara and Josh Moseby said their family is now complete after adopting Tariku from Ethiopia and Fini from India.

Emma Epperly, The Spokesman-Review

Sep. 29—A 29-year-old man agreed to testify about the mysterious final days of 8-year-old Meela Miller's life when he pleaded guilty to his involvement in her death Friday.

Aleksandr Kurmoyarov pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, second-degree assault and three counts of unlawful imprisonment.

Mandie Miller, Meela's mother, and Kurmoyarov were arrested late last year in South Dakota after they transported the little girl's body from Airway Heights to the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation where, according to court documents, they intended to bury her.

Biologically, Meela is Miller's niece, but the 33-year-old adopted her and raised her as her own.

Jupiter police charged the couple with aggravated child abuse after alleging they made one of their children live in an 8-foot box in their garage.


WEST PALM BEACH — Jury selection for the trial of a Jupiter man accused of confining his adopted teenage child in a box-like structure in the family's garage began today at the Palm Beach County Courthouse in West Palm Beach.

Timothy Ferriter, 48, faces one count each of aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment following his February 2022 arrest. On Thursday, the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office said it was filing an additional charge of child neglect. Ferriter pleaded not guilty to the new charge Friday and previously pleaded not guilty to the other charges.

Opening arguments are expected to take place Tuesday, with testimony running through much of the week.

Amid allegations of a corrupt adoption system in Seoul that falsified children’s records, those sent to Denmark as youngsters are desperate to find out their real stories

In the summer of 2022, Sussie Pflug Brynald, a Danish citizen, walked through the doors of Holt Children’s Services in Seoul, South Korea, looking for answers about her past. The agency had handled her adoption 49 years earlier when she was, according to Holt, a Korean orphan.

Brynald had brought with her a bottle of Danish liqueur and souvenir shot glasses adorned with Vikings and Danish flags. She had been told that bringing presents to the adoption agency might help her get some of those answers.

Brynald remembers being struck by how cold the Holt offices seemed, from the clinical interior of the building to the manner of the case worker sitting across from her. “I just felt like he was speaking to me the same way he would have spoken to the hundreds of others he’d encountered. It felt mechanical: ‘I’m sorry. Sorry. No information.’ That was all he said.”

On that day in July, Brynald didn’t know what she knows now: that the little information Holt Children’s Services had been able to provide about her before her adoption – that she was an orphan, found in the street by a stranger – was most likely false. However, she had a strong feeling, she recalls: “There was no credibility to what he was saying. At all.”

The Committee on Enforced Disappearances today co-hosted an event at the Palais des Nations in Geneva to mark the first anniversary of the joint statement on illegal intercountry adoptions.  Speakers discussed the content and objectives of the joint statement, highlighted its importance for victims and identified future actions to promote its implementation. 

Olivier de Frouville, Chair of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, said that the purpose of the joint event was to consider how to implement the joint statement and how to ensure that victims’ rights were protected.  Mr. de Frouville stressed the importance of listening to the voices of victims, who went through great personal stress to tell their stories.     

Mr. de Freuville said there was a rising tide of people adopted during the 1970s and later who were now looking for their relatives.  States needed to respect human rights conventions and instruments, and the joint statement constituted a practical guide in that regard.  The treaty body system offered several procedures that could be triggered to help persuade States to implement effective measures.  In closing, Mr. de Freuville said the practice of illegal intercountry adoptions was a multilateral and a societal issue, and needed to be treated accordingly. 

The joint event was co-hosted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child; the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Guarantees of Non-recurrence; the Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children including child prostitution, child pornography, and other child sexual abuse material; the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children; and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. 

During the session, two panel discussions were held, the first presenting testimonies of victims and States’ experiences, and the second discussing the relevance of the joint statement.  In addition to the co-hosts, representatives of the Governments of France and Ukraine, civil society organisations and persons affected by illegal intercountry adoptions participated in the panels.

  • More than 170,000 South Korean children were adopted by Western families in the turbulent post-war period – nearly 9,000 a year at times in the 1980s
  • Many were labelled orphans, despite their birth parents still being alive, and say their documents were falsified, making them question their identity

Aleksander Solum

It was late spring and Uma Feed had just dropped her son off at a kindergarten in Oslo when her phone rang unexpectedly, bringing news she’d been searching for her whole life: the true identities of her birth parents.

Adopted as a baby from South Korea in 1983, Feed grew up in Norway being told she’d been abandoned – a story she refused to believe but could only disprove in May this year, when at age 40 she was finally reconnected with her biological mother thanks to DNA testing.

A long letter and video message followed, revealing that Um Sul-yung – the name given on Feed’s adoption documents – was actually given up for adoption by her grandparents without the consent of her mother, who was hospitalised with tuberculosis at the time.

Woman from Pleasant View gets 32 years; child may never recover from injuries

By Colette Czarnecki

Garland Malcolm was sentenced Monday to the maximum term of 32 years in prison for the abuse of her adopted 6-year-old son that resulted in severe head and bodily injuries in January 2022.

“Today, the child injured in this incident received some small amount of justice,” said prosecutor Jeremy Reed, adding that the boy “will never recover from his injuries, and will never regain the life he had.”

“The sentence imposed by the court was appropriate to the crime committed, and justice was served,” Reed said.

Jose and Gina Centeno are accused of adopting two girls and a boy in 2007 for financial gain. Prosecutors say the children endured years of torture and one of them disappeared in 2012.|


A judge on Wednesday upheld most of the charges leveled against a Rohnert Park couple accused of abusing children authorities say they adopted in order to secure financial assistance from the state.

During a brief hearing in Sonoma County Superior Court in Santa Rosa, Judge Robert LaForge addressed motions for dismissal filed June 13 by attorneys for Jose and Gina Centeno, who will return to court Sept. 8 to schedule a trial.

LaForge dismissed one count of forcible lewd act upon a child under the age of 14, which was filed against Jose Centeno. The judge cited uncertainty about the victim’s age when the alleged crime occurred.