exposing the dark side of adoption
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by Laila Freeman 

TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) – Taos woman will spend nine years in prison after being sentenced on child abuse charges.

Stephanie Valdez was first charged with abusing two of her adopted children back in 2021.

The criminal complaint says one of the children ran to a neighbor’s house on Christmas Day in 2020 and told them he was tired of standing in the cold while only wearing a trash bag.

The boy told police about numerous accounts of abuse, including being forced to use the bathroom in a pickle jar and drinking water from the toilet.

By Liam Easley

A 42-year-old woman was sentenced to 9 years in prison by a Taos County judge on Thursday (Aug. 3) for her part in the physical and mental abuse of her two adopted children.

Stephanie Valdez, 42, was convicted on charges of second-degree child abuse, along with eight additional third-degree counts of child abuse.

Valdez was accused of continued abuse of two of her adopted children, identified only as siblings John Doe and Jane Doe. According to a statement written by Jane Doe and presented to the court on Thursday, the two children were subjected to various forms of punishment and harassment by both their adoptive parents. She said John Doe was locked in his room for the most part, without a mattress and clothes, with only a pickle jar in which to relieve himself. His room even had an alarm system installed, the boy's sister said, so he couldn’t leave lest it sound.

According to the statement, the siblings were punished in various ways, but a core narrative in the case took place on Christmas Day. Jane Doe noted that they were punished for eating sweets. After being caught, the siblings were beaten; John had a pot of coffee spilled over him before being tossed into a garbage can.

One of Hayim Cohen’s 9 adopted sons, Avshalom, charged with sexual assault of his brother, and human smuggling, amid fallout from high-profile scandal in Houston


A man in Texas has been charged with sexual assault and human smuggling, months after his father, who posed as a Hasidic Jew with a “unique family” of nine adopted sons, was arrested for a slew of sex crimes.

Hayim Nissim Cohen, 39, fabricated his Jewish background and used the fake persona to help him adopt nine boys. He paraded the family on social media and in the news, receiving glowing coverage from Jewish and mainstream US media outlets.

Behind the sunny facade, however, he allegedly sexually abused some of his own adopted sons and a foreign exchange student who stayed with the family.

HONOLULU (TCD) -- A judge declared a missing 6-year-old girl dead two years after she disappeared and her adoptive parents were charged in connection with her death.

KHON-TV reports a judge made the ruling in probate court Thursday, July 27, and officially declared Isabella Kalua deceased, saying she likely died some time around Aug. 18, 2021.

Isabella was reported missing to the Honolulu Police Department Sept. 13, 2021, after she was reportedly last seen in her bed the night before. Law enforcement officials and family searched for Isabella, but all the searches came up empty.

In November 2021, Honolulu Police arrested Isabella's adoptive parents, Isaac and Lehuna Kalua, for second-degree murder. Court records show they both face charges of murder, hindering prosecution, and multiple counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. Lehuna is also being charged with child abuse.

They both pleaded not guilty.

Attorneys say the teen's behavior is so disruptive, even trained professionals have resorted to keeping the child under tight lockdown.


WEST PALM BEACH — Defense attorneys for the South Florida couple accused of locking their adopted teenager in an 8-by-8-foot box say the teen has gone “months and months on end” without seeing the outside world since being removed from the home.

The attorneys asked a judge this month for permission to collect psychiatric records from the facility where officials relocated the teen after arresting the parents on charges of aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment in 2022. They say the records may reveal a pattern of behavior so disruptive that even trained professionals have resorted to keeping the child under tight lockdown.

“The fact that our clients are to blame for not handling something in a way that no psychiatrist has been able to properly handle for the course of the year … absolutely corroborates the fact that they did their best with a child with behavioral issues that they could not manage,” said defense attorney Prya Murad.

Getting necessities from a meagre income is a well-known fact, but have you heard of selling your blood to get an Apple sticker on the back of your smartphone? Sounds absurd, right? Well, a shocking incident took place in West Bengal where a couple went to even greater lengths and sold their baby to purchase an iPhone 14, all to create Instagram reels while travelling across Bengal.
This heart-wrenching incident occurred in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district. The West Bengal Police managed to apprehend the mother, identified as 'Sathi,' who was responsible for buying?? or selling?? the baby. However, the father, Jaydev Ghosh, is still at large, and the authorities are actively searching for him.

The incident came to light when concerned neighbours noticed some peculiar changes in the Ghosh family's behaviour. The eight-month-old baby had been missing for days, yet the parents displayed no signs of worry or anxiety. Additionally, their sudden acquisition of an iPhone 14, which costs no less than a lakh, raised suspicion among the neighbours, given that the family was known to have financial difficulties in the past.
Upon confronting the mother, she eventually confessed under pressure that she and her husband had indeed sold their baby to acquire money for purchasing the iPhone, enabling them to create Instagram reels showcasing their travels across various parts of Bengal.

Even more shocking, it was revealed that before attempting to sell their baby, the father had also tried to sell his seven-year-old daughter. The police have filed a case against the couple, and the mother who bought the baby is also facing criminal charges for human trafficking.

The investigation is still ongoing, and further details will be shared once the police delve deeper into the case.

This incident is not the first of its kind, unfortunately. In India, there have been multiple instances where parents have resorted to selling their children for materialistic gains. For instance, back in 2016, a Chinese couple sold their 18-day-old daughter for $3530 to purchase an iPhone.

In a tragic incident from March of this year, an Australian woman expressed her desire in court to exchange her unborn child for an iPhone. Subsequently, she committed an unthinkable act, locking two of her daughters inside a car for nine hours, leading to their demise.

These are the clear indicators and warning signs of why societies must work together to prevent such heinous acts and provide support to families facing financial hardships or mental health issues.

In a disturbing case in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, an orphanage was found illegally selling babies to childless couples. The head of the orphanage, who also operated a shelter for destitute women, was caught running the adoption racket. The babies were sold for amounts ranging from Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 200,000. This incident sheds light on the concerning issue of human trafficking, especially involving children, which is a growing crime problem in India. Authorities are taking action to combat such illegal activities and protect vulnerable children from exploitation.

According to The Times of India, a couple from the North 24 Parganas district sold their child to fund their purchase of an iPhone 14, likely because of its high-end camera capabilities.

by: Elizabeth 'Ufi

HONOLULU (KHON2) — After almost two years since Isabella Kalua was reported missing, court documents revealed the six-year-old girl has been declared dead.

According to court documents filed in a probate case on Thursday, a judge ruled Isabella died on or about Aug. 18, 2021.

Isabella’s disappearance and the story behind her abuse and murder allegedly done by her adoptive parents shocked the state.

Community members and law enforcement came together to hold numerous searches in Waimanalo for the girl but her body was never found.


alifornia has outlawed the use of unlicensed agents to broker adoptions — facilitators known to have engaged in unethical practices to match prospective parents with pregnant mothers.

There are more than a dozen of these baby brokers currently listed in the state, but they’ve come under scrutiny of late, with advocates alleging that many operate with little oversight, charge exorbitant rates to potential adoptive parents and take advantage of poor and struggling pregnant women.

Under a trailer bill accompanying the California budget for the coming fiscal year, all adoption facilitators such as these must cease operations by Jan. 1. The Department of Social Services will enforce the new law by referring offenders to law enforcement agencies, and beginning next year, private adoptions must be overseen only by licensed agencies or attorneys. 

Youth and family advocates hailed the new restriction.

by Victoria De Cardenas

JUPITER, Fla. (CBS12) — We are exactly two months away from what could be a one-of-a-kind, high-profile criminal trial in Palm Beach County.

The Jupiter parents accused of child abuse and false imprisonment, Timothy and Tracy Ferriter, are fighting those charges in the case that’s come to be known as ”The Boy In the Box.”

And with two months remaining before jury selection, we expect a slew of motions, hearings, and decisions from the judge about what evidence will be allowed in, and what will remain under seal, in the bizarre family crisis that grabbed headlines in our area and nationwide.

In February 2022, Timothy and Tracy Ferriter were charged with false imprisonment and aggravated child abuse after authorities discovered they kept their 14-year-old son in a 8 x 8 box in their garage.

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Arabella McCormack’s sisters alleges systemic failures years before the girl died in a “setting of severe malnutritioneglect”



A lawsuit accuses several agencies, organizations and workers of failing to report possible abuse of an 11-year-old East County girl who later died in a state of malnutrition, and her body had cuts, bruises and 13 bone fractures.

The suit, filed last week in San Diego Superior Court, alleges several instances where protections failed Arabella McCormack — including social workers alleged to have closed complaints as unfounded and teachers who allegedly did not report the emaciated child to police.