Whenever a family chooses to adopt, it is hopeful that the child has been offered a chance to be a part of a loving home and freedom from the many dangers that populate the foster care system. Unfortunately, adoption is not always a dream come true for the children who receive it. A Texas woman who adopted seven children with disabilities over several years has been taken into custody and the children have been removed form her care, after welfare workers found the children living in unsafe conditions.
On top of the exceptionally poor living conditions present in the home, the welfare workers discovered that the woman had a lengthy criminal record of burglary, theft and fraud spanning across several different states. While criminal activity will often disqualify an individual from adopting, it was not mandatory to conduct nationwide background checks on prospective parents until 2006. Prior to then, background checks were only required within the state.
The children who were rescued from the home were being held in a room crawling with insects and smelling of feces, according to police reports.When questioned, the children said that they were not allowed to attend school or even leave the house, and that they would be physically beaten if they tried to escape. All seven children were being housed in a single room, and several neighbors who had lived in the neighborhood for a number of years were surprised to find that there were children living in the home at all. The woman had been operating the house as a group home in order to avoid regulations. The children are being cared for at a local hospital.
These kinds of stories are heartbreaking and also demonstrate the need for adoptive and foster parents who will not take advantage of the position. If you are considering growing your family through adoption, an experienced attorney can help you explore your options and navigate this complicated field with confidence.
Source: Ckick 2 Houston, “State takes custody of 7 special needs children locked in ‘deplorable’ house,” Jennifer Bauer, Dec. 09, 2016