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Friday, March 10, 2006

The 'Wards of the Crown' airs again on CBC tonight at 10pm. Here is the link to the show

The following is the e-mail I received from Andree Cazabon, the filmmaker of this documentary.
I urge everyone to take the time to please e-mail the show after the program tonight.



Thanks for your comment and please help pass the word along... your passion is so appreciated! If we can get over 67 email comments to CBC this would help tremendously in setting this issue as a national priority. Please pass along this notice to all those who want to see changes in the child welfare system and do keep me posted!

Andrée Cazabon


Jeffrey's Law said...

Here's the e-mail address

Anonymous said...

I will definitely write. Media interest in CAS is growing quickly. Tonight on CH, Mark Hebscher said several times that the station was flooded with complaints about CAS after its interview with Mr. Morin. Great stuff! Continue spreading the word - it's the numbers that count.

Anonymous said...

What a tragic waste , how why, so many questions, The wards of the Crown left me sobbing, and very angry at not only the CAS but also the Ministry that has allowed it.

Every child apprehended by CAS/CCAS is a great risk. Why did the children's lawyers not speak out, why did the social workers allow children to be abused in foster care. Are there any success stories

People are lead to believe that any parent who has CAS involvement must be a terrible parent, I use to believe so myself. How could they and then tell everyone it was not true or make it seem like an over reaction on the agencies part.

We have been feed to trust in them, warm fuzzy foster families, that will love the children and care, not true its just a business, and I will never forget Karen the mother that took on Jeffery's siblings, how the CAS treated her mark up a score sheet on TV and idiot box moderate Rick of emotional abuse, Time outs and the child would stay and play in her room at High Risk for this and that, so much Risk into what look to perhaps all that read it, was a mother doing all she could and more, and she had hopes and dreams for the children, expectations like we all do for are own, this is how ever wrong now,

CAS just says feed them give them a basement to sleep in don't worry about school work and don't get attached, How sad, they lose there family for much less then what's to come.
I don't understand why nothing has been done sooner. The slogans drive me crazy best interest of the child, its better to error on the side of caution we are child advocates, safety for children the most vulnerable children. when you et your smarties do you eat the red ones last.

The make no sense any more. Children need unconditional love. And parenting is not only a full time job, its also a life time of lessons. Families they have ups and downs and no one is perfect, we do the best we can, others may not have the knowledge funds, health, we can all find are lives turn up side down from time to time, its how we teach are children to make the best of it, to find the blessings in the hard times, that are not always apparent right away. But to tear families apart, can and should never be the plan, Please listen to the Crown Wards and the parents that tell us, it has been hell with the CAS, I am no longer sitting in judgement.

Anonymous said...

The previous post hits more than a few nails on the head.

Fortunately, the days when it was easy for politicians to portray CAS as an wonderful agency providing "services" to bad parents are coming to an end. Compare those sentiments with the CH host's statement that if even a fraction of the horror stories his station received are true, CAS desperately requires external accountability.

The reality is that parents who have dealt with these agencies regard CAS with the same contempt they would have for child molesters. They know CAS acts in the worst interest of children and are appalled at the negligence, incompetence, maliciousness, and dishonesty they demonstrate in ripping children away from perfectly normal families.

It's harder for politicians to dance around the truth - CAS engages in crimes against humanity. Chambers and McGuinty look foolish in their attempts to maintain the status quo when it's increasingly obvious the system must be scrapped.

One writer commented there should be a Nuremberg for those who enabled CAS to engage in such devastating, wide-spread abuse. I fully support that.

Anonymous said...

I read Michele Jean's article in the Globe and Mail. She is now the poster girl for co-oping everyone into reporting spousal abuse and Canada's grand plan for adoption. I am frankly tired of the ads and infomercials.

Was she removed from her mother?? No. Was she estranged from her father? Yes. She sees only part of her parents' picture through her child's eye.

Did he suffer a personality change from a head injury from the beating he took in Haiti?
Was the stress of poverty too much for this little immigrant man to handle? People react to stress in different ways. Some become stronger; others fall apart.

Michele did her mother and her father a great disservice to air their family issues publicly. What are they going to say now? Are they still alive to defend themselves. Will they be afraid to confront their prominent daughter's view of them?

Parents were only human and sometimes humans make the wrong choices. They pay their whole lives for these wrong choices. Do we cotinue to vilify them? Do we treat them like Slobdan Milosevic? Do we ever forgive them and let go of the hurt? This says a whole lot about the Governeur Generale's personality. She is not forgiving in nature. She carries this primordial grudge for her father's failings close to her heard. She needs to let go of it.

Where did her daughter come from? Was her mother forced to relinquish her because of poverty? What is Michele going to do to help poor mothers keep their children? I know she is helping them relieve themselves of their most prized possession, their child!

I know philantrophists who go back to their native lands and volunteer their medical skills, build housing, send food, medicines and money... not make informercials to justify their actions.

Anonymous said...

Michelle Jean stands up against wife abuse and now she is condemned!! What's next on this totally off-base site?

I guess you think all of those who abuse children and their wives should be handled in a very humane way--you know the touchey feeley way. "Don't take those kids away!! They are still alive after all!! I have financial problems so that excuses me for beating the crap out of my wife and kids!" ....

Let me tell you something HONEY .....many people have financial problems etc and yet they do not choose to abuse their wives and children.

All wife/child abusers should be brought before the courts. And yes CAS needs a major overhaul so they can handle these children of incompetent parents in a humane way.

And believe it or not there are incompetent parents--parents who should never have had children in the first place. Work with them? How laughable!

Anonymous said...

The previous poster probably would leave her senile parents in ER and walk away. The true heroes are those who take care of them day to day and let them finish their lives with dignity.
Many struggle against great adversity.

I see all kinds. I know who to respect for their caring attendance to their loved ones and their quiet dignity.

The example we set in our own lives as we respect and treat our elders will be how our children learn to deal with us as we age. We learn by example. You see we become our parents. This is the cycle of life

Michellae Jean's expose on her parents does very little to resolve her childhood issues with them. It hurts them. It is not enlightened 21st century thinking, but wallowing in self-pity. Her trauma should be viewed as having made her stronger.

The last poster is neither enlightened nor gentle but reflect the "meannness" of present day society. With its words, society says one thing but with its actions does another.

I won't make any further derogatory comments about the previous poster's social status. She have made them herself.

Anonymous said...

Adoption in the past was the great swindle of all time. The CAS orchestrated a disaster where normal and natural parents were the enemy, and anyone not related was safe. It was a disaster. Please visit Origins Canada, and other adoption activist sites. One day we need a full legal inquiry. The Ministry once again is working with the ACO the adoption council of Ontario. The goal is to promote adoption for infertile couples, gay couples and anyone else that "wants" a child. No one who has been adopted, or a natural parents supports this group period, yet the government is firmly in bed with them. They have workshops called "How To Find a Child" for christ sake how obvious could this be. In addition to emailing about Bill 210 I would really hope that people protest that the government is in bed with private baby brokers.

Anonymous said...

Jean adopted a child, and she is now becoming the poster woman for adoption. Buying a poor womans baby is not anything to be proud of. The poster that asked what has she done to support poor women etc.. is a very good question. Buying babies is not okay, and Jean should not be proud of this. But the truth is most people who adopt these days literally buy children. They go to baby brokers like the person in charge of the Adoption Council of Ontario. They coerce innocent people from their children. People that support adoption are those who adopt, after all adoption has nothing to do with anyone but those who adopt. Those who adopt fund, encourage, promote and support the CAS - after all the clients of the CAS are strangers that want other people's children. Baby brokers, infertile strangers, now gay couples not all but some support the CAS. As well the ACO adoption council of Ontario has a board member who was a former CAS supervisor at the Metro Toronto CAS? Domestic violence is a serious issue, but once again this website is about making the CAS accountable. Bill 210 removes all responsibility from the CAS, and paves the way for a massive baby broker regime with people who sell babies making policies regarding children? It is sick, and it is scary.

Jeffrey's Law said...

Completely off topic, but I totally disagree that all people who want to adopt support the CAS. My husband and I have one child and have been to the first meeting about adopting. I firmly believe (and I hope this doesn't start another off topic debate) that it is a woman's right and decision to abort a fetus or give a baby up for adoption. We wanted to adopt because I think that children all deserve a wonderful life and if I can provide it where another woman / family can not, than I think adoption is great. (there are many many other reasons, but that was one) Once CAS realized who I was, they denied me. I think adoption and fostering can be fantastic, but like everything, needs to be monitored extensively.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Amanda for your post. It is nice to see an intelligent opinion !! Rare on the blog these days!

Of course if one wants to adopt a baby they are at CAS mercy. I cannot imagine them biting the hand that feeds them.

I too believe in womens choice...and that some women actually do make the UNSELFISH decision to put their child up for adoption.

It has nothing to do with CAS coercing them contrary to what SOME OPINIONATED bloggers believe.

Anonymous said...

Go ahead --fire away. My social status ? What would you know about that.? I can tell you one thing for sure--I was raised to respect others opinions even if I did not agree with them. I was also raised not to judge others.

Obviously you were not raised with the same values.

Anonymous said...

Are you an adoptive parent? Well I am.

Where do you think all these babies are coming from? The stork making a run of deliveries? Babies are presently being taken in droves in the delivery rooms of Ontario hospitals from the single parent, the young unmarried women, the poor,the immigrant...often against their will. Often there is little justification except that it can be done.

I envision with two of the previous posters,a Nuremburg for crimes against humanity.

If I can see it, why can't you? But,I do not have blinders on. I have lived the experience. I have seen what happens to children in care.

And Amanda, my children too want to adopt when they marry. They want to give back some of what they have received.

The previous poster seems very concerned about her social status. This blog is not the place.

Anonymous said...

It is too bad posters when responding to posts do not read the post they had replied to.

I could care less about social status! Read the post of 11:53 who mentions "social status"...these are not my words nor my concern.

I do not judge others by their "social status" but by their respect for others. We live in a free country where one does not have to agree with anothers opinion. When one does not agree they should not be subjected to verbal abuse.

Ultimately the abuser appears to have the manners of a dirty dishrag.

Anonymous said...

Women and men do not choose adoption, they are coerced by vile baby brokers. For anyone with children posting - think about it -would you willingly surrender a baby to the CAS, and total strangers? If properly supported no one would ever want to lose their baby. No mother chose adoption, that is another lie by the CAS. In order to get away with this lie, they make the natural parents out to be monsters, meanwhile foster providers, adopters, group home social workers abuse and neglect kids, and nothing is done. Check out the list of dead foster children and adopted children on Dufferin VOCA before praising adoption.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last poster. These mothers are coerced for one reason or another.

Mothers who consider adoption and who then change their minds as the baby becomes a reality, still have their babies apprehended. The reason given is that she had once considered adoption. What kind of a mother will she be?

The judge returns the baby and then the CAS goes to the school and tries to make her 3 other young children say negative things. They apprehend her other children to punish her for changing her mind about the baby. This was an actual case in my community that I knew about. I personally know of at least two other cases where they insisted that they would return the older children if the baby was left for adoption. These women were forced to choose which child to save. Let's now talk about violations of the Human Code.

Do I understand what they are doing. Yes. Read the UN report on Canada's "dead baby is trafficking in children. Children are considered objects of value to be bought and sold as commodities.

Read the government websites. The adoption business is all geared up for this new legislation Bill C210. Do you know that in 2002 Bruce Rivers made application to the government for the Toronto CAS to handle private foreign adoptions. I guess it was going to be one stop shopping. Rivers did referred to it as facilitating "one stop shopping." The man is crass. Why should not Ontario make the fat adoption fees. Afterall, people were willing to pay $100,000 to go to Russia and China. Why not Ontario?

With the Tsunami, some of the local CAS agencies wanted to do private adoptions from Sri Lanka Thailand and Indonesia. Feed the Children and CARE freaked out at Ontario for its insensitivity and greed. These children needed shelter and food, not adoption.

As the rest of the world tries to protect its children from the many infertile couples of the
West,the supply of good infant material has to come from somewhere. Why not use Ontario's poor? These adoptions will generate fat fees.

Anonymous said...

Stealing Babies for Adoption
With U.S. Couples Eager to Adopt, Some Infants Are Abducted and Sold in China

By Peter S. Goodman
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, March 12, 2006; A01

DONGGUAN, China On a muggy evening in July 2004, on a concrete lane reeking of raw sewage and chemicals from surrounding factories, a stranger leapt from a white van. He yanked 16-month-old Fei Mei from the arms of her 8-year-old cousin and sped away.

All night, her parents searched this industrial city in southern China for their round-faced baby girl.

"We looked everywhere, on every street corner," said her father, Xu Mohu. "We thought maybe the guy wouldn't like a girl and he would abandon her."

That was once a reasonable assumption. For generations, girls in rural China have been left to die in the cold or abandoned on doorsteps while families devote their scant resources to nourishing boys. But over the past decade, a wave of foreigners, mostly Americans, has poured into China with dollars in hand to adopt Chinese babies, 95 percent of them girls.

Last year, the United States issued nearly 8,000 visas to Chinese-born children adopted by American parents. More than 50,000 children have left China for the United States since 1992. And more than 10,000 children have landed in other countries, according to Chinese reports.

The foreign adoption program has matched Chinese babies with foreign families eager for them, while delivering crucial funding to orphanages in this country. But it has also spawned a tragic irony, transforming once-unwanted Chinese girls into valuable commodities worth stealing.

The morning after Fei Mei was taken, her parents made a report at the local police station, where they learned that on the same night, another baby girl had been taken in Dongguan.

The prevalence of the problem has become clearer in recent weeks with the prosecution of a child-trafficking ring in the neighboring province of Hunan. Last November, police arrested 27 members of a ring that since 2002 had abducted or purchased as many as 1,000 children here in Guangdong province and sold them to orphanages in Hunan for $400 to $538, according to reports in Chinese state media and interviews with sources familiar with the case, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because provincial officials have ordered a media blackout. The orphanages placed most of those children in homes with unwitting foreign families, many of them Americans, in exchange for mandatory contributions of $3,000 per baby -- a sum nearly twice the average annual Chinese income -- according to sources familiar with the prosecution.

Last month, a court in Hunan sentenced three of those baby traffickers to 15 years in prison and imposed terms of three to 13 years on six others, the official New China News Agency reported. Twenty-three local government officials in Hengyang, the city at the center of the case, have been fired. Attorneys for those sentenced said the babies involved were abandoned and then sold to orphanages, but not abducted. They plan appeals.

On the lane where Fei Mei vanished, her parents still wonder what happened to their daughter.

"We think of her all the time," Xu said. "But chances are, we'll never see her again."

On the other side of the world, in Jenison, Mich., Susan and Gordon Toering tuck their daughter in to bed and wonder where she really came from. They adopted Stacie in August 2005 from an orphanage in Hengyang. The paperwork from the adoption agency said she had been found abandoned. But the sources familiar with the prosecution and two defense attorneys said orphanage directors faked reports to make it seem that the babies they bought had been abandoned, allowing them to gain government clearance for foreign adoptions.

The Toerings already had three older children. Evangelical Christians, they adopted in China out of a sense that they were doing something generous for a child in need.

"If there's some mother out there grieving because her baby just was taken from her, that's just so bad," Susan Toering said. "Am I feeding into this? Am I causing others to say, 'There's a market for babies?' "

Those who have studied the foreign adoption program in China say its exploitation by traffickers is not a surprising outcome in this country still transitioning from communism to capitalism, where anything profitable is quickly commercialized.

"It's a corrupt system," said Brian Stuy, a Salt Lake City resident who has adopted three Chinese girls and operates, which traces the origins of such children. "It's just so driven by money, and there's no check and balance to the greed."

A state agency in Beijing, the China Center of Adoption Affairs, pairs prospective adoptive families with available Chinese children. Foreigners who want to adopt must work through a foreign agency certified by the CCAA. The process entails many fees, the largest paid as parents depart the province in which they adopt: They surrender $3,000 in cash, typically in $100 bills, and usually into the hands of the orphanage director.

The CCAA declined requests for an interview. According to its guidelines, the money is given to orphanages as reimbursement for the care of adopted children. But like many government-run services in China, orphanages are prone to financial abuse.

"Perhaps 5 to 10 percent of what's given by central, provincial and local governments actually benefits the kids," said a Western aid worker who has worked in Chinese orphanages for a decade and who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of jeopardizing his organization's relationship with the Chinese government.

A former worker at an orphanage in central China said she routinely witnessed local staff members carting off goods donated by aid groups -- medical equipment, blankets, formula. "The adults basically steal out of the mouths of the babies," she said.

Such is the system absorbing the proceeds from foreign adoptions. Whole industries have sprouted to service the people involved. Travel agencies ferry adopting foreign families to sightseeing spots in Beijing, then on to the provinces handling the adoptions. Playrooms occupy space at five-star hotels in cities that have become hubs for adoptions, their lobbies often packed with foreigners carrying Chinese babies. Around the White Swan hotel in Guangzhou, the city through which every family must pass to receive a U.S. visa for a child, streets are thick with stroller-rental shops and silk baby outfits embossed with traditional Chinese logos. The hotel gives each adopting family a special doll manufactured by Mattel -- "Going Home Barbie," the iconic plastic figure carrying a Chinese baby.

Assuming that each family that has adopted a Chinese baby has handed over at least $3,000, Americans last year injected about $24 million into Chinese orphanages. In many instances, the money appears to be put to good use.

"In the past, the living standards were very low," said Marcia Ma, a coordinator for Project Hope, which provides medical help to orphanages throughout China. "You would go to orphanages and there was a bad smell; the children were not clean. But now there is newer equipment for medical treatment and better hygiene."

But some orphanage directors have used proceeds from foreign adoptions to build profit-making homes for senior citizens, according to aid workers and orphanage officials. And a director for an orphanage in central China used foreign contributions to send her daughter to college in Switzerland, according to a former colleague.

Little of that is evident to foreigners, who are allowed to visit only the better orphanages. When the Toerings went to Hunan to pick up Stacie last August, they wanted to visit the Hengyang City orphanage but were denied permission.

"As a mother, I needed to see where she had been for 10 months," Toering said. "The guide said it wasn't up to the standard and we weren't allowed to go."

Many families adopting in China cite a record of transparent dealings with the CCAA and the ready availability of healthy infants.

"Many come from rural areas where birth mothers don't have money to buy cigarettes and alcohol," said Lindsay Yeakley, public affairs director at Great Wall China Adoption in Austin, a nonprofit organization that has placed about 5,000 Chinese children in American homes over the past decade.

Adopting families take pride in providing needed homes. But the growth of the foreign adoption program has prevented some Chinese orphans from finding homes in China. With each healthy infant now potentially worth $3,000 to an orphanage director through a foreign adoption, many institutions have put up barriers to domestic adoptions, according to sources familiar with the process.

Last year in the city of Kunming, He Fen and her husband decided to adopt a baby girl. But when they approached the director of a local orphanage, he told them they would need an endorsement from a major state-owned company or government institution, she said, making her husband -- a private merchant -- ineligible. They would have to pay about $750.

"Foreigners from the United States and Europe adopt so many babies from China, and all they have to do is pay some money," she said. "Why has it become so difficult for Chinese people?"

Long before the advent of foreign adoption, baby trafficking was a problem in China. Some children are sold into prostitution. Others -- mostly boys -- have been purchased or abducted, then sold to childless couples. But the recent revelations of trafficking in Guangdong and Hunan show how an underground industry has tapped into the most lucrative pipeline, connecting traffickers in China with families overseas.

Located in central Hunan, the birthplace of Mao Zedong, Hengyang is a desolate city. Abandoned factories sit lifeless. Soot stains the walls of decrepit housing.

Local officials declined requests for interviews. But sources familiar with the prosecution confirmed accounts in the state press that the center of trafficking was the Hengyang County orphanage, a white-tiled, three-story building set behind a brick wall.

The first sign that something was amiss was the wealth that began to emerge, according to a lawyer involved in the prosecution and people living near the orphanage. Staffers began erecting new houses. The director navigated the area's muddy roads in a chauffeured sedan. They were purchasing infants from traffickers, then selling them to other orphanages for foreign adoption, according to the prosecution source. Traffickers based in Guangdong were abducting and buying infants, then carrying them to Hengyang by bus and train, the lawyer said. They were targeting the children of migrant workers, figuring that such families were less likely to be taken seriously by the police.

Last November, a stranger carried off Li Meilan's 7-month-old daughter as she played in a garden in Dongguan, a factory town in Guangdong. Li came from a village in Jiangxi province, one of China's poorest. The police treated her with disdain, she said. "They acted as if I had lost a dog."

Yuan Baishun, a lawyer for one of those sentenced in the case -- Chen Ming, director of the Hengdong County orphanage in Hengyang -- said none of the 70-plus baby girls whose cases were presented by prosecutors was abducted. Rather, Yuan said, they were abandoned and then sold in transactions brokered by a woman named Liang Guihong, who lived in southwestern Guangdong.

"Old Lady Liang was quite well known locally for being warm-hearted and taking care of abandoned babies," Yuan said.

According to Yuan, in 2001, another of those sentenced, Duan Meilin, brought some of the babies to the Changning County Social Welfare Institute, an orphanage in Hengyang eligible to conduct foreign adoptions. Over subsequent years, Liang and Duan together transferred as many as 1,000 babies to orphanages in Hengyang, Yuan said.

Duan's attorney, Zhu Xiaoyun, confirmed that his client participated in the sales but said none of the children had been abducted. Duan's mother, Chen Zhiding, said her son received about $36 for each baby. An attorney for Liang, who was also sentenced, declined to comment.

But sources familiar with the investigation said many children were abducted. The court ruled that the director of the Hengdong County orphanage "was cognizant of the fact that he had purchased babies that had been abducted," according to the verdict, which was read to The Washington Post. The directors of the six Hengyang county orphanages conspired with local Civil Affairs bureaus to concoct police reports asserting that the babies had been abandoned, according to the prosecution source and defense attorneys.

Before 2004, the Hengyang County orphanage was not eligible for the foreign adoption program, so it sold as many as 30 healthy babies a month to participating local orphanages for about $1,000 each, according to a prosecution source and defense attorneys. Neighbors said they were awakened at night by the sounds of crying babies, as groups of six to 12 were loaded into a van and taken away.

The Hengdong County orphanage placed 288 babies for foreign adoption from October 2002 to November 2005, according to a log book described by defense attorneys. The Changning County orphanage placed about 250 babies for foreign adoption over the same period, the sources said.

In the fall of 2004, the Hengyang County orphanage gained the right to participate in foreign adoptions. U.S. officials refused to disclose the number of visas issued to children adopted by American families through that institution. According to Stuy, the researcher, listings of abandoned children in the provincial newspaper suggest that foreign adoptions from that orphanage ranged between zero and 10 a month for most of 2005, then spiked to 29 in October.

Under whose roofs those children now sleep remains a mystery.

In a written statement, officials at the U.S. Embassy said they immediately sought a report from the CCAA in November, after the arrests. The CCAA assured them that "the matter was being properly handled," but rebuffed requests for details while the case was being prosecuted. U.S. officials said they would seek further meetings.

Great Wall, the Texas-based adoption agency, has placed many children from Hengyang orphanages in American homes. It declined to say whether it has found evidence of trafficker involvement in any of its adoptions.

As Stacie Toering grows up in Michigan, she and her parents may never know whether she was really abandoned on Fengao Street in Hengyang County early on an October morning when she was 2 months old, as the police report states, or whether she was sold or was pried from the arms of her mother.

"This is just a horrible thing, just sickening," Gordon Toering said. "If we can't bring closure to it, we're just going to have to live with it."

Special correspondent Eva Woo contributed to this report.

Anonymous said...

Here are the ABC's of how to hunt down a child by the ACO who do workshops on this. Why is the Minister Chambers in bed with a broker??

It has nothing to do with child protection, it is about an industry that sells babies.

ACO Getting Started in Adoption/How to Adopt Seminars
are scheduled for:
March 14 – 7.30 to 10 pm
March 28 – 7.30 to 10 pm
Location: Church of Saint Timothy, 100 Old Orchard Grove (at Ridley Blvd), Toronto
The Adoption Council of Ontario presents an informal seminar twice per month for those considering adoption:
An overview of options today
Ways to adopt – public, private, local, international
Procedures & Approximate costs
The Home Study – what’s involved, what to expect
Choosing a social worker for the homestudy
The role of the private practitioner and licensee
Networks of support, resources available
Finding a child…
Through informal sessions with experienced adoptive parents and professionals, ACO provides an opportunity for you to ask candid questions to prepare yourself for the adoption process

Anonymous said...

baby broker statement
Similarly, Fenton says adoption is much more open now than it has been in the past. Birth parents are allowed to play an active role in choosing a home for their babies, and adoptive parents have the chance to meet the birth mother to see where their child will come from.

"It's a lot healthier than very closed, secretive adoption," she says. "But it does require clear boundaries and expectations." These boundaries include making sure the child knows what role each parent plays in his or her life. The birth parents must also realize they may only play a limited role in the child's development, perhaps as nothing more than a family friend.

Open adoption is a total LIE, no one has rights except for those adopting. Why is the government promoting the sale of children in Ontario???

Anonymous said...

Murder in Peru stirs memories of past baby-trafficking scandals
Rick Vecchio
Associated Press
Mar. 7, 2006 08:10 AM

LIMA, Peru - When the body of Claudina Herrera was discovered nearly five months ago by the side of a highway, curled in the fetal position in a cardboard box, the cause of death was obvious: The pregnant 18-year-old's belly was sliced wide open, and her baby was gone.

Within days, her premature girl was located in intensive care at a public hospital, and the woman who had shown up with the baby - covered in blood and saying she had given birth in a taxi - was arrested along with four others. She was later found to be infertile.

Herrera's murder to steal her unborn child has shocked Peru and served as an ugly reminder of the early 1990s, when widespread allegations of corrupt adoption procedures led to a crackdown.

It also suggests that an illegal industry is still booming: Dr. Luis Bromley, chief of forensic investigations at the Attorney General's office, said the alleged perpetrators belong to one of at least a dozen rings trafficking in babies in Peru.

Peruvian police, working with Interpol, the FBI and investigators from Spain, Colombia and elsewhere, say they have already broken one of the alleged baby-peddling operations.

Last month a German man and his Peruvian wife were charged with selling a baby for $16,870 to a German woman, who was detained with the child in Ecuador.

Police believe that for more than a year, the couple had been buying newborns from poor women, then bribing officials in isolated jungle towns to issue false birth certificates.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Peru was famous for its relatively quick, easy adoptions. Thousands of foreign couples flocked to the country, and Americans alone adopted more than 720 Peruvian babies in 1991.

That changed after a series of scandals in which children were allegedly kidnapped from poor families and lawyers and judges were bribed to fake paperwork.

An embarrassed Peruvian government created a National Adoptions Secretariat to enforce new codes so bureaucratic and time-consuming that the number of legal adoptions by foreigners plummeted to just 92 in 2004.

But activists say the restrictions may have merely pushed the industry underground.

"It's a situation that favors the proliferation of these trafficking rings and creates the markets and conditions for these international networks to operate," said Sandra Soria, executive director of Peru's nonprofit Institute for Infancy and the Family.

She said it is impossible to know how many children are sold each year, not only for adoption but also for forced labor and the sex trade.

"The majority of cases of trafficked children go unreported," Soria said. "They are largely sold voluntarily by their parents."

Soria said Herrera's case was a classic example of how sophisticated rings infiltrate public health clinics in search of vulnerable women. Bromley said that behind Herrera's case "there wouldn't be one, two or five people, but rather a mafia."

What set the case apart is that Herrera turned up dead. "No similar precedent exists for the death of Claudina Herrera," Bromley said. "These mafias don't function by murdering women to obtain babies."

Investigators believe Herrera's killers had an order to fill "and they urgently needed a baby girl," Bromley said.

"What they had at hand was Claudina Herrera, and they took her against her will," he said.

An autopsy indicated Herrera had been hit on the head and burned on the chest - a sign that defibrillator paddles were used to try to resuscitate her, according to police reports obtained by The Associated Press.

"Claudina Herrera was handled with surgical techniques ... not by inexperienced people but by professionals, probably a doctor or obstetrician; probably with the participation of nurses (and) an anesthesiologist," Bromley said.

According to police reports, Herrera was one of five pregnant teenagers approached in a rundown public health clinic by Ysabel Palacios, the woman who registered as the baby's mother and is now charged with her murder.

Herrera was living with the family of her boyfriend, only blocks from her family's home in a poor Lima neighborhood on a dusty stretch of the coastal Andean foothills.

Palacios, 31, allegedly claimed to be a "coordinator" from Lima's prestigious Hogar de Madre birth clinic, and offered to enroll Herrera and the other girls, all in their final trimester, in a free prenatal program for the needy.

Palacios told police that the teenagers were confusing her with another woman who offered free medical care and promised to find "foreign godparents to provide help" once the babies were born.

She denied ever meeting Herrera, and said she delivered her own baby girl in a taxi.

But a medical exam determined Palacios had not given birth. In fact, medical records showed she had been infertile since October 2002, when she underwent tubal ligation. What she did have is a large benign uterine tumor that made her appear pregnant to a casual observer, which is why Peruvian media call her "la panzona," the belly.

When police confronted her with their evidence, Palacios admitted calling Herrera's house. But in a written statement to police, obtained by AP, she insisted that she was pregnant, and said she too was a victim of the baby-trafficking ring.

Palacios told police she and Herrera were both picked up by Diana Rivas, an obstetrics nurse, ostensibly for an appointment at the Hogar de Madre. Palacios claimed she went into labor in the taxi and began hemorrhaging, and that just before losing consciousness, she saw the taxi driver strike Herrera on the head with a tire iron.

Palacios said she awoke and was handed a baby she believed was her own. DNA tests later revealed the baby to be Herrera's.

Rivas, who was arrested with Palacios, denied participating in Herrera's murder, but acknowledged preparing a history of prenatal checkups for Palacios, documenting the development of an unborn baby that police say never existed.

Palacios is now in jail along with four alleged accomplices - her boyfriend, ex-husband, Rivas and a clinic social worker - while police investigate several physicians, including one whose name appeared on a fake ultrasound Palacios presented.

Herrera's father, Miguel Herrera told AP that on the day of his daughter's murder, a stranger called asking for her. "Today Claudina has an appointment in Hogar de Madre in the gynecology department," he recalled the woman saying. "We need her to be there and we prefer that she come alone."

The mother of Herrera's boyfriend, Pilar Villavicencio, said Herrera had been looking forward to her baby shower at the time of her death.

"She was a very tranquil, good girl. Very innocent. Very humble," she said.

Now, Villavicencio is helping to raise the baby girl. They call her Fabiana Antonella - the name Herrera chose a few weeks before she was killed.

Anonymous said...

Neighbors Shocked By Reports Of Neglect
POSTED: 3:53 pm EST March 9, 2005
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Neighbors on the quiet street where Wilson and Brenda Sullivan live thought of the couple as friendly, the kind of people who would wave when they saw you in the yard or bring over cookies.

Wilson Sullivan

They were shocked to learn that the Sullivans had been arrested after their 17-year-old adopted son was discovered in the house weighing 49 pounds and standing 4-foot, 6-inches tall. Officials say he was forced to sleep in a cage-like bed and that he suffers from psychosocial dwarfism -- a lack of physical and emotional growth caused by abuse.
Like several other neighbors interviewed Wednesday, Summer Howell doesn't remember seeing the boy. She has lived next door to the Sullivans since they moved to the neighborhood in October.

"It does comes as a shock. I hope it turns out to be false. They seemed to be very nice," she said Wednesday. "They even brought over cookies at Christmastime."

Brenda Sullivan

Duval County Judge Brent Shore ordered the Sullivans each held on $200,003 bond Wednesday on a charge of felony child neglect.
The police report states that their son, whose name was not released, suffered from starvation and psychosocial dwarfism -- a lack of physical and emotional growth caused by abuse.
The parents' attorney, Lee Lockett, said the couple may not be responsible for the boy's condition.
"Just because a child is alleged to have a certain condition doesn't mean his parents are responsible for it," Lockett said.
Adam Goodflower, 21, who lives across the street from the Sullivans, said that when he saw family out in his yard, they would wave to him.
"It's crazy. It's a crazy world," he said. "I can't think of anyone doing something like that," he said, when told of the accusations.
Wilson Sullivan's sister, Ordrianne Sullivan, moved to Jacksonville a week ago from Akron, Ohio, to help her brother and sister-in-law through what she called "blatantly wrong accusations."
"They're painting a picture of my family as monsters, and they're not, they truly are not," she said.
"I adamantly disagree with these charges. They are not that type of people. There has been a great injustice here. I'm hurting for my family," she said.
The family moved to Florida from Ohio, she said, to be close to their oldest son who was stationed here in the Navy. She said the Sullivans have had six foster children and one biological child.
Child welfare workers called to the Sullivan's home Jan. 10 from a tip to the child abuse hot line found the teen wearing a diaper and appearing developmentally delayed, a police report said. The boy was in the weight range of a 6½-year-old, officials said.
Chief Steve Weintraub of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said the parents told investigators that the boy was forced to sleep in a criblike cage with a wooden lid kept shut with chains and a lock because he had behavioral problems and was overeating at night. The crib was the size of a twin bed with locks that prevented its sides from being lowered.
The teen, two adopted 10-year-olds twins with physical or mental disabilities, and two other children were taken from the home and placed in protective custody. DCF officials said while only three of the children showed any signs of neglect, they were all removed as a precaution.
Channel 4's Jennifer Bauer learned that Brenda Sullivan adopted the 17-year-old and two 10-year-olds before she married Wilson Sullivan.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, children with psychosocial dwarfism "tend to be withdrawn and apathetic. They have disrupted sleep and bizarre eating and drinking habits. All of these symptoms are dramatically reversed when the child is removed to compassionate care."
The 17-year-old has gained 27 pounds and grown a half-inch in two months.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Anonymous said...

'Worst case of child abuse in SA'

Mon, 23 Jan 2006
Johannesburg police are investigating the death of a baby who died on Friday in the Garden City Clinic after being severely assaulted.
The 21-month-old Tammy Herman was brought to the hospital by her adoptive parents on Wednesday night after vomiting continuously.
Doctors discovered she had sustained several broken ribs, brain and liver damage and had bruises all over her body. She later died in hospital.
The Johannesburg Child Welfare Society, which handled the baby's adoption, said it was devastated and called it one of the worst cases of child abuse in the country.
It said it never noticed anything suspicious during the screening process for the adoption and its now working closely with police.
Eyewitness News

Anonymous said...

The ACO is involved with groups that broker from China as well..........

Smuggling of babies in China raises fears in the West
Allegations of a baby-smuggling ring in China have shaken North American families, prompting them to question whether their children were legitimately obtained and whether they should continue to donate thousands of dollars to Chinese orphanages.
"Of course we're concerned," said Kim Howarth-Peng, a Seattle woman who runs an association for American and Canadian parents who have adopted children from the state-run orphanage in Zhuzhou, which has been reportedly implicated in the baby-trafficking scheme.
Ms. Howarth-Peng adopted her daughter, Emily, in 1995, and along with the parents in her group, has donated about $15,000 worth of playground equipment, baby formula and other supplies for children still at the orphanage.
"Does this mean the documentation we have on our children is not true?" she wondered yesterday.
“It does cause some families to step back and ask, should we continue to support the orphanage?"
A Chinese newspaper has reported that more than 50 suspects have been arrested for their involvement in the ring, which allegedly schemed to buy and sell at least 100 children.
The suspects are accused of selling the children for the equivalent of $110 to $165 each to orphanages. The orphanages then allegedly resold the children to other orphanages and childless parents for up to $4,200. Some of the children were reported to have been abducted from their parents.
But while some worried North American parents have spent the past few weeks phoning and e-mailing adoption agencies, the agencies played down the arrests. It's the first time such a scandal has struck China and isn't indicative of a widespread problem, said Martha Maslen, the executive director of Children's Bridge, a non-profit, international adoption service based in Ottawa.
The baby-smuggling reports only serve to harm Canadian families trying to forge a new life together, Ms. Maslen said, adding that the odds of having an illegitimate orphan were low.
The scandal has been linked to only a handful of the 50 or so orphanages used by Children's Bridge. Plus, two of the provinces where many of the children were reportedly sold -- Guangdong and Guangxi -- aren't heavily involved with Canadian agencies.
But one of the provinces, Hunan, does deal with Canada, and because of that, Ms. Maslen acknowledged she can't make guarantees.
"I'd love to think of some way to say definitely that your child wasn't involved, but I can't," she said.
• © Copyright 2005 Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved

Anonymous said...

February 9, 1996 - David Polreis, Jr: age 2, of Greeley, Colorado was beaten to death. Over 90% of David's body was covered in cuts, which his adoptive mother, Renee Polreis, claimed was due to the boys severe RAD. Renee stated that David would hit himself with a wooden spoon. Husband, David Polreis, Sr. was out of town at time of attack and was not implicated. Rene Polreis was convicted of child abuse resulting in death and sentenced to 18 years in prison. David was adopted 6 months before his death.
November 25, 1998 - Logan Higginbotham: age 3, of Shelburne, Vermont died of massive head injuries. Adoptive mother Laura Higginbotham, stated that Logan fell and hit her head on the floor of an upstairs bedroom. It took 3 years for the medical examiner to determine whether the case was accidental or homicide. In 2004, Laura Higginbotham pled no contest to a charge of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 1 year in prison. Logan was in US 7 months before her death.
October 31, 2000 - Viktor Matthey: age 6, of Hunterdon County, New Jersey died of cardiac arrest due to hyperthermia after adoptive parents Robert and Brenda Matthey locked him overnight in a damp unheated pump room. Viktor was also severely beaten by his adoptive father. Both parents are sentenced to 10 years for confining Viktor to a pump room, 10 years for excessive corporal punishment and 7 years for failing to provide medical care. The sentences run concurrently. Viktor was in the US 10 months before his death.

November 30, 2001 - Luke Evans: age 1.5 of Lowell, Indiana died of massive head injuries, shaken baby syndrome, and poor nutrition. Adoptive mother, Natalie Fabian Evans, stated that she couldn't wake Luke one morning and so placed him in a tub of water to "stimulate him" where she says he may have bumped his head on the tub. The authorities took a year to investigate the case. Evans is scheduled to stand trial for murder in October 2005. Luke was in the US 6 months before his death.
December 14, 2001 - Jacob Lindorff: age 5, of Gloucester Twp, New Jersey died of blunt force trauma to head. Also suffered from 2nd degree burns on feet, hemorrhaging in 1 eye; bruises, and seizures. Adoptive mother Heather Lindorff, was found guilty of 2nd degree endangering, aggravated assault and sentenced to 6 years. Adoptive father, James, sentenced to 4 years probation and 400 hours of community service for child abuse. Adoptive mother claimed that the injuries were accidents. Jacob was in the US 6 weeks before his death.
August 15, 2002 - Zachary Higier: age 2, of Braintree, Massachusetts, died of severe head trauma. Adoptive mother Natalia Higier, stated that he had fallen out of his crib or hit his head on the floor. She later admitted to tossing him into the air and he hit his head on the coffee table. Zachary sustained a bilateral skull fracture, strokes, brain swelling, and detached retinas. Natalia pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail with 18 months balance of sentence suspended for 4 years.
October 23, 2002 - Maria Bennett: age 2, of Lancaster, Ohio, died from shaken baby syndrome. Adoptive mother Susan Jane Bennett, said that she had tripped while carrying Maria and had dropped her. Medical evidence proved otherwise. Susan Bennett pled no contest to 1 count of reckless homicide and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Maria was adopted 9 months before her death.
August 11, 2003 - Jessica Albina Hagmann: age 2, died from smothering. Adoptive mother, Patrice Hagmann claimed that she accidently killed Jessica while trying to stop her from having a tantrum. Patrice was sentenced to probation and to 2 suspended 5 year terms.
October 16, 2003 - Liam Thompson: age 3, of Columbus, Ohio, died from scalding and neglect. His adoptive father, Gary, placed him in a tub of 140 degree water. He recieved 2nd and 3rd degree burns. His LPN adoptive mother, Amy, neglected treatment for 2 days, then treated him with Tylenol and Vaseline. She took Liam to the hospital only after he went into respitory failure. Amy was sentence to 15 years for child endangering and involuntary manslaughter. Gary received 15-life for murder. Liam was adopted 5 months prior.

December 18, 2003 - Alex Pavlis: age 6, of Illinois, was beaten to death by his U.S. adopted mother, Irma, 6 weeks after his adoption from Russia. He was found to have 32 bruises, scars, and cuts. Irma had a difficult time with Alex. He banged his head on the walls, floors, and defecated and urinated on himself. Reports indicate that his injuries could have been self-inflicted. Irma was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
January 22, 2005 - Dennis Merryman:
age 8, born Dennis Uritsky, of Harford County, Maryland died after suffering cardiac arrest brought on by starvation. He weighed 37 pounds. Both parents, Samuel and Donna Merryman, were arrested and charged with manslaughter and first degree child abuse resulting in death and reckless endangerment. He was adopted almost 5 years ago.
July 2, 2005 - Nina Hilt:
age 2, of Wake Forest, North Carolina died after suffering several blows to her abdomen. Her adoptive mother, Peggy Hilt, has been charged with second degree murder. Nina was adopted in 2003.

Source: Daily Bastardette blog dated August 3, 2005 - "Forever Family Forever Dead"

Anonymous said...

Ontario to appeal sentence in caged boys case
Updated Tue. Jul. 20 2004 6:29 AM ET News Staff

The Ontario government is appealing the nine-month sentences handed to a couple who often kept their adoptive sons in cages over a 13-year period.

A spokesman for the Ministry of the Attorney General said Monday the sentences would be appealed on the grounds that they are not reasonable, and do not constitute a deterrent to such abuse.

The case would also be appealed on the basis that the trial judge had not considered the breach of trust reflected in the case, and that the sentences should not have been imposed to run concurrently.

Legal experts and average Canadians erupted in anger after the sentences were handed down earlier this month, with many saying the punishment was far too lenient considering the abuse the boys suffered.

While the boys, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban, reluctantly accepted the sentence, the public didn't. Many couldn't comprehend how 13 years of child abuse could be worth nine months in jail.

Members of the Durham Regional Police who raided the Blackstock, Ont. house where the boys lived described the case as one of the worst incidents of child abuse and neglect they'd ever investigated.

Investigators found that the couple had often kept the boys in wire mesh-enclosed baby cribs. They were often forced them to wear diapers, subjected to physical punishment on a daily basis and were severely malnourished.

Through it all, the boys continued to go to school and even visited neighbours, but were warned under threat of more abuse never to talk of what they endured at home.

The parents claimed the boys, now 17 and 18, suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome and were too hard to control. The Crown disputed that claim.

In passing sentence, Ontario Court Judge Don Halikowski called the abuse of the boys as "near torture." But he also depicted the poorly-educated parents as misguided in their attempts at discipline. He noted their behaviour was "underscored by good intentions."

The defence had asked for house arrest. The Crown had sought prison terms of up to eight years.

Halikowski sentenced the woman, 43, and her husband, 51, to nine months for assault with a weapon, nine months for forcible confinement, and one month for failing to provide the necessaries of life.

The terms all run concurrently, meaning the couple could be eligible for day parole in less than three months. They will also be on probation for three years.

The couple's lawyer Alex Sosna has said the abuse was not as bad as the media reports have portrayed and occurred only sporadically. He has also said the mother "had her own limitations" and "was ill- equipped as a parent in many ways."

"She's ill-equipped as a person, as a functioning member of our society," Sosna told Canada AM after the sentence.

The boys are now in foster care and are attending high school

Anonymous said...

from the various articles it is very sad that so many children have been abused and murdered under child protection. Jeffrey is a glimpse into the horror. I hope that all media and politicians read the stories of other victims as well. Jeffrey suffered terribly, and so did many others.

Anonymous said...

The Ideal Maternity Home!
The Story Of The Ideal Maternity Home
Lila Gladys Young was daughter of Salem and Bessie Coolen. The family was of strong Seventh-day Adventists faith. Lila became a teacher, after finishing school, then taught school in Fox Point, Nova Scotia.

In 1925, at the age of 26, she met William Peach Young (b. 11 Jan 1898), and they were married in 1925. William was an unordained Seventh-day Adventist minister from Memramcook, New Brunswick . He graduated from the Medical Evangelists College in 1923. He was a self-designated medical missionary, caring for the sick and spreading the gospel along the South Shore. They moved to Chicago, and in December 1927, William graduated from the National College of Chiropractic. The same year, Lila graduated from the National School of Obstetrics and Midwifery. They returned to Nova Scotia and in February 1928 opened "The Life and Health Sanitarium - Where the Sick Get well.". They worked out of their 4 bedroom cottage in East Chester, with barely enough money to buy cots for the patients to sleep on. Lila started delivering babies, and within a year the Youngs were specializing in maternity services, largely for unwed mothers. Their business became known as The Ideal Maternity Home And Sanitarium.

The Youngs
William was the superintendent, Lila the director. (**Reference Bette L. Cahill)

Privacy And Discretion Guaranteed
Privacy And Discretion Guaranteed: Payment on arrival was a condition, between $100 and $500 for room and board, delivery, and the adoption of the baby. It was an additional $12 for layette, and a baby sitting service of $2 per week. (charged in the early days of operation). The opportunity to work off debt, if unable to pay their bill, was an option for the young mothers. Burial fees of $20 were also charged to cover the cost of the burial of babies that died at the Home. The $20 included $5 toward a shroud, and $15 for the Youngs, who would be present at the burial. The burial fee included a white pine "coffin". They were "lovely butterboxes", (from the local grocer) mitered and very , very smooth, according to Lila, and always lined with satin.
Elaborate contracts were signed by the unwed mothers, giving William the power of attorney and legal authority over their babies and their adoptions. If not signed within 14 days of the birth, they were charged an additional $30.00. By the time the girls left the Home their bills often exceeded $300.00. *(Average wages at this time were: Sales clerks $8 per week, domestics $4 per week)

With the increase in the number of babies for adoption, the American tourist trade, hard working lawyers, and the Greed of the Youngs, a whole new, wealthy adoption market opened, and many babies found new homes in the USA, where many couples were restricted from adopting, due to age, state laws, etc. These grateful new parents were very generous, and made large and generous "contributions" to the Home out of "gratitude". Many of these children found good homes, but not in all cases "legal". In many cases, these new parents were not aware that siblings (twins) may have been separated to provide them with their chosen child, or that the child may have been secretly taken away from it's mother. In the mid 40's the pregnant girls coming to the Home were generating revenues of about $60,000, for the Youngs, but the real money was coming from the baby sales. Babies were sold for between $1000 and $10,000 each. On top of that, donations were demanded and expected. Even allowing for the "rejected" babies and those who died - at least 10 percent of the total - and sales to the less lucrative local market, it is reasonable to estimate that half the babies, 700 or so, were sold for an average of about $5,000. That is a total of $3.5 million.

The Ideal Maternity Home was big business.
Note: If any one Knows any of the Babies in This picture Could you Kindly E-mail me and Let me know which one it is and the name of the Baby. Thanks

In 1933, the Youngs had plans to expand the Home. Over the next few years there were many changes, some of which William did himself. The Home was growing in reputation and with that the number of births and adoptions. In 1939 the Youngs paid off their mortgage on the Maternity Home, and then built their own home, a three story house containing nine bedrooms, three bathrooms, den, dining room, living room and kitchen.

(Now under new ownership, and formerly operated as the East Chester Inn).

Over the next six years they bought new cars and land and continued to add to their assets. By 1943, the Youngs were well on their way to wealth. After several additions and expansions, the cottage they started with in 1928 was now a huge structure with 54 rooms and 14 bathrooms. The home had elegant turrets and was surrounded by expansive lawns and greenery and most important to the Youngs - mortgage free.

By 1933 some people were taking an interest in the Home. The Liberal Party swept into office and Dr. Frank Roy Davis was appointed to the Public Health portfolio, and he was introduced to problems at the Ideal Maternity Home. He heard some of the gossip regarding baby deaths at the Home, and for the next 15 years that he spent in office, he proved to be an enormous thorn in the Young's business lives. Also in 1933 - in response to mounting pressure, the Youngs were forced to hire their first Registered Nurse.

On March 4, 1936 the Youngs were arraigned on two counts of manslaughter related to the death of Eva Neiforth and her baby, but succeeded in winning the case. Following this Public Health Minister Frank Roy Davis ordered the RCMP to investigate all known deaths at the Home. In the years that followed They were charged with fraud, and under constant investigation. The Youngs had built up a strong support group, which was constantly there and supported them. This included prominent citizens, and politicians. They "presented" themselves very well, and if things looked as if they might go against them, they weren't above threatening, as there were now, many prominent people in society, and politics, who had discretely used the services of the Home over the years. Up to this time the Home was permitted to operate without license (17 years). In 1940 The Maternity Boarding House Act was amended, and William and Lila applied for license, and were turned down. On November 17, 1945, based on findings from inspections the Ideal Maternity Home was ordered closed.

Despite this, the Youngs were still advertising "Lovely Babies for Adoption". Frank Davis continued in his battle to be rid of the Ideal Maternity Home forever and began to track some of these adoptions. New Jersey officials came to his aid as they were also trying to crack down on illegal adoptions and baby smuggling. In the fall, a New Jersey newspaper reported that the smuggling scheme had been uncovered. To avoid an even bigger scandal, child welfare officials in Canada and the U.S. remained on the lookout for the unauthorized movement of adopted babies that didn't have government approval. To get around this one, the Youngs devised an alternate strategy which was to convince the birth mothers to travel with their babies to the U.S. After numerous charges, and some unsuccessful court appearances, fines, etc., the Youngs announced that they were closing their Maternity Home and opening a Hotel. About the same time a Montreal newspaper article was released, telling of the Young's business, bringing unfavorable attention from both Canada and the U.S again. The Youngs were back in court again, attempting to sue for slander, but lost their case.

Following the trial, the Youngs developed serious financial problems, their reputation hurt their business, their profits dwindled, and they were now in debt.. Bankrupt, they left East Chester, penniless, as they were when they arrived thirty years earlier. Two of their five children moved to Sudbury Ontario, one to the U.S., and two remained in Nova Scotia. The Home was destroyed by fire in 1962. Several years after their hasty departure, William died of cancer, and Lila returned to Nova Scotia and resumed teaching school near Fox Point, where she grew up, In 1969, at the age of 70, Lila died of Leukemia and was buried in the Seventh -day Adventist Cemetery in Fox Point...close to the many babies, in their Butterbox Coffins, who didn't have a chance to enjoy life.

***This information is reproduced from the book "The Butterbox Babies" written by Bette Cahill.

Anonymous said...

from Dufferin VOCA a fantastic website

Anonymous said...

Will Bill 210 save children's lives, NO,
Not all people that adopt children abuse them, not all foster families do and not all natural parents do either, but I cant repeat it enough , all studies have shown that a person with a natural bond to the child is much less likely to abuse them. CAS cannot break bonds to families although the try very hard to do so, it just further damages the child. I truly believe, you cannot predict human behaviour.

And reason for removing a child in the first place and what concerns are absolutely necessary before intervention, some of the reason children are in care today, are unnecessary, and the children are being suffering in the name of best interest and services to be provided.
Define what risk is, in today's risk scales its almost everything, its life. Educate young parents. educate parenting in schools. the Crown wards have had no roles models no hope broken spirits and bonds, the walking wounded to be the next homeless generation on the streets.
Until we get back to basics, and understand that every neglect issue even minor issues, should be not be cause for CAS intervention. Mental health of mothers, please 90 percent of the nurse in Ontario just said they were suffering from to much stress, anxiety and depression. Are they all going home and beating children. Anxiety stress and depression are part of life, shelter the children for life, and adopt them out to a NEW family that is no less likely to have the same problems then the natural parent did.
It makes no common sense. why don't we feed the children of Africa and let the police investigate real cases of child abuse. A society that would never allow a parent to raise another child after abusing one, CAS has abused thousands, why do they get another chance to try and get it right, They should not.
From the Christian Brothers Homes, large orphanages and abuse, foster care abuse, group homes under the bridge, homeless shelters, Please they are NOT competent and the child need a better solutions.

Anonymous said...

July 4, 1997, paramedics went to the North Carolina home of 45 year-old Eddiesenior McLaughlin and found 4-year-old, adoptee, Cory Bradley McLaughlin, severely beaten. He was pronounced brain-dead at the hospital not long before he was taken off life support. Both of his little hands and one foot were burned. There were bruises on his back, stomach, legs, and a lump on his forehead.

On April 8, 1999, McLaughlin pleaded guilty to felony child abuse and second-degree murder. She used a computer keyboard to beat the boy to death. Mrs. McLaughlin said she was disciplining Cory for hiding her rings. She was sentenced to only 7 - 10 years in prison followed by 5 years probation.

During a search of McLaughlin’s home, detectives found a contract between the adopter and Michael, an adoptee who’d been removed from the home. In the contract, he promised not to rub his eyes, scratch himself, tear holes in his clothes, write incorrect words, enter rooms without permission, watch movies, play outside, or play with toys. He also promised to pay back Mrs. McLaughlin for any damages to her belongs while he lived there.

Eight-year-old, Michael, had been removed from the home one month before Cory’s death by Social Services after he revealed that Mrs. McLaughlin had forced him to drink rubbing alcohol. The adopter was in full agreement with the removal saying that she could not handle the boy without her husband. She had always complained that Michael was a problem for her. Nevertheless, they left Cory at the mercy of this woman. If they had been his real parents instead of adopters, I’m sure all children would have been removed from the home along with Michael.

McLaughlin’s husband was stationed in Bosnia at the time of these incidents. Michael is currently living with another member of the McLaughlin family.

McLaughlin’s lawyer stated that the adopter has “psychological difficulties” and blames the abuse on “mental illness.” McLaughlin was diagnosed with paranoid and schizotypical personality disorders, with traits of obsessive compulsiveness by psychologist Thomas Harbin. Why was this couple allowed to adopt children?

According to the report of an investigation into Cory's death, the Department of Social Services did not accept information provided by the community as a formal report of abuse or neglect in the case of the McLaughlins. It is implied in the report that social workers intervened on behalf of the couple because they were adopters. It is also stated that social workers were confused about how to respond to the allegations of abuse because the children were adopted.

The report did not make any recommendations about failures in the adoption system.

The director of Social Services, Chip Modlin, said there had been no allegations of abuse against Cory. After family members, friends and teachers said that they did warn Social Services about their suspicions and signs of abuse, Modlin then said that every allegation of abuse made about Cory was investigated.

The foster family who had Cory before he and Michael were both adopted by the McLaughlins in 1996 is suing the Cumberland County Department of Social Services for an undisclosed amount of money. The lawsuit purports to seek money for Cory’s “brothers and sisters.” I cannot imagine who these “brothers and sisters” might be since Cory was adopted. I hope the foster family doesn’t think they are entitled to any money from Cory’s death.

It is difficult to investigate CPS failures because child protection laws require confidentiality. When Cory’s records were ordered to be released, it was only the second time a Superior Court judge ordered the release of such records. Then the lawyer for the county held up release of the records asking for an agreement that only certain people will be able to see them.

“They hide behind confidentiality laws so much that nothing ever gets changed. All they have to do is close up the records and say they can’t name the social worker,” said Cory’s former foster caregiver. I want to add that they also do this in cases where foster families are abusive to the children in their care.

The foster family had cared for Cory since his birth. If he was relinquished, I wonder if this is what his mother wanted for her son when she chose adoption.

Ironically, the McLaughlins live on Einstein Drive.

This case shows how the entire system: social workers, court officials, foster care, and adoption has failed to be in the “best interest” of children.

Cory’s story can be found at Fayetteville Observer-Times

Anonymous said...

Dec. 1, 2005 -- Earlier this year, Toronto police took an extraordinary step in their search for a little girl who was being subjected to the worst kind of abuse imaginable.

She was the subject of pictures that had been showing up in the hands of pedophiles. They showed her tied up and raped repeatedly, and police could see her growing older in the photos. They feared the abuse was still going on.

So they digitally removed her from the photos — only showing her surroundings — and asked the public for help.

Months later, Toronto police learned that her abuser had already been jailed, and that she had been placed with a foster family.

She told her story for the first time to ABC News. She was interviewed in the presence of her new adoptive mother, her therapist and adviser — all of whom hope that airing her story might help her heal.

"It's like he stole my childhood," the young girl, Masha, said. "He took away five years of my life that I could never get back."

From Nightmare to Nightmare

Masha was born in a small, industrial city in southern Russia. She doesn't remember her father, and says her mother was an alcoholic. When she was 4, Masha says, her mother stabbed her in the back of her neck during a drinking binge. When authorities responded, they took Masha away to live in an orphanage.

It was a sad and desperate existence, but because adoption is rare in Russia, Masha expected to live there until she turned 18. Then one day, a divorced 41-year-old American showed up saying he wanted to adopt her.

Matthew Mancuso had found Masha through an adoption agency in Cherry Hill, N.J. He said he wanted to adopt a 5- or 6-year-old Caucasian girl, and Mancuso picked Masha out from a videotape sent to him by the adoption agency.

Masha said Mancuso was friendly and brought her gifts. But there was also something strange about him. "I remember asking him if I was gonna get a mother, and he'd say that he wasn't married, and that he didn't think I would," she said.

The nightmare began when Masha flew home with Mancuso to his modest, middle-class house on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. When it was time for bed that first night, he didn't send her to her room — he told her to get in bed with him.

He wasn't wearing any clothes, she said. The first couple of nights, he touched her leg or chest. Then he started touching her private parts. And then, a few days later, he started raping her repeatedly — and taking sexually explicit photographs.

"I'd make myself think of other things when it was happening," she said. "But it always came back to me — couldn't stop it."

To keep her silent he used rewards — as well as threats. "He'd tell me not to tell anyone, or else something bad would happen," Masha said. "He wouldn't tell me what it would be, but he'd just say something bad would happen. So I just didn't tell anybody, 'cause I was afraid."

A Desperate Search by Police

The road to Masha's rescue began hundreds of miles away in the Chicago suburb of Palos Heights. Police Sgt. Mike Zaglifa had been posing as a pedophile on the Internet, where obscene pictures of children are often traded like baseball cards.

There is a limited supply of child porn, and so pedophiles are always looking for arousing new images — so when Masha's fresh pictures appeared, this caused a feeding frenzy.

Zaglifa pretended to want them too, and struck up a conversation with someone using the handle "NkdSister." After chatting with him for a bit, he had a gut feeling — and traced NkdSister's Internet address to Pittsburgh.

On May 27, 2003, federal agents Denise Holtz and Tom Clinton visited Mancuso's home, looking for the photos advertised on the Internet. When they pulled up, they saw Mancuso and Masha outside. They immediately separated them, and Clinton says he could tell Mancuso was concerned. "He wasn't happy that we were there and it was obvious to us," he said.

The agents found computer disks with child pornography — but the biggest discovery was to come from Masha herself. Holtz remembers her asking: "Is this about my secret?" An agent had taken Mancuso inside his house, but even there, he tried to keep Masha from talking by yelling out to her.

But Masha spoke anyway. "It was like, I finally had someone to talk to. So once I said something — I said everything else. It just all came out," she said. Masha was finally rescued at the age of 10. She says she doesn't know what she would have done if they didn't come. "I guess I'd still be waiting, like I did for five years," she said.

Any Safeguards?

It turns out Masha was not Mancuso's first victim. His ex-wife, Doreen McDade, and his 28-year-old daughter, Rachelle, told ABC News he had done this before. He had molested Rachelle as a child, they said.

"I feel so much guilt for what happened. When I first found out that he adopted a little girl I should have spoke up, I should have said something. I feel somehow responsible," Rachelle said.

But McDade and her daughter both say they were never contacted by adoption authorities. Instead, Mancuso's agency relied on a home study prepared by a Pittsburgh social worker. It states: "Mr. Mancuso is very capable, willing and well-prepared to provide a stable and loving home."

"It doesn't appear that they talked to anybody about Mancuso, that they simply took what Mancuso said to them at face value and placed this child with him," said Maureen Flatley, a lobbyist who specializes in adoption and child welfare.

She has also been hired by Masha's lawyer to find out how a pedophile could have adopted a young child.

Tom Atwood, president of the National Council on Adoption, says he saw the study that was performed on Mancuso, and said it was "fairly typical." But he adds that Masha's adoption is not defensible. "Something went wrong, clearly." Adoption experts are especially troubled by the fact that, according to Masha, there were no home visits when she got to Pittsburgh. Just one, they say should have turned up some disturbing details — like the fact that Masha had no bedroom.

"They sold her to a complete stranger. And let her go," Flatley said.

While post-placement supervision is required in Pennsylvania for domestic adoptions from foster care, no such law exists for international placement. And while more than $500 million has been spent on Russian adoptions since the fall of the Soviet Union, Flatley said, "The policy seems to be, if the check clears, the kid is yours."

Mancuso paid tens of thousands of dollars for his adoption of Masha. But Atwood said typically, "people do not provide adoption service for money. They are motivated by desiring to help children have families."

Jeannene Smith, the woman who arranged the adoption, refused to discuss the adoption, citing constraints in New Jersey law. But she issued a statement to ABC News, which said: "The unearthing of this horrific experience has further strengthened our resolve to advocate for policy and law enforcement tools to help prevent applicants with criminal motives from becoming adoptive parents in the future."

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Two weeks ago, in a courtroom in Allegheny County, Pa., Mancuso pleaded guilty as charged. The judge called it one of the most heinous cases of child abuse she had ever seen and sentenced him to a minimum of 35 years in prison.

He had already received a 15-year prison sentence in February 2004 on federal child pornography charges.

Prosecutors for the state of Florida have announced they too will try Mancuso for the crimes they say he committed against Masha on a visit to Disneyworld.

Mancuso has said nothing to Masha since he was sentenced. "He never apologized to me," she noted.

Meanwhile, his actions continue to victimize her. Her pictures are still out there. But she is bravely putting all that behind her. Now 13, she lives in a quiet suburb of another American city with her new adoptive mother.

She's said she's going public to give hope to other abused children out there.

"Even if they are afraid to tell somebody, no matter what they think is going to happen, it's going to be for the better," she said. "If they tell somebody, it's going to change."

Anonymous said...

I came home from work and the CAS shows up as I am making dinner. My support worker had just left. I have 2 seriously disabled boys.

She was investigating something that one of the boys had said at school. She thought it was very believable. I said "Well, it isn't!" I tried to explain to her that the boys had special needs. She kept on saying "It sounds so believable." I said "Talk to my 2 in-home workers. They will tell you the situation."

The social worker then told me to put my 2 special needs boys in separate bedrooms and put on outside padlock on the door at night. I asked her and "Do I put a piss pot in there too?"

I was appalled because my children had the run of the house.

This CAS worker had no children or parenting skills. I reported her to her Agency and the College of Social Work.

Do you know what would have happened if I had followed her advice? They are huge and strong. If I had confined them, these boys would have literally destroyed their rooms (I mean they would have kicked in the walls) and I would have been accused of child abuse.

This is the kind of person the CAS are sending into homes.

I reported her to the College of Social Work. The answer I got was "Sorry, you are out of luck. She is not registered."

She still works for them.
She is still out there reeking havoc on innocent families.

This is the kind of help "special needs" families get. Excuse my sarcasm, but it is justified.

Anonymous said...

My office has come across one-too-many-reports over the years (and two
current ones) that local schools-- mandated reporters of child abuse and
neglect-- have threatened to report or actually reported parents when
they have kept
their severely asthmatic/allergic/health impaired children home from
to protect them from known harmful exposures. The distraught parents have
requests in writing for health protections and have MD back up.

One parent alerted her state legislator that a school official had
threatened her with an abuse/neglect report after she brought documents
through the freedom of information act to a public hearing. A parent
whose child
was evacuated to an emergency room documented environmental problems; she
later barred from entering school grounds.

How widespread is this?

I am looking for other people/groups who have come across similar reports
who have had that very unfortunate direct experience. If you wish to tell us
about that experience directly, go to

Claire Barnett

Claire L. Barnett, Executive Director, Healthy Schools Network, Inc. 518-462-0632
Coordinator, National Coalition for Healthier Schools

Anonymous said...

How does one explain adoption bonus, CAS will have incentives to adopt children out for cash, they will take more babies then ever before, watch out, its already happening, Erika a story that breaks my heart, was tricked with this scam already, CCAS let her keep her toddler but kept her baby, and there WERE no abuse concerns. This women has been to everyone in the government to tell her story, no one cares. Her sister misses the younger one no one cares.
I care Erika and I pray for you often. her last name is Klein the story is on the net,

WHY did the minister have her web site changed before this bill even passed, and it has not passed yet, but I bet its the first thing that will be done, when the criminals come back after March break.
Why is it so hard for people to understand, has the public been asleep, the press bought in to all the hype, Air bus, sponsor ship, Mc Guilty broken promises, the insane political games they play are so trans parent to anyone with an IQ over 90 to see ( well that might explain the politicians lack of thinking) but give me a break, your into this so deep you cant get out.
CAS and so called experts lobby hard, you buy the into the babble and spew it like robots the best interest of the child, your lucky children cant vote.
Go tell that to the CROWN WARDS its in your best interest to be taken away from your home your school, and everyone that loves you, because it makes us money, now we will find you a new mommy and daddy, or daddy and dad.
Why have the judges already been told to medicated all children over a certain age. The lawyers as well.
The gull of the liberals to get ready set go, we have it in the bag, gone into business with the adoption agencies. hew haw, WAIT is this not Canada, don't you have to pass the law first. No its the children and youth ministry the place should be dismantled. Then your silly press release about the Tories don't care about most valunerable children ( valuable children) Give me a break
this is your old game , heard it before, don't get your way, start telling anyone that listens and NO we don't anymore, that who ever says anything true which is negative about Child and Youth and CAS political life you will try and destroy and scream to the roof tops they don't care about poor children.
Its getting boring.
How do are aboriginals feel, we took there land there children poisoned there waters and fish, have you not done enough harm.

How dare any of you to allow this to go on. Kinship placements will not be the goal adoption will, we all know and babies will be taken in droves. They will still collect others as well, keep that money coming in. They may even actually save a few children from real abuse. Some how I doubt it.
Unless people want services, they should not be forced on family's, children don't seem to like your services those taken and returned have nightmares, GOOD JOB, and fear authority, Great Job, we really need a generation of children growing up to fear the police. Not a good plan.
The police should distance them self's from the scandal hire your own private security to take down doors and pepper spray 7 year old children running back to mommy's. I would not want my child growing up to fear police, they may need them someday. And your giving the forces a bad name, as well.
What happens when adoptions fail, the cute baby has FAS and no one know till they are five or six, do they give them back?? What if its autism?? damaged by drugs, and genetics unknown, How will you ensure people adopting are able to take care of a special needs child, its hard work, and it takes a special parent to do it. FAS children get more difficult with age. Are you going to let adopters know.
And how open is open Make then all read The Open adoption Experience
by Lois Ruskai Melina and Sharon Kaplan Roszia. It should be mandatory. Children do better if they NEED to be removed with family,
but of course you will use the horrors of the Baldwin's not to place them with kin. Does that still make the big bucks, I know someone that just adopted there own grandchild, funny they never paid her a cent, but collected the same amount of money off the taxpayers to foster the child. Then made the child a crown ward, even though they knew grandparents would be adopting the child. HUH??? Money Money we are not fooled. and should not be paying for this shit. Then there are the lawyers, well what can we say about lawyers many politicians are lawyers.
The family courts are corrupt even the senators are saying they must be cleaned up. But no CAS needs business. When will people get it??
Nobody should profit off the adoption of a child. And nor should they be taken if there is not true abuse, not the manufacture victims this industry is great at producing.
We are all told over and over again, parents will just be so emotional because CAS has concerns don't listen to the family's they abused and there for don't listen. they all cry and miss the children , but are unfit, and the politicians and press buy it.
But not everyone does, Canada Court watch will win awards for cracking this thing open.
And to think so many of us use to think the CAS was a wonderful thing.
those days are gone.

Anonymous said...

an Ottawa-based family lawyer who represented the blanks, said that while he understands the agency has to investigate complaints, he didn't agree with how it was carried out.

"The CAS puts the onus on the parents -- you're guilty until proven innocent

you would think they would be sure, before they aprehended a child or came after you with a crime a day, everything a parent does, and very good parents is twisted. Thats why it is best to tape all conversations with anyone dealing with CAS, keep one running on your phone, make sure you tape all doctors, dentist, meeting at schools, take witness as well.Hire a midwife home school,
like many of ex social workers do.
They know more then we do, I just thought the women that lived next to us was a nut, she was a social worker for CAS, had her baby at home, home school, the private school, no docotrs in this country and used a homopath. she was living in total fear, because she had a history of depression. And even though she was well over it. She was scared to death of the very people she worked for, they knew she once said that she was out on stress leave a few years before she had her baby. Come to think of it, I know a great deal of SW that have taken stress leave. Should they be allowed to parent? One use to throw dishes at her husband, kids wore no rules in schools shirts TO school, the house was a MESS. ask the agent that tried to sale it. All the things parents cannot do humm

Anonymous said...

an Ottawa-based family lawyer who represented the blanks, said that while he understands the agency has to investigate complaints, he didn't agree with how it was carried out.

"The CAS puts the onus on the parents -- you're guilty until proven innocent

you would think they would be sure, before they aprehended a child or came after you with a crime a day, everything a parent does, and very good parents is twisted. Thats why it is best to tape all conversations with anyone dealing with CAS, keep one running on your phone, make sure you tape all doctors, dentist, meeting at schools, take witness as well.Hire a midwife home school,
like many of ex social workers do.
They know more then we do, I just thought the women that lived next to us was a nut, she was a social worker for CAS, had her baby at home, home school, the private school, no docotrs in this country and used a homopath. she was living in total fear, because she had a history of depression. And even though she was well over it. She was scared to death of the very people she worked for, they knew she once said that she was out on stress leave a few years before she had her baby. Come to think of it, I know a great deal of SW that have taken stress leave. Should they be allowed to parent? One use to throw dishes at her husband, kids wore no rules in schools shirts TO school, the house was a MESS. ask the agent that tried to sale it. All the things parents cannot do humm

Anonymous said...

I watched the Tommy Douglas Story last night.
The RCMP, ordered by the government attacked and killed the miners and then left their bodies there to rot. The miners were called Commies. This prompted
Tommy Douglas to get involved. I see an analogy here to the child welfare system. Our government is doing this and some are profiting from it. These people will do anything to perpetuate it, others will do anything to destroy it. Where will the leadship of the family rights movement come from?

Tina said...

PLEASE E-Mail the CBC as Amanda requested at the top of this posting. I e-mailed from each of my accounts. It only takes a second.

Anonymous said...

the CBC has been swamped with emails on The Crown Wards, I know from a someone at the CBC, this is a good thing. keep writing your MPPs as well

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Pat Fenton - the baby broker from the ACO - she does not work for the CAS, but works with them.

Anonymous said...

As far as naming child abusers within the system, you could start with the Minister and work down. Hundreds, if not thousands, of CAS employees who act in the worst interests of children are listed on the Internet. Moreover, the list would have to include police, teachers, doctors, nurses psychologists, daycare workers, dentists, etc.

My only comment is it may be better to let Amanda decide if this is an appropriate use of her blog. If she supports the idea, creating a seperate area for such listings might be useful. Also, unless the terms for such posts are considered carefully, some of those named may attempt to take legal action.

Anonymous said...

FBI investigates adoption Web site

Kimberley, left, and Belinda have known three mothers in their six months of life

Charles Feldman on the internet adoption controversy

January 17, 2001
Web posted at: 4:19 PM EST (2119 GMT)

LONDON, England -- The FBI is investigating the adoption Web site at the centre of the row over U.S. twin girls who were sold to two different couples before being brought into Britain.

There was reason to believe several couples from different states had paid money to the Caring Heart Adoption Web site, but did not get children, an FBI spokesman in Los Angeles told CNN on Wednesday.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation in Salt Lake City, Utah, is leading the inquiry and has identified "multiple victims" in their preliminary inquiry.

The news came as British Prime Minister Tony Blair stepped into the row over the legal status of the six-month-old twins, Kimberley and Belinda.

He said it was "absolutely deplorable that children are traded this way. Adoption should always be about the interests of the child first."

Alan and Judith Kilshaw paid the adoption agency $12,000 (£8,200) for the girls and brought them to Britain on six-month visitors' passports.

The pitfalls of Internet adoption

Before this, Richard and Vickie Allen of California told CNN they paid $6,000 in fees to Caring Heart Adoption for the twin girls, who they named Kiera and Keyara, and their mother, Tranda Wecker, to be flown from St. Louis, Missouri, to California.

Richard Allen said Wecker stayed with him and his wife for about 11 days before returning to St. Louis, leaving the children with the Allens. He said after two months, the mother "called and said she wanted to visit with the children one last time to have closure."

Wecker came back to California, visited the children and "she never brought them back," he said.

The mother handed the twins over to Alan and Judith Kilshaw, who went to Arkansas to adopt the babies under the state's more relaxed adoption laws, before bringing them to Britain.

The Allens hold the twins in October with their adopted two-year-old son Andrew
Authorities in Wales are investigating the circumstances of the adoption by the Kilshaws who live in Flintshire in North Wales, but the couple insist they have done nothing illegal.

"The British government has a lot of cheek criticising the adoption system of another country. If Arkansas says we have adopted these children, that should be good enough," Alan Kilshaw said.

He said that he did not consider either couple had "bought" the children, arguing they had paid a fee for someone to arrange the adoption for them.

Kilshaw added that he felt sorry for the Allens. "At the end of the day, we knew they had tried to go through an adoption which was not possible because the birth mother had changed her mind within the prescribed period.

"We have sympathy for them but obviously we couldn't alter that because it was a fact outside our control."

Blair's spokesman said earlier that if the children had been brought into Britain on visitors' visas as has been reported, then they would appear to be here legally.

But he said the British government would also be watching the outcome of court proceedings in the United States and reviewing the case here accordingly.

The Allens say they will do all they can through the courts to get them back.

The Kilshaws, who already have three children, said they turned to the Internet because they wanted another daughter and felt they would be turned down by adoption authorities in the UK. They are now planning to apply for British citizenship for the twins.

Anonymous said...

Forced adoptions of victim's babies
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 12:23:29 -0700 (PDT)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Renee D'Elia Pallares' son and pregnant daughter-in-law vanished in 1977, during the ``dirty war'' that Argentina's military governments waged on real and imagined political foes.

She long ago gave up hope of finding them alive. But the frail 75-year-old Uruguayan is sure she has found a link to the couple -- a high school student named Carlos. Blood tests indicate he has a 99.9 percent chance of being her lost grandson.

Carlos may be one of dozens of children apparently born in captivity to suspected leftists later executed by security forces. Recent evidence revealed that military and police officers illegally adopted some of the babies and turned others over to unrelated families.

Mrs. D'Elia Pallares met Carlos for the first time on June 20 in a courtroom.

``I couldn't utter a word when he came through the door,'' she said. ``He had my son's eyes and the same movements as my daughter-in-law -- his mother.''

She has talked with him briefly twice more, always in a courtroom. A judge has ruled Carlos will stay with his godfather -- a friend of the boy's challenged parents -- until the questions about his parentage are resolved.

Until now, the lanky 17-year-old thought he was the son of a retired Argentine navy lieutenant, Carlos de Luccia, and his wife, Martha. They are now divorced.

Mrs. D'Elia Pallares contends Carlos was born in a clandestine torture center where his parents were murdered on charges of being dangerous subversives. She says he was later appropriated by the navy officer.

If further tests confirm Carlos is her grandson, he will have to choose whether to stay with the couple who brought him up or move to neighboring Uruguay to live with his grandmother, an aunt and five cousins.

``We don't want to rush him as it must be a traumatic to find out you're not who you think you are,'' Mrs. D'Elia Pallares said. ``But we are determined to return home with Carlos and will stay in Argentina as long as it takes.''

Luccia and his former wife insist the boy is their biological son and the blood tests were incorrect. They say Carlos was born after Mrs. Luccia underwent fertility treatments after 18 years of unsuccessfully trying to conceive.

On June 14, a federal judge ordered the couple arrested for alleged involvement in an illegal adoption and they remain in custody.

The judge also ordered the arrest of police Dr. Jorge Berges on charges of falsifying documents to facilitate the adoption of Carlos and several other babies born in captivity.

Berges, dubbed ``Dr. Death'' by a leftist Buenos Aires newspaper, was convicted in 1985 of torturing prisoners during the ``dirty war.'' He escaped imprisonment under a law that excused mid- and low-ranking military personnel on grounds they had been obliged to follow orders of superiors.

So far, five members of the armed forces and police have been convicted and jailed for a minimum of eight years for involvement in illegal adoptions involving the children of disappeared people.

Adoptive parents without links to the security forces have not been charged because authorities decided they were unaware of the crimes.

At least 9,000 people died in the 1970s when three military juntas tried to wipe out leftist movements. Many of the victims were innocent political dissidents caught up in the violence.

Mrs. D'Elia Pallares says neither of the people she believes were Carlos' real parents -- her son Julio Cesar D'Elia, a Uruguayan economist who was working in Buenos Aires, and his wife, Yolanda -- were active politically.

An estimated 200 children were born in captivity, and 55 have been located. Of those, 30 have been reunited with their biological families with the help of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, a human rights group formed by people whose children and grandchildren disappeared during the repression.

``The armed forces took a perverse pride in killing subversives and saving their children to give them to military families who would teach them the evils of terrorism,'' said Estela Barnes de Carlotto, president of Grandmothers.

In 1983, civilian President Raul Alfonsin set up a National Bank of Genetic Data to store blood samples of families related to victims of the ``dirty war.''

The Grandmothers have left blood samples there in the hope that curious children who suspect they may have been illegally adopted drop by to have tests.

``The babies who were stolen now average 17 years of age,'' said Mrs. Carlotto. ``So we hope they will come by voluntarily.''

``We've already located 55 cases, and Carlos is on the verge of becoming No. 56,'' she said. ``Each case is a triumph of truth over lies, horror and deceit.''

Anonymous said...

by Grace Hobson, The Kansas City Star (1-10-03):
"Patricia Jones could not have known a fleeting visit with her 2-year-old grandson, Brian Clark, would be her last. She had not seen the toddler since he was placed in foster care at the age of about 7 months old. But his foster parents arrived late to the meeting, so the visit with the boy she had helped raise was brief. "It was like a flash of light," recalled Jones, of Kansas City. "A hug. A kiss. I haven't seen him since then -- until the news. All I heard was the name Brian, and I knew that was my grandchild. "My heart just dropped," Jones said, tears welling.

This week a social services official confirmed that Brian Edgar, the 9-year-old boy who died Dec. 29 of asphyxiation after being gagged, was her biological grandson. ..... How, they wonder, could Kansas social services officials allow Brian to be adopted by people who later would be charged in his death? Neil and Christy Edgar, and their baby sitter, Chasity Boyd, are charged with first-degree murder of Brian, who died after he was bound and gagged and his mouth was taped shut. Police allege in court records filed this week that Brian and three other children the Edgars had adopted were routinely bound at night and gagged.

Brian was a happy, well-adjusted baby, Patricia Jones said. His only medical problem was sleep apnea, for which he used a sleep monitor, she said. .... Shadden said she did not know why Brian was not placed with anyone in his biological family, and said that under Kansas law she could not discuss any particular case.

To reach Grace Hobson, call (816) 234-7744 or send e-mail to

Anonymous said...

Mom on toddler's death: 'I didn't plan to hurt Emma'
Spring Hill woman says she lied earlier to protect husband, family

Jennifer Alvey is charged with murder in the death of adopted daughter Emma.


FRANKLIN, TN — A Spring Hill mother charged with killing her 20-month-old daughter told police she shook the toddler "without thinking," striking the child's head on a coffee table.

That caused damage that led to the death of Emma Alvey, police say. Jennifer Alvey and her husband, Phillip Alvey, adopted the toddler, who had been abandoned on a roadside in China, eight days after her birth.

In a written statement to police, Jennifer Alvey said she first lied about Emma's injuries, implying she was not involved, because she was trying to protect her husband and family.

"I lied because I was scared," she wrote in a statement taken Nov. 18 at the Spring Hill Police Department. "Not so much for myself, but I didn't want to hurt my husband and my family.

"People hate people who hurt kids. I hate those people, too. I didn't plan to hurt Emma."

The statement is one of a stack of recently released documents related to the death of Emma Alvey, who died Oct. 25 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

A police report, the statement, adoption records, an autopsy report and medical records filed by Williamson County prosecutors on Friday show how investigators gathered evidence to charge Alvey, 34, with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect and reckless homicide.

She remains free on $250,000 bail, with a case review date set for April 18. Her attorney, Mark Puryear, said she would not talk to a reporter, and said it was "premature to comment on the evidence."

In her written statement, Alvey said that on Oct. 19 she was "busy in the kitchen" and Emma "was fussing."

She told police that she went to Emma to see what was wrong, then "without thinking I just shook her and she hit her head on the coffee table." Alvey then cuddled with her daughter and put the child down for a nap.

Emma never woke up. She was taken to Vanderbilt, where she died six days later after doctors performed surgery and several procedures.

District Attorney General Ron Davis said he was "always pleased when any defendant in a criminal case decides to take responsibility and admit their conduct."

Davis said Alvey's written statement would be taken into consideration as prosecutors prepare their case.

Emma Alvey was born Feb. 11, 2004. She was found on a roadside in China, wrapped in a blanket, with a piece of paper denoting her birthday, according to documents from the Huangmei County Social Welfare Institution.

Then named Mei Fu Ping, the infant girl was taken to a social welfare institution in Huangmei. Chinese authorities were unable to locate the child's birth parents, according to the institution.

Emma was taken to a foster family when she was 11 days old, the documents say.

On Feb. 14, 2004, Jennifer Alvey filled out an adoption form with Bethany Christian Services in Nashville.

Alvey answered a question about how she would discipline a child by writing: "No hitting. Limits will be set according to age and action. They need to know even if they do something wrong they will not be loved any less."

Alvey told police she'd wanted a child for a long time and had the name Emma picked out for 10 years.

Her ex-husband, Jimmy Terhune, told a Spring Hill detective that Alvey was "on a mission to have a child." Terhune said he and Alvey never had a child and that was the driving force behind their divorce.

Jennifer Alvey told police that she suffered from panic attacks and had taken medication to control the attacks. She said stress from being a new mom and stress from her mother-in-law were "the reason I started taking (medication) in the first place."

In February 2005, Jennifer and Phillip Alvey went to China to pick up Emma.

Medical records show that the couple brought Emma to Pediatric Associates of Franklin at least seven times between March and October. Emma was receiving speech therapy.

In a statement to police, Jennifer Alvey wrote, "I made sure Emma had the best doctors, eye doctors, medications, clothes, therapist … anything that was going to help her grow and develop into a healthy, happy, little girl."

Emma received 13 stitches on Sept. 27, after she fell down a flight of stairs, according to medical and police reports. She was examined and found to have no serious head injuries.

Spring Hill Detective Steve Cretin was called to Vanderbilt on Oct. 20, when social worker Carolyn Orr reported possible child abuse, according to his investigative report. Cretin interviewed Jennifer and Phillip Alvey that day.

Both told him that Jennifer Alvey was home alone with Emma, emptying the dishwasher while the baby was playing in the living room.

Jennifer Alvey told Cretin she heard Emma crying and found her in a crawling position. She said she consoled the child and laid her down for a nap, according to Cretin's report.

An autopsy conducted the day Emma died revealed that the child had suffered blunt head trauma. Dr. Thomas Deering, a medical examiner for the state, concluded that the death was a homicide.

The case was presented to a grand jury in Williamson County on Dec. 12. Jennifer Alvey was arrested the next day, and freed four hours later after posting bail. Jennifer Alvey has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. •

Anonymous said...

Ranked last in top 17 medical centers by U.S. News & World Report, Vanderbilt University Medical Center did not have such a good day Tuesday when ratings were released. August 7 will be worse if VUMC's and other Teaching hospitals' methods of silencing assertive mothers is exposed in federal court.

Too often using British retired pediatrician Roy Meadow's imaginative "Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy" (MSP), and enjoying restrictive Tennessee law to duck accountability for injuries to families from false allegations because of such labeling, VUMC may have met its match.

Young Joseph Harville's name comes first in the alphabet, before parents Steve and Ruth, so his name signs off on their pro se appeal accepted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati and on the docket in two weeks. At 7 1/2 Joseph may be a bit fuzzy on details, but he still recalls being a very sick little fellow and the terror of being taken from his parents.

Referred to VUMC because of slow growth and feeding and various other health problems in their son, the Harvilles took Joseph there in the fall of 1998 with high hopes. Careful review of documentation--both VUMC's and notes Ruth Harville kept--shows a direct connection between her questioning Joseph's treatment and the baseless MSP claim that makes a bad situation worse.

Where's the Science?

Court papers and details in the appeals state the obvious, but too seldom asserted, reality that neither Roy Meadow's nearly 26-year-old untested motivation theory nor its counterpart--known loosely as the "Separation Test"--have been subjected to accepted scientific methodology to validate them, not anywhere at any time by any objective entity.

Following Ruth Harville's annoying one of Joseph's doctors, the frail youngster was whisked into Tennessee foster care. There he lost 21% of his body weight during 3 1/2 months. A kind foster carer's concern, since the doctor withheld truth of Joseph's rapid failing from Tennessee's Department of Children's Services, made a difference.

During an earlier trial one Vanderbilt doctor said MSP is an adult psychiatric diagnosis, admitting the label was placed on a mother and by a pediatrician at that. Another called it a diagnosis but explained there was no clear cut test, only separating the child from a suspected parent to see how the child would survive and assuming Joseph would thrive.

The doctor reporting Ruth Harville, as have many before him, simply sat on information revealing how badly Joseph fared until he was in far worse condition. After all, if the only diagnosis is the equally unsupported "Separation Test," it wouldn't do to have bad results from a necessary cover up move.

Child or "Reputation Protection"?

When the Harvilles began their suit against VUMC in November 1999, at the last minute allowed by Tennessee law, several points including medical malpractice and civil rights were included. They did have an attorney at the time.

Only belatedly did they learn of key issues that attorney failed to share with them as well as other matters the attorney handled without advising them or gaining their consent. That behavior severely compromised their chances for redress toward Joseph's ultimate health and welfare.

Those unfamiliar with the nearly eternal injury of an MSP label may find it hard to believe but from the moment of an allegation on, depending on how a medical record is coded or what kinds of conversations annoyed doctors have with each other off the record, the child and all family members may receive substandard or no diligent medical care because, after all, there an accused Munch Mom once was involved.

Amazing alterations to the Harville family's original claims, at one point reducing them to pursuing medical malpractice only, occurred in proceedings that always involved officials and professionals somehow alumni of, employed by, or minimally emotional loyal to Vanderbilt and the reputations of its many parts in addition to VUMC itself.

By the time Vanderbilt lawyers compromised the few doctors who could have testified with some balance for the defense (inviting them to a CARE meeting that agreed to report Ruth Harville and have Joseph removed) and prevented two major defense witnesses from testifying because they were not pediatricians, the picture looked bleak.

Perhaps it was the outrageous overkill, the apparent fear of letting a modest couple tell their son's story of misunderstanding, misdiagnosis and dangerous mistreatment at a very proud teaching hospital, and the thinly veiled dirty tricks doctors appeared to have been advised to participate in, that inspired the Harvilles to hang in as long as they could to get the simple apology they once would have accepted.

Precedent-setting Potential

When it was clear VUMC would not apologize to the family on letterhead stationery, and that the Harville's own attorney had acted unilaterally and against family interest, Ruth Harville found strength her own health could scarcely provide.

She multiplied her efforts to find and get into judges' hands helpful background information on the multiplying names and claims for MSP by its self-styled experts. At the same time she was determined Tennessee's tricks to spare VUMC's answering for its frequent Munch Mom labeling and separating sick children from families would not persist.

Precedent-setting education can arise from a full reading of the Harville's experience with VUMC as a stand-alone experience that violates trust and civil rights but also as an example of what happens to children and families at medical teaching centers too often.

A serious consideration of Harville papers--the pro se family was thrilled with a request to send them all--and fair decision in 6th Circuit federal Appeals Court could find justices speaking and writing the overdue words that MSP and its cruel companion "Separation Test" have no basis in scientific fact.

If the unholy alliance between doctors as de facto state actors exploiting the child protection system's loose requirement for support behind its "reports of suspicions" is clarified, again, federal judges will have revealed the obvious to a confused public and lower court systems.

Because the Harvilles moved from Tennessee they and their quest for accountability from doctors, still hoping to hide behind a teaching hospital's liability insurance and legal presumed "good faith" immunity, they were able to move their appeal to federal courts.

Unlike others--including famed Johnnie Cochran on behalf of a doctor-mother banished from the VUMC bedside of her ill child, years later now dying of an elsewhere detected disorder--the Harville family decided to sue Vanderbilt, Inc., the whole shebang, and two particular doctors: the annoyed false reporter Dr. Seth Scholer and Dr. Karen Crissenger.

Whose Opinion Counts?

When the Harville's sole professional defense witness Dr. Jay Gordon, pediatrician practicing at UCLA, was disqualified at the first trial in Tennessee because he was not familiar with standards of the county in which VUMC was located, the gentleman was stunned. He knew the Harvilles borrowed money to finance his travels to testify and could not imagine Vanderbilt and area judges permitting such biased treatment of parents seeking redress for costly injuries to a sick child.

Noting that doctors take national exams so standards are not merely local or provincial did not persuade the court or Vanderbilt's lawyers to let Dr. Gordon testify on his professional and personal knowledge of Joseph Harville's condition and Vanderbilt's treatment of the child. Dr. Gordon's righteous indignation did much to encourage the Harvilles to find fairness somewhere, clearly beyond the state line.

Now, thanks to USN&WR's medical center rankings, it appears that local and area esteem in which VUMC is held does not hold across the nation. Dr. Gordon's UCLA ranks third with VUMC in last place. With the lowest number of points and specialties of any institution rated, VUMC was absent among 50 top centers treating digestive disorders, Joseph's major health problem, and is missing from the top 28 centers for pediatrics or 30 in psychiatry.

With its far broader understanding of law, local and national medical standards, and which and how many particular legal disadvantages suffered by the Harville family should earn them a new trial for full, fair, and objective hearing of all pertinent evidence, the federal court offers one family, a nation, and even the world hope that mistakenly and maliciously labeled caretakers have lacked too long.

At this writing the phrase-coiner of MSP himself is under intense scrutiny for sworn testimony that put innocent mothers behind bars or left them childless although original reports and Roy Meadow's speculations were groundless.

MSP on Last Legs in London

On Friday noon on Great Portland Street in London families there affected by exploitation of Roy Meadow's myth and long-term skeptics on the topic will demonstrate in front of the General Medical Council.

The GMC's delay in examining and putting a stop to use of Meadow's motivation theory, while children are traumatized and taken from their homes and innocents are prosecuted and imprisoned, has angered too many for too long and now the press and the nation as well.

Taking a cue from across the pond, where Roy Meadow and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy have been a mainstay, America's 6th Circuit Appeals Court may provide the first definitive international ruling.

And to think, it may all happen because VUMC doctors and lawyers, once too often, crossed a mother and father who determined to stay the course to clear their son's record and their innocent names.

Barbara Bryan

this is for that mom on Mark and Donna, this also happened to us. As soon as I started asking questions about my sons health, and why they could not help him, in an Ottawa hospital, they call CAS, we took him to Toronto , still no one could figure out what was wrong, he saw so many different doctors I was getting more and more concerned. I had no idea the hospital thought I was hurting him or pretending he was ill, god only knows why.
We took him to the Boston to a large well respect hospital, my husbands family lives in the State. It was there after two days we had an answer and he was treated, his symptoms had been part of one disorder, and it ran in the family.
Right after my son became ill my eldest daughter also had a minor illness, again the hospital in Ottawa did nothing until she was so sick they had to admit her. It was a bladder infection that became serious and should have been treated right away. I myself was in need medical care, I was so upset and stressed from the CAS. the hospital and doctors, and are family doctor all thinking I was doing this,I began to worry they would let us all die rather then admit they had been wrong. I had to have a surgery, do you think they would do anything about it no, once again, we went back to the Boston , I came back needing radiation therapy and more, I waited but they did finally treat me. I would have died, my daughter spent a week in hospital on IV antibiotics. My son spent two years sick. All because a few doctors could not figure out what was happening to a little boy. I will never trust a doctor, hospital or anyone again. the CAS tortured us. I and I know it was because of the hospital. I read about another women that went though this in Ottawa a few years ago. A one in a magazine , around Christmas I think it was women's weekly or Chatelaine. Believe me you don't want to take your children to a teaching hospital, they can ruin your life. And have CAS to help. We move to Burlington, after they finished terrorizing my family. But go to Buffalo if anyone gets sick.

Anonymous said...


"Project Truth" inquiry begins

Broadcast News

Monday, February 13, 2006

Justice Normand Glaude is heading the inquiry into how the justice system responded to accusations of a sex ring in the Cornwall region of Ontario. (PHOTO:BRUNO SCHLUMBERGER, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN)

CORNWALL, Ont. -- A public inquiry begins today into how the justice system responded to allegations a sex ring operated for years in Cornwall.
Global National Online Extras
» Ben O'Hara-Byrne reports
» Back to

The inquiry will look into the actions of Cornwall police, the OPP, the Ontario government and the Children's Aid Society during and after the alleged abuse.

While it will not make any conclusions on criminal liability, the inquiry, which is expected to last a year, will hopefully lift the cloud of scandal that has plagued Cornwall for years.

Sordid tales have spread of a group of pedophiles that existed since the late 1950s and involved members of the region's Roman Catholic clergy.

Police eventually laid 114 charges against 15 men in the 1990's under an investigation dubbed "Project Truth," but only one person, unconnected to the alleged sex ring, was ultimately convicted of sex offences.

In concluding their investigation, officers said they found no evidence a pedophile ring operated in the city.

The judge conducting the probe said Monday that the inquiry should allow healing in the eastern Ontario community.

Justice Normand Glaude, who is probing how the justice system responded to the accusations, said it will be "a lengthy and sometimes difficult process."
Do you trust the government. They helped hide this, many took part.

Anonymous said...


A SOCIAL worker caring for vulnerable children has confessed she is a WITCH.
During the day Fiona McColl is a senior child protection officer and assesses youngsters who may be at risk of abuse.

But at night she swaps tips about spells with warlocks and sorcerers on website Dark Renaissance.

The 42-year-old grandmother, who practises the pagan religion Wicca, denies that her dabbles in the occult affect her job.

She said: “My pagan beliefs are grounded in earth-based spirituality.

“I am not bad. I am not a Satanist.

“I think if anything what these beliefs do is to teach us about our own life.”

She added: “The notion of dark spirituality is being on one’s own, really. I believe we’re responsible for our lives.

Sorcery tips ... website Fiona uses to swap spell tips

“Whatever you do will come back to you. That’s what I believe. Karma.”

But on her website — which has daily updates on her life as a witch — she admits her spirituality is “very dark”.

She writes: “Some have slung the word ‘evil’ in my direction (this is what happens when you don’t play nicely in other people’s sandbox).

“I am certainly fierce when required, and I suppose — given enough provocation — I can be vicious.”

Fiona also claims to be “very close to her inner badger” and writes helpful titbits to other witches. These include: “Although easily mistaken for candy, holly is quite poisonous.”

Last night Fiona’s employer, Bromley Council in South London, refused to speak about her sideline in sorcery.

A spokesman said: “We do not comment on aspects of our worker’s private lives.

“What they choose to do in their free time is up to them.”

But one of Fiona’s colleagues admitted being a “bit scared”.

He said: “You don’t expect your workmates to be involved in the dark side, do you?

“Especially when their job involves vulnerable kids.”

He added: “Most people just go to the pub after work, but Fiona is clearly far more into broomsticks and potions.”

Now thats to funny, they are scared of her, if she is acting in the manner most social workers do, she should worry KARMA.

Anonymous said...

Social worker jailed for care home abuse
Children were groomed for assaults
Olwen Dudgeon
Legal Affairs Correspondent
A SOCIAL worker who sexually abused vulnerable young people at a Yorkshire children's home has been jailed for five years after a judge described his crimes as a "gross breach of trust".
Gordon Oliver targeted his first victims more than 25 years ago while working at the now closed Springfield Children's Home, near Bradford Royal Infirmary.
Part of his job as a team leader at the assessment centre at the home was to decide the future placements of some of the disturbed and fragile children placed in social services care, but instead he inflicted his own damage on those he chose as his "special favourites".
Michelle Colborne, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday that Oliver took those selected youngsters camping, swimming and to his cottage in Wilsden, Bradford, where he inflicted abuse on them and would get them to pose for photographs to add to his collection.
"He abused his position to control, manipulate, confuse and abuse his victims," Miss Colborne said.
One 14-year-old girl in care because her father had been violent towards her developed a crush on Oliver because of his special attention and he took her virginity.
Another girl who needed help because she had been the subject of horrific sexual abuse at home was revealing the details of what had been done to her when he became excited by her description and sexually abused her himself.
A young boy in care after his mother died in a car accident was bought expensive presents by Oliver who would insist on personally washing him in the bath every night for three years.
He and his brother were taken on camping trips by Oliver and would wake up during the night to find Oliver's hand inside his sleeping bag. Invited to stay at the social worker's cottage he had to share a bed with the adult and would again wake to find him touching him during the night.
Miss Colborne said when Oliver first went to work for the Bradford authority he had no social worker training, having studied art. After the home closed he had taken a two-year diploma in social work before returning to Bradford and working in the Undercliffe area of the city.
He met his next victim, a boy under a supervision order, when Oliver became his social worker. The boy had a passion for cars and Oliver would indulge the 13-year-old by letting him drive his car in the Dales.
The boy would only be wearing swimming trunks while Oliver sat beside him stroking his leg. He also took photographs of the boy at his home. then in Westfield Crescent, Bradford.
Subsequently in the 1990s Oliver moved to Brighton in East Sussex where he got work as a social worker.
In spite of being given clear guidance about not being alone with young people he befriended another schoolboy but the police became involved after the boy complained to his grandmother about Oliver patting his bottom at a swimming pool.
Hundreds of indecent photographs were found at his home.
Oliver, 58, of Washington Street, Brighton, admitted nine charges of indecent assault, one of sexual touching and 19 of possessing indecent photographs. He was banned from working with children and ordered to register as a sex offender for life. by Judge Scott Wolstenholme.
04 March 2006

Does it happen here? in Toronto they found porn, at the CCAS and a bunch of social workers, wish they would stick to crafting spells and keep there hands off the children.

Anonymous said...

Social worker for 'caged' children steered parents to controversial book
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Mark Puente
Plain Dealer Reporter

The social worker who counseled the 11 special-needs children of Michael and Sharen Gravelle recommended methods advocated by an author with no medical or academic credentials.

Elaine Thompson referred the Gravelles to the book "When Love is Not Enough," written by Colorado author Nancy Thomas, whom the book cover describes as a "therapeutic parenting specialist."

The book prescribes strict child-rearing techniques. In one passage, Thomas writes: "When children start to feel like they must ask to breathe, you are on the right track." Thompson pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 16 felony counts of complicity to child endangering and other misdemeanor counts. She is accused of failing to report the conditions inside the Gravelle home. A trial is set for October.

The Gravelles are charged with making some of their children sleep in what prosecutors called cages. The Huron County couple say they built unlocked enclosures around the children's beds to protect them.

Huron County social workers have criticized the Gravelles in court hearings because of their discipline methods. The county is seeking to sever the couple's parenting rights and canceled a scheduled visitation Tuesday, which could have been the Gravelles' last visitation if they lose custody of their children.

In a telephone interview last fall, Thomas said that raising special-needs children gives her the experience to give advice. Medical or academic credentials aren't necessary, she said. "I'm a parent."

The Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has denounced some of the methods Thomas suggests. But Thompson, a social worker for more than 30 years, defends the book and Thomas.

"Her stuff is not out of line," Thompson said last fall. "You can't be a Golden Retriever with these kids."

Thompson diagnosed many of the Gravelle children with Reactive Attachment Disorder, which makes children resistant to social interaction.

County-hired psychologists say the children do not have the disorder.

OK so sick minds, the children where all adopted as well. Start reading the news. Where ever there is child protection services, there is a great deal more abuse. Not by parents!!

Anonymous said...

Biological Son Says Gravelle Was Abusive
Couple Fighting For Custody

POSTED: 7:32 am EST February 23, 2006

HURON, Ohio -- The Huron County couple accused of abusing their adopted children faced a judge on Wednesday. The couple, who is fighting for custody of their adopted children, also faced their biological children, NewsChannel5 reported.

Michael and Sharen Gravelle were arraigned on child endangerment charges. The couple were also charged with falsifying adoption applications and lying under oath when being qualified for adoption funding.

Last year, officials found cage-like structures the Gravelles made for the children to sleep in.

The Gravelles deny abusing their adopted children, ages 1 to 15, saying the beds enclosed with wood and wire and equipped with alarms were necessary to protect the youngsters, who suffered from various psychological and behavioral problems.

The couple has 11 adopted children.

New York Post
Caged Kids
Sharen Takes Stand
Social Worker
Couple Speaks Out
Aunt: Neice Was Malnourished
Search Warrant
Kids In Cages
# Images: New Photos Released
# Images: Cages
# Images: Home

# Images: Children
# Another Kid Caged
# Related Story
# Parents' Statement

Michael Gravelle's biological son, Jesse, testified for the prosecution that he was a teen when his father married Sharen and became abuse.

He added he was kicked out at that time.

Jenna Gravelle, 31, also testified on behalf of Huron County's case to strip their father and stepmother of custody. The hearing could continue through the end of the week.

Jenna said her father and stepmother provided little food for her and her brothers and that the couple charged the teens money to live in their home.

"I was miserable," Jenna Gravelle said, describing minimal food, little privacy and alleged "inappropriate touching" by her father that began when she was 6 or 8.

"I felt like a prisoner," she said. Her voice cracked occasionally, and at times she began breathing very heavily when she talked about the alleged abuse. (Read More) about her allegations.

Jesse Gravelle testified that his father sat him and his brother down when they were youngsters after Jenna left home and "told us that he had inappropriately touched her."

"He didn't indicate how long or any details, just that he had inappropriately touched her," Jesse testified.

He also said that his father had entered counseling "for child abuse" and, asked if his father had completed the counseling responded, "I do not believe he did."

The Gravelles' trial is set to begin in September.

If convicted, they would face one to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 for each of the 16 counts of felony child endangering.

Copyright 2006 by NewsNet5. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,

Anonymous said...

Former school social worker says he did not seek child porn
Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. - A former elementary school social worker says he is addicted to Internet pornography, but has "never in any way acted in a way that would hurt a child."

Robert Haseltine's comments came in a letter to friends and former co-workers who submitted letters on his behalf to Clay County (Minn.) District Court.

Haseltine, 50, was sentenced Feb. 21 to six months of home monitoring after pleading guilty in Clay County to using e-mail to disseminate child pornography. Authorities said he sent a sexually explicit picture of a child from his home in Fargo to someone in Minnesota.

In his letter, obtained by The Forum, Haseltine wrote, "I have never gone to a child porn Web site but out of the many, many images I have received and traded, I have had some sent to me."

Haseltine said he deleted images he did not want, but 26 images were recovered from his home computer during a Fargo police investigation.

"Nothing deleted is really ever gone," he wrote.

More than 30 people wrote letters of support for Haseltine before his sentencing.

The Forum said it reached some of them Monday night to confirm the authenticity of the letter. Two people confirmed they had received the letter, two said they had not and some refused to comment. Many could not be reached.

"I am the person you thought you knew, except for this addiction problem," the letter said.

Haseltine wrote that he was assessed the lowest sex offender risk level and that he is "not a pedophile, and I have never in any way acted in a way that would hurt a child."

Clay County District Court Judge Galen Vaa stayed imposition of Haseltine's sentence, meaning that if he gets in no more trouble during the next three years, the charge of disseminating child pornography will go on his record as a misdemeanor.

Along with home monitoring, Haseltine was fined $1,000. The plea agreement involved a promise by Cass County prosecutors not to file their own charges.

Haseltine was a social worker at Ellen Hopkins and Robert Asp elementary schools in Moorhead until his resignation last month.

When reached by phone Monday night, he referred questions to his attorney, Mark Friese, and hung up. Friese declined immediate comment.


Anonymous said...

There's a broader lesson to be learned here,'' he said.

The case led to a state investigation that concluded in November that Ohio's foster care system was too flawed to protect youngsters from going to homes with too many children, unsafe conditions or parents who are accused of child abuse.

Questions also have been raised about poor communication among county foster care systems, which approved the Gravelle adoptions despite previous abuse allegations raised by the mother in divorce court documents and from the couple's biological adult children.

Anonymous said...

Former social worker to finish term at home
By Kara Hull
The Journal Gazette

A former social worker at the LaGrange County Department of Family and Children convicted of having a sexual encounter with one of her charges will be allowed to serve the rest of her sentence on home detention, a judge has ruled.

Tammy Ross, 29, of the 200 block of West Burdick Street in Goshen, was convicted of one count of child seduction, a Class D felony, during a summer 2005 bench trial and sentenced to six months in prison and one year of probation.

South Jersey social worker charged with stealing $240,000 in ..., PA - 16 Feb 2006
A Salem County social worker was arrested this morning and charged with stealing more than $240,000 from the county board of social services, authorities said. ... Cleveland prosecutor: Charges vs. social worker a rarity
Canton Repository (subscription), OH - 16 Feb 2006
CLEVELAND - A charge accusing a social worker of aiding in the abuse of special-needs children whose parents are accused of keeping them in cages is rare, a ...
Connie Roska says her lawsuit has changed DCFS practices
The Casper Star Tribune, WY - 6 Mar 2006
... On May 28, 1999, caseworkers took then 12-year-old Rusty from Connie and James Roska. They believed he suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy. ...

Anonymous said...


The Times March 07, 2006

Why an automatic trust in expert witnesses is dangerous
By John Batt
Courts all over the world have been reaching verdicts on expert opinions that are little more than speculation
THE General Medical Council is to seek leave to challenge the recent High Court ruling in the case of Professor Sir Roy Meadow. The GMC does not want to reinstate its decision to strike off the paediatrician over his evidence in the Sally Clark murder trial, but it does want to go to the Court of Appeal over what it believes are “significant implications” for its role in protecting the public interest.

In his ruling — one that in no way detracts from Sally Clark’s innocence — Mr Justice Collins found no evidence of any misconduct by Sir Roy in the Clark case and said that disciplinary proceedings should never have been brought against him. He concluded that it was contrary to public policy for expert witnesses to be subjected to disciplinary proceedings unless a complaint is made by a trial judge. The law already forbids a civil suit for damages for what experts do in court; now disciplinary proceedings are subject to the same ban.

Click here to find out more!
The Royal College of Paediatrics will welcome the professor’s exoneration — because it claimed that its members had been deterred from specialising in child protection work because of the finding against him.

In the Clark trial, Sir Roy said that the chances of two cot deaths were 1 in 73 million. He was quoting from a government report. When he said that the chances of two cot deaths were the equivalent of backing an 80-1 outsider in the Grand National four years running, the judge found that he was not elaborating on the statistic — just explaining it for the jury.

When Clark’s first appeal court heard that the chances of two cot deaths were 30 times greater than the chances of two murders, they were not impressed. They dismissed the appeal. Statistics could not be a ground of appeal; they were merely a “sideshow” and could not have affected the jury’s decision. Many, though, believe that the “73 million to 1” not only convicted Clark but also, being so well known, to the murder conviction of Angela Cannings. Three of her babies died.

Immunity for experts may have a serious affect on child protection cases. There is already evidence that unscientific theories have led to hundreds of jail sentences and many children being wrongly taken into care. Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy, first described by Sir Roy, in which a mother fabricates an illness in her child to draw attention to herself, was cited approvingly by Mr Justice Collins. But it was ruled inadmissible in 2003 by the Court of Appeal in Queensland, Australia, because it “does not relate to an organised or recognised body of knowledge or experience”. Three judges of appeal in Tennessee, in 2004, dismissed expert evidence that three infant deaths must mean all are murder, something every American doctor “knows to be true”.

In Britain, the rule is that “one death is a tragedy, two is suspicious and three is murder until the contrary is proved”. It is sometimes called Meadow’s Law (though not by him). The American court found that it is no more than folklore. There is no scientific basis for the theory. A study of 258,000 Scottish mothers by Cambridge University, published in The Lancet last December, showed a predisposition for a mother who has one cot death to have another, irrespective of special risks factors such as smoking and marital status. Last July, in London, the Court of Appeal quashed two convictions based on shaken baby syndrome. For 30 years the medical profession has accepted that a triad of injuries — haemorrhages in the eyes and damage to two parts of the brain — is conclusive evidence that a baby has been shaken to death.

That Court of Appeal heard research, using elaborate models, which shows that shaking is the one thing that cannot cause those injuries unless accompanied by structural damage to the neck — seldom found. For 30 years experts have testified to injuries characteristic of dropping a baby from 40ft on to concrete. But new research shows that the same injuries result from a fall from 3ft on to carpet. The totality of the human misery caused to innocent people by these three theories alone is unprecedented in the annals of medicine and the law.

It is extraordinary that courts have been reaching verdicts on expert opinions that are little more than speculation. Will immunity for experts improve prospects for families facing false allegations, or make them worse? The GMC has the right to appeal the judgment and it must be in every family’s interests that it is doing so. The future of child protection is at stake.


The author, a solicitor, was at the forefront of the campaign for Sally Clark’s release. His book Stolen Innocence, the Sally Clark Story, is published in paperback by Ebury Pres

Anonymous said...

Parents sue doctor who accused them of faking son's illnesses

Associated Press

CLEVELAND | The parents of 3-year-old boy have sued a prominent pediatrician at the Cleveland Clinic who accused the couple of faking their son's illnesses.

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Scott and Tricia Beam of suburban Chippewa Lake were outraged when their son, Tyler, was placed with a foster family while the couple was under investigation by the Medina County Department of Job and Family Services.

The agency based its investigation on a 19-page letter from Dr. Johanna Goldfarb, who had never examined Tyler or met his parents but diagnosed the toddler as a victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological disorder in which parents fake a child's illness or deliberately harm the child to draw attention to themselves.

A juvenile court eventually ruled in favor of the Beams, returning Tyler to their care.

But the couple filed a lawsuit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court seeking damages. They say Goldfarb and the Cleveland Clinic should pay for the parents' mental anguish, embarrassment and damage to their reputations. Both are teachers in the Cleveland school system.

Defense lawyers labeled the lawsuit frivolous. But last month a judge denied their request to dismiss the case.

In court papers, the clinic maintains that it acted in the best interest of Tyler, who hadn't grown properly as an infant and later was diagnosed with a gastroesophageal disease and a gastric disorder. Doctors at the clinic implanted a feeding tube, and a specialist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia prescribed growth hormone treatments.

Goldfarb, who chairs the clinic's Child Protection Team on Munchausen, reviewed Tyler's case and wrote in 2004 that the boy was "in danger of death or permanent harm." She said Tyler was a victim of "improper and neglectful feeding" and suffered from anemia.

Five other departments at the clinic evaluated Tyler's medical records and signed off on Goldfarb's letter.

Stephen Brown, an attorney for the Beams, said doctors ignored evidence that Tyler was thriving and doing well. He said Tyler is now a "real happy, robust 3-year-old kid."

A message seeking comment was left Sunday with the Cleveland Clinic.

Defense lawyers have argued that Goldfarb was compelled by Ohio law to report her suspicions about Munchausen and that she is immune from liability, regardless of how unreasonable the Beams considered her report.

The clinic also cites medical literature in its defense, including studies that doctors are reluctant to report suspicions of child abuse for fear of litigation.

the real reason for MSBP is to protect the doctors, WHO is the other poster? e-mail me. ask Amanda for my e-mail .

Anonymous said...


Blair demands law on internet baby trade

Prime minister attacks 'deplorable' sale of babies to British couple and promises action to deny recognition of some adoptions

More net news

John Carvel, Helen Carter and Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
Thursday January 18, 2001
The Guardian

Early legislation to prohibit the "deplorable" practice of trading children for adoption was promised by Tony Blair yesterday after the case of the British couple who bought American baby twins through an internet site run by a Californian child broker.
The prime minister said a bill in the current parliamentary session would remove bureaucratic obstacles that were hindering adoptions in this country and stop parents bringing in children adopted irregularly abroad.

Article continues



"I think everyone feels it is absolutely deplorable that children are traded in this way. Adoption should always be about the interests of the child first," he told MPs after the issue was raised in the House of Commons by the Tory leader, William Hague.
Mr Blair also promised to implement the Adoption (Intercountry) Aspects Act. The act was passed in 1999, but was not brought into force. It could be used to refuse recognition to adoptions conducted abroad in countries that do not comply with the Hague convention which gives protection to children in these circumstances.

The prime minister's spokesman said: "He thinks the whole business is disgusting and shares people's horror that you can buy and sell children as a commodity and end up in a situation where you have got two sets of people who claim to be these children's parents."

Alan and Judith Kilshaw, the couple who paid thousands of pounds to adopt twin baby girls they found on the internet, said Mr Blair's criticism of their behaviour was unacceptable as they had not broken any laws.

Mrs Kilshaw stormed out of a television studio in the middle of a live interview for ITV at lunchtime.

She pulled out her earpiece leaving her husband Alan behind. When asked: "Where do you go from here?" she replied: "I go home and clean my house, clean my carpets, get a duster and give it a good Hoover and go through the place." She then stood up and said: "Last comment. I'm not doing any more for you," before walking away.

She is understood to have been responding to newspaper reports that her farmhouse in Buckley, north Wales, is dirty and unkempt.

Mrs Kilshaw already has four other children - two girls Louisa, 22, and Caley, 18, from her first marriage and James, seven, and Rupert, four, from her second marriage.

The prime minister's intervention caused a flurry in Whitehall among officials who did not expect adoption legislation until after the election and were still consulting on proposals in a white paper published in December.

Adoption charities were puzzled as to why Mr Blair thought legislation was needed so quickly. It is already an offence to trade children for adoption within the UK and the government can refuse recognition to adoptions conducted abroad in countries with slacker standards.

Felicity Collier, chief executive of the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering, said the big political problem was whether to derecognise adoptions in the US. "The government has to decide: are we going to take the US off the designated list of countries whose adoptions we accept if they do not ratify the Hague convention," she said.

The FBI is carrying out what is described as a "preliminary inquiry" into the adoption, according to a spokeswoman. The inquiry, based at the bureau's Los Angeles office, is likely to focus on the exact circumstances in which the children were handed over and to examine who paid what and to whom.

An FBI spokeswoman said that the issue of internet adoption was not the subject of the inquiry as many firms now use the internet to advertise their services in this way.

The inquiry comes as concern is being voiced by children's organisations in the US about the growing practice of internet agencies offering babies for adoption.

The babies offered are usually from a small group of countries which still have loose adoption laws. They include Guatemala, China, Russia, India and Vietnam. Within the US, there are varying standards on how adoptions are undertaken with some states, such as California, enforcing strict policies of checking that children have not been sold while other states, such as Arkansas, have less stringent laws.

Social services in Flintshire, where the Kilshaws live, launched an investigation as soon as they heard of the adoption. On Tuesday, social workers unsuccessfully tried to contact the couple, who were holed up in a hotel near Cheshire giving interviews to journalists.

Yesterday, two social workers conducted a preliminary assessment of the children.

Anonymous said...

Tyrone William Conn lived with his parents for the first three years of his life. His parents divorced in 1970, and then his 18-year-old mother gave him up for adoption. Adoption was not in the best interest of this child.

A Belleville psychiatrist and his wife adopted Ty. The adopters were not wonderful people who cherished their adoptee. They punished him for minor misbehavior, like sneaking candy, by making him stand on his toes for hours. Eight years later, they decided he was too much trouble and returned Tyrone to the state just before Christmas in 1978. After age 11, he bounced from one group home to another.

Four years after being rejected by his adopters, Tyrone started breaking into houses. By the age of 16, he held up his first bank. Three years later in 1986, he was reunited with his mother. After an intense search, she finally found her son in a gloomy jail cell.

Since his conviction at age16, Tyrone has spent essentially his entire adult life in prison. In his 16-year criminal career between 1983 and 1992, he has been charged with almost 30 criminal offenses. By the time he was 25 with no history of violence, judges ordered Tyrone to serve 47 years in jail -- a sentence much longer than for rape or some murders. He was not due for release until the year 2032.

Tyrone is described as good looking, 5-foot-10, 185 lb. with hazel eyes, brown hair, and a medium complexion. Those who know him say he’s intelligent, interesting, non-violent, reclusive, and has never hurt anyone during the commission of his crimes. In prison, Tyrone completed his high school education and had taken university-level sociology and psychology courses. Still, he considered himself a failure.

In 1989 at the age of 22, Tyrone pulled his first escape by ditching his armed escort while on medical leave from Millhaven Penitentiary, which houses more than 600 convicts southwest of Kingston. He remained at large for 68 days.

Tyrone was 24 years old in November 1991 when he broke out of the Collins Bay Penitentiary, also west of Kingston, after scrawling on a calendar in his cell: "Gone Fishin." Ty remained free for 46 days that time. Police found him in an apartment building in Ottawa. Armed with a .357-magnum, Tyrone scrambled from one fourth-floor balcony to another. After this 90-minute standoff and exchange of gunfire, he surrendered.

Ty was convicted of bank robberies in the Ottawa and Toronto areas in December 1991 -- committed while on the run.

May 28, 1998, Ty was transferred to the Kingston Penitentiary, northwest of the town of Kingston, which houses some of Canada' s most dangerous criminals. While incarcerated there, Tyrone had made weekly visits to a jail psychologist trying to deal with his fears of incarceration. He even promised authorities he would not try to escape if placed in a medium-security institute with less harsh restrictions -- to no avail.

The following year on May 7, 1999, guards discovered a grappling hook on the prison's east wall around 7 a.m. At the age of 32, Tyrone became the first inmate to break out of Kingston Penitentiary in more than 40 years. He delayed discovery by putting dummy in his bed and covered his trail by tossing cayenne pepper on the ground to throw the dogs off his scent. Ty wrote "FISHING TRIP '99" on the calendar for May 6, 1999 -- the day he escaped.

Ty’s very first stop was the home of his mother in Belleville about 75 kilometers west of Kingston. That was on Saturday -- the day before Mother's Day, known as “Birthmother’s” Day – to commemorate the pain and anguish that accompanies every adoption. Even though his ex-adopters also live in Belleville, he did not contact them. He gave his mom a hug and told her he loved her.

May 18, 1999, armed with a shotgun taken from a store in Trenton, Tyrone robbed the same Colborne bank that he held up during his 1991 escape. It's suspected that he drove off in a stolen 1977 Buick LeSabre with $15,000.

Tyrone spent his last hours on the run in a dingy, cluttered, basement apartment in west-Toronto sitting in the only chair in the room with a red broom handle jamming the door shut. Piles of dirty clothes littered the two-bedroom apartment, which reeked of foul odors. Head shaved, blue contacts to disguise his hazel eyes -- he sat there with his duffel bag of money and brand new police scanner trying to keep tabs on the cops closing in on him.

Ty's flight from justice ended May 20, 1999 at 10:30 p.m. after a standoff with police that began around 9 p.m. Police tried to negotiate with him for 90 minutes. Tyrone repeatedly shouted that he was not giving himself up under any circumstances.

CBC producer Theresa Burke was on the phone with Tyrone at the end. They had developed a friendship five years prior during an interview. Tyrone asked her to contact a lawyer for him, and she phoned high-profile defense attorney Clayton Ruby. She and Ty spoke for about 30 minutes, while she tried to get him to surrender. She could hear him shouting to the police, announcing every move he made. As he moved to an area where reception on the cellphone would be better and started to say something, she heard the blast, and then nothing. That was the end of the conversation.

While Tyrone was on the phone, police set off a flash grenade. When they explode, the sound is horrific and temporarily deafens anyone within earshot not wearing industrial ear protection. The flash of light is blinding. The result is incapacitation. When police entered the apartment, they found Tyrone dead with his gun lying nearby. At 1:30, Toronto defense lawyer Clayton Ruby arrived at the scene, picked up Tyrone's sister and mother, and drove off. Tyrone's body was not taken out of the house until early morning May 21st.

Police say a former jailmate called to tell them exactly where Tyrone was. They also stated that the former jailmate who lived in the apartment where Tyrone died had phoned the family above that apartment warning them to get out because the police were on their way. The penpal and her boyfriend had rented a motel room for the night of the standoff. I would certainly understand why they would not want to harbor a fugitive, but I also realize how devastating such a betrayal would feel to any adoptee but especially one with Tyrone’s adoption experience. As it is with many adoptees, the informant said Tyrone never seemed to fit in anywhere.

In the days before his death, Tyrone was also upset by an article in a Toronto newspaper, in which he was accused of violating a friendship by breaking out of Kingston Penitentiary. The accusation of betrayal wounded Ty greatly. After being betrayed so many times in his short life, it’s likely that Tyrone could not accept being charged with it himself.

At her Belleville home, Tyrone's mother was devastated. May 21st accompanied by his brother and sister, she visited the apartment where her son died. Later in the afternoon, she identified her son's body at the city morgue. An autopsy the morning of May 22nd declared that Tyrone died of a single shotgun wound to the chest. It was reported that Tyrone fatally shot himself -- after asking for a lawyer.

The funeral was at 11 a.m. on May 28, 1999. Close to 100 people gathered with his family. There were no adopters mourning Tyrone’s death. Thirteen days before his escape, Tyrone instructed his mother to scatter his ashes at a secret outdoor place, which she did.
source from ghostdancer website, this is a true Canadian tragedy as well. CAS placed this man as a child.

Anonymous said...

If they'd kept quiet, would they still have the twins?

Nick Paton Walsh in Mold uncovers the curious past of the couple who chose to buy a bigger family, and finds neighbours less than impressed

Special report: babies for sale

Sunday January 21, 2001
The Observer

For Peter Shone, it was not the exorcisms, the menagerie of pets, the wild parties or the caravan park in the garden that was most annoying about living next door to Alan and Judith Kilshaw. 'It's the stray pot-bellied pigs,' the stable owner told The Observer last week. 'They keep escaping from their garden and coming over here to upset my horses.'
For two years, Shone has lived next to the Kilshaws, the couple who last week shot from anonymity in the Welsh village of Buckley to international infamy. The pair gleefully revealed last Tuesday that they had paid £8,200 to adopt twin American girls that had been put up for sale on the internet by their natural mother.

But instead of sharing the happy news, the world was horrified. Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, described the events as 'appalling'.

There was more anger when it emerged that the couple had apparently taken the twins, six-month-old Beverley and Kimberley, from a Californian couple, Richard and Vickie Allen, who believed they were the rightful adoptive parents. Loading the children into a people carrier in San Diego, the Kilshaws had driven more than 2,000 miles across America with the Allens in hot pursuit. After reaching Chicago, they booked flights home to Manchester before the distraught American couple could catch up with them.

It emerged that the Allens had already paid Tina Johnson, the head of an adoption brokers called the Caring Heart Agency, £4,000 for the babies. After two months caring for the twins, the couple claim they were tricked into handing the children back to their natural mother, Tranda Wecker, for a visit. Instead, she gave them to the Kilshaws. It is claimed that the British pair knew the Allens had already paid for the twins.

The 'adoption couple', as they have become known to weary locals in north Wales, will begin their battle for permanent custody of the twins on Tuesday at the High Court in Birmingham. The Allens have also called in lawyers, who said the FBI would see if any US laws had been broken.

Amid growing public disquiet, last Thursday night Flintshire social services, backed by police officers, swooped on the Beaufort Park Hotel near Mold where the Kilshaws were staying, courtesy of a US TV network. After a tense, three-hour confrontation between social workers and the couple, and in the glare of flashing cameras, the sleeping babies were removed under the terms of the 1989 Children Act. Within an hour, the twins were with foster parents - their fourth set of carers in their short lives. Amid chaotic scenes in the cramped hotel, friends of the Kilshaws fled in tears leaving the couple to angrily denounce the authorities who had applied to make the children wards of court.

It was thought yesterday that the Kilshaws had fled to France with the help of a tabloid newspaper, crowning a week of often bizarre and heated media interviews in which the couple had railed against a host of perceived enemies, blaming everyone but themselves for the debacle. They ignored worries that the twins' welfare might have been at stake during the punishing round of radio and TV appearances, a factor that finally persuaded social workers to act.

In a media frenzy, the couple quickly became objects of public hate as lurid details of their chaotic private lives spilled across newspaper front pages and television screens. Journalists fell on north Wales. Callers jammed radio chat shows savaging the couple. Their decision to publicise the adoptions was a PR disaster.

One man, though, had a more simple explanation for the farce. 'The Kilshaws are like kids in a sweetshop,' said Shone. 'If they want something - be it a horse, a car or even a child - they get it, and then they discard it once they're bored.'

Whitehouse Farm is not the typical country retreat of a practising solicitor. The only signs of Alan Kilshaw's reported wealth and respectability come from the Toyota MR2 sports car parked in the drive.

Last week a heap of manure lay near the front door. Shopping bags blew around the lawn and birds perched on two dilapidated cars rusting in the back yard. Through the dusty windows of a ground floor room, a fax machine whirred, yet another request for an interview.

With the couple and the accompanying media circus now gone, neighbours and disgruntled locals yesterday offered a glimpse of the sometimes bizarre life the Kilshaws have led. There was the ever expanding collection of tenants and pets, and a road rage incident in which they were said to have fought bitterly with another driver at the foot of their road.

One man grumbled about the caravan park the couple had opened in their back garden and muttered darkly about Judith. Then there was the 'the milky man', the apparition of an old man in a milkman's coat who the family were convinced haunted their home.

Judith, 47, moved into Whitehouse Farm with Alan, 45, two years ago. Before that she was a divorcee who had found solace in the clubs of Frodsham, Cheshire, near the estate where she lived. Alan was her white knight, whisking her and 18-year-old daughter Caley away to the detached expanses of the farm.

When Alan, Judith, their sons James, seven, and Rupert, four, and Caley moved in to the farmhouse, they held a party for friends and locals. About 50 people drank white wine in a marquee erected in the then immaculate garden. Shone, their new neighbour, felt comfortable enough with the latest additions to Well Street.

Then the pets came. 'They got a couple of dogs within the first month,' said Shone. Their cats quickly grew to 18 in number. They started buying up horses, most of whom were old, tired ponies bought from travellers at the horse market in Beeston, Cheshire. 'When they see an animal they like they just get it,' said Shone. 'Within the first six months they got to be overrun with 13 horses so they had to rent out a new field.'

Then the two pot-bellied pigs arrived, and began roaming the farm freely, often breaking out into the neighbouring property. Shone said Judith did not realise the smell of pigs distressed horses and, when her foals and ponies snorted, she thought they had gone mad.

Shone's stablehands often treated the Kilshaw horses. They recall them being poorly fed and ill. 'They weren't responsible animal owners,' he said.

Besides the occasional altercation, the Kilshaws kept their distance from other villagers. Alan, a director and spokesman for the obscure anti-European political group the Democratic Party, ran his solicitor's practice singlehandedly from the study - known as 'Whitehouse Chambers'.

He specialised in housing law, helping tenants take their landlords to court.

When the Kilshaws did socialise, it did not go that well. Twice, Judith went for a drink in the British Eighteen Club in Buckley, a reserved bar for ex-servicemen where even the stand-up comedians are asked not to use 'bad' language.

Judith first graced the club 18 months ago and, after a few drinks, was asked to empty her glass and leave after a complaint about language from a female member.

About a year later, Judith returned with Caley, who was then underage. After a few drinks she was again asked to leave after fighting in the ladies' toilets with a younger woman. She has not returned.

One of the Kilshaws' later parties at the farm - with a tarts and vicars theme - ended with equal embarrassment when police were called after a complaint about the noise. One partygoer recalls the Kilshaws taking a fair time to realise that the officers were genuine, and not stripogram entertainment ordered by their guests. Later, Judith added to her increasingly bizarre reputation in the village when she called in paranormal investigators after a vision of an old man in a dairyman's coat which one son had nicknamed 'milky man'. The investigation was even filmed.

The procurement of the twins was supposed to be the final step on a long and difficult journey for the Kilshaws, anxious to expand their family yet further.

Judith had had a lengthy search to overcome fertility problems. She looked for children to adopt in Thailand and China. She tried IVF a number of times. She admitted to one newspaper that she had given her husband's sperm to a friend who was having problems conceiving after giving birth to a stillborn child.

But the most curious attempt to conceive involved the help of her estranged eldest daughter. Even she was prepared yesterday to dish the dirt on her mother.

Louisa Richardson, 22, moved out of the former family home after the failure of Judith's first marriage to civil servant Mike Richardson. Yesterday she spoke of how she had raised a child without the support of her mother in a freezing cold caravan.

Yet this turn of events had not stopped Judith from making an astonishing request of her eldest child. Kilshaw asked her daughter if she could 'rent' her womb, and so have Louisa be the surrogate mother to her stepfather's child. Louisa says she was offered £3,000, and declined.

Flintshire social services declined to comment as to whether the Kilshaws had requested permission to adopt before, but it is understood the couple were older than the usual limits allow. They had certainly not been open about their new American arrivals. One of the lodgers who lives in their farmhouse told The Observer that he thought the twins were Judith's granddaughters, and not her adopted children. 'The first I knew about the adoption it was in the papers,' he said.

At 6pm last Friday night, a thick mist surrounded the phalanx of satellite dishes and TV crews at the Beaufort Park Hotel. The Kilshaws had been taking interviews from dawn till dusk. A policewoman arrived and knocked on their door. 'Mr Kilshaw, it's the police,' she said. There was no reply. It appeared the couple had forced the lock on the hotel room window, escaped on to the wall below and sneaked off into the arms of a Sunday tabloid, which has paid them handsomely for their story.

Anonymous said...

Murdered adopted Russian daughter
20:44 | 01/ 03/ 2006

WASHINGTON, March 1 2006 - An American woman pleaded guilty of murdering her adopted two-and-a-half year-old Russian daughter in court Wednesday.
At a court session in Manassas, Virginia, Peggy Sue Hilt, who was facing a charge of second-degree murder, confessed to having killed Nina Hilt.
The child, originally named Viktoria Bazhenova, had lived in an orphanage in the Siberian city of Irkutsk before the adoption.
Hilt, 33, now faces a prison term of 5-40 years. The court will announce the verdict on May 25.
On July 2, 2005, Hilt was with Nina, visiting her friends in Manassas where she had arrived from North Carolina. She called an ambulance and said the child had stopped breathing. The autopsy showed that the girl had died of heavy blows to the stomach. Hilt then admitted having flown into a rage against the child. Hilt first shook the baby and then threw her to the floor and started beating her in the stomach. She then picked the girl up and continued the beating.
Hilt was president at a computer firm, Hiltech, owned by her husband Christopher, who, police said was not involved in the murder. Medical examinations showed that Hilt was perfectly sane, including during the lethal beating.
Olga Savinova, the head of the local adoption center, said the Hilts had adopted the girl from Irkutsk's Orphanage No.1 in January 2002 when she was 15 months old. The couple was described positively in the adoption papers, and had already adopted a girl from Ukraine.
Savinova said the couple had sent reports with photographs, in which the girl looked well, 6 months and 12 months following the adoption.
The Hilt incident is the latest in a string of tragic occurrences involving Russian children adopted by foreigners. According to the Ministry of Education and Science, 12 Russian children with foreign foster parents have died from abuse since 1991, with 11 of these cases being registered in the United States.
On May 4, U.S. citizen Irma Pavlis was found guilty of manslaughter of a child, adopted in Russia, and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Following this, Russian prosecutors cited numerous law infringements by foreign citizens involving adoption.
The U.S. does not have a system of oversight bodies for international adoptions either on the federal or state level. Therefore, it is left to Russian consulates, private adoption agencies, and to a certain extent the U.S. State Department, to monitor the living conditions and upbringing of adopted children from Russia.
"One of the major problems for us is that under U.S. legislation on adoption passed in 2000, children adopted abroad become U.S. citizens immediately after crossing the U.S. border on the way to their foster homes," Alexander Demkin, Russia's vice consul in New York, said. "We consider them to be Russian citizens until they reach 18, although when we make inquiries with their foster parents we often hear the answer, 'Talk to our lawyer, please. Our child is an American citizen'."
"Russia allows independent adoption, which gives foster parents the right to adopt children on their own. Sometimes in these cases the necessary medical examination, including a psychological evaluation of potential foster parents, are not conducted."
INVERNESS, Fla. (Sept. 14) - A couple accused of starving and torturing five of their seven adopted children, including yanking out toenails with pliers, pleaded no contest to aggravated child abuse Wednesday.
John and Linda Dollar were sentenced to 15 years each in prison. While the plea is not an admission of guilt, it means the Dollars chose not to contest the charges and would accept the court's punishment.
The five children were so severely underfed that twin 14-year-old brothers weighed just 36 and 38 pounds each - about 80 pounds below normal. Police compared their conditions to victims of Nazi concentration camps.
Prosecutors said the couple also tortured five of the children, ages 12 to 17, with an electric cattle prod and bondage equipment. One of the children told police his toenails were ripped off with pliers.
The two other children were favored by the Dollars and had no physical injuries.
Dressed in red jumpsuits and chained at the waist, the Dollars admitted they let the situation get out of hand. The family lived in a secluded home and the children were home schooled, so no outsiders knew their conditions.
"It was not intentional that they be harmed in any way," John Dollar said.
The allegations surfaced Jan. 21 when the couple's 16-year-old son was admitted to a hospital with a head wound and red marks on his neck. He weighed less than 60 pounds.
The Dollars were arrested in Utah in February after leaving the state when the investigation began.
The children have been placed in foster care under the supervision of the state Department of Children & Families, and the couple must terminate all parental
Neighbors Say Kids Found in Ohio Seemed OK
Associated Press Writer
WAKEMAN, Ohio — The 11 children removed from a house where authorities say some of them slept in homemade cages are polite, well-behaved, well-dressed and appear to have been well-fed, neighbors and authorities said Tuesday.
Their adoptive parents, Michael Gravelle, 56, and Sharen Gravelle, 57, denied in a custody hearing Monday that they abused or neglected the children, who are ages 1-14 and have conditions that included autism and fetal alcohol syndrome.

(enlarge photo)
A teddy bear lies on the ground in front of children's swings, in the backyard of a home in Clarksfield Township, Ohio, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2005. Eleven disabled children were removed from the home, after authorities entered the home with a warrant, where some of the children were made to sleep in cages less than 3 feet high, authorities said. (AP Photo/Jamie-Andrea Yanak)
No charges had been filed as of Tuesday afternoon, and messages left with the couple's lawyer were not immediately returned.
The Gravelles have said a psychiatrist recommended they make the children sleep in the cages, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler told the Norwalk Reflector. The parents said the children, including some who had mental disorders, needed to be protected from each other, according to a search warrant on file at Norwalk Municipal Court.
Leffler refused to speak with an Associated Press reporter Tuesday at his office.
Dr. Gregory Keck, founder of an Ohio organization that works with adoptive parents of special needs children, said county officials contacted him in late August, asking whether the arrangement at the Gravelles could be considered appropriate.
"I said, 'No, I couldn't imagine any situation in which children should be kept in cages,'" said Keck, director of the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio, who has not worked with the Gravelles.
Neighbors said they often saw or heard the children playing, and the family yard was littered with toys — plastic cars, tricycles, slides and an overturned skateboard near a wooden ramp. Seven bicycles were piled in a storage shed.
"Those kids were dressed better than some of the kids who live in Cleveland. They behaved like any other kids when they were outside playing," said Jim Power, who lives across the street.
At night, authorities say, eight of the children were confined in 3 1/2-foot-tall wooden cages stacked in bedrooms on the second floor. The cages were painted in bright, primary colors, with some rigged with alarms that would send a signal to the downstairs when a cage door was opened. One cage had a dresser in front of it, county sheriff's Lt. Randy Sommers said Tuesday.
"The sheriff and I stood there for a few minutes and just kind of stared at what we were seeing. We were speechless," Sommers said.
No one answered the Gravelles' door Tuesday, and the gray, four-bedroom house was dark. A pig, roosters and other animals shared the yard outside Wakeman, a city of about 1,000 people 50 miles west of Cleveland.
The children have been placed with four foster families and were doing well, said Erich Dumbeck, director of the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services.
"We're still trying to figure out what happened in that home. We don't have any indication at this point that there was any abuse," Dumbeck said.
Sommers said a social worker investigating a complaint contacted authorities. Dumbeck would not discuss the complaint.
According to the search warrant, the cages had mats and the house smelled of urine. One boy said he slept in a cage for three years, Sommers said. A baby slept in a small bed, and two girls used mattresses
Deputies said they were called to the home last year when a 12-year-old boy was upset and ran away for several hours. He was found not far away.
Although the family has lived in Huron County for 10 years, the children were adopted through other counties and states, Dumbeck said. He said his agency was trying to determine how the adoptions were completed.
"I don't believe there were any caseworkers checking in with this family," he said. Reviews are ordered only when there is a complaint.
One of the children, a boy born with HIV, was adopted as an infant in 2001 through the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services, the agency's director Jim McCafferty said. For caring for him, the Gravelles received a subsidy of at least $500 a month.
The private agencies who reviewed the couple's home life before the adoption gave them "glowing reports," McCafferty said.
Leah Hunter, who lives two houses away, said she often saw the children walking down the road.
"They looked OK. They hardly ever wore shoes but I'm a country girl and for me that's normal," she said.

Anonymous said...

Yet the brokers say mothers "choose" this??

The Times September 10, 2005

Scandal of newborn babies stolen from their mothers
Women in Ukraine tell how their children were taken from them in the hospital delivery room, never to be seen again

IT SEEMED, at first, to be an uncomplicated birth.
After two hours of labour, Svetlana Pusikova delivered her firstborn at 4am on November 4, 2002. Medical staff whisked the baby out of the delivery room, leaving the 22-year-old waitress to recover in Maternity Hospital No 6 in Kharkov, eastern Ukraine.

She never saw the child again.

Seven weeks later Yelena Stulnyeva gave birth at the same hospital. She says she saw her baby girl wriggling and heard her crying before medical staff took her away.

She, too, never saw her daughter again.

In both cases the hospital says the babies were stillborn, and buried by local authorities because the parents did not ask for the corpses.

But both sets of parents say hospital authorities repeatedly refused their requests to see the babies, and have yet to provide proof of where and when they were buried.

The truth, they fear, may be more harrowing — that their babies were either stolen for adoption, or sold for research into bioproducts used in medicines and cosmetics.

For three years, their demands for a proper investigation have been thwarted by bureaucracy, prejudice, incompetence and even physical threats.

But last week a rapporteur from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Pace) visited Kharkov and demanded that Ukrainian authorities renew their investigations.

“After my discussions with the mothers and others involved, I am really sure that children disappeared,” the rapporteur, Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold, said. “There’s so much contradiction, and the parents still have no answers to their questions.”

She said she knew of five such cases in Kharkov alone, and was concerned about 300 other Ukrainian babies that have disappeared in recent years. She is demanding an investigation into charges that Ukrainian babies are being sold to the West for adoption or, even worse, being used for medical research.

Establishing such an investigation has now become an important test of the Ukrainian Government’s commitment to human rights as it lobbies for membership of the European Union.

It has also revived two young women’s hopes of finding their babies — alive or dead — and bringing to justice the people who spirited them away. “I want my baby back or I want someone to be punished,” Mrs Puzikova, who comes outside Kharkov, said.

She was not married when she got pregnant but insists that she and her boyfriend, Aleksei, wanted the child. “We’d even bought things — clothes, a cradle,” she said.

Anonymous said...

Volume 22 - Issue 11, May 21 - Jun. 03, 2005
India's National Magazine
from the publishers of THE HINDU
Home • Contents



Behind the facade


A recent case in Tamil Nadu shows that the existing system has allowed child trafficking to take place for years under the guise of a perfectly legal adoption process.


P.V. Ravindranath (extreme right), his son Dinesh Kumar and wife Vatsala Ravindranath, who were running the Malaysian Social Service Society, at the Police Commissionerate in Chennai on May 7. The three were remanded by the Central Crime Branch in connection with the alleged child adoption racket.

ON May 3, 2005, the Central Crime Branch of the Chennai police arrested five people for kidnapping and selling about 350 children to an adoption agency in the city. Several lost children seem to have been given in adoption to families abroad over the last decade. Ironically, the police have found all the paperwork by the adoption agency to be clear. This highlights the need to look into the existing adoption system that allows for child trafficking under the guise of a perfectly legal adoption process.

Frontline investigation and documents available with it reveal that this is not an isolated case. Bending rules, circumventing norms, and following illegal and unethical ways to "source" children and sell them to foreigners under the guise of adoption is not uncommon among some agencies in Tamil Nadu.

The State has 21 licensed adoption agencies, of which nine are also recognised for inter-country adoption. In 1991, an adoption cell was created in Tamil Nadu and a State-level committee set up to review the activities of the voluntary organisations. Criteria were specified for issuing the licence for in-country adoption. But these norms are observed more in the breach. There are, however, some honourable exceptions.

The July 2, 2004 "Report of the Joint Inspection of Peace (Poor Economy and Children's Educational Society) Home, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu," by the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) after the agency's inter-country adoption (ICA) licence expired is revealing. It charges that:

"The agency has tampered relinquishment deeds (surrendered directly to the Home), created false siblings, followed various unethical practices, i.e. giving wrong information about Maheshwari, Arvindh and Aruna [some children in the agency at the time of the inspection].

"The entire recording seems to have discrepancy.

"While siblings Arvindh and Aruna were admitted at different times, the relinquishment deeds indicate that they were surrendered together."


A 2002 picture of Dr. J. Radhakrishnan, Salem District Collector at the time, receiving a female baby for the cradle centre in Salem.

According to the relinquishment deed, Maheshwari and her sibling were surrendered by their widowed mother. But the inspection team found that Maheshwari's father was alive; she was left there for better education; and the sibling she was paired with was actually not her brother.

"Several registers/records are not properly maintained.

"The registration of the Society is not proper...

"While more than 40 Indian parents have registered for children, the agency has not shown interest to complete home studies of the families."

Despite the severe indictment in the inspection report and a show-cause notice sent to the agency that got no reply, the CARA renewed Peace Society's ICA licence in April 2005.

According to a recent study, "Adoption Agencies and Institutional Practices in Tamil Nadu: A Sociological Study," by Sujata Mody for Malarchi Women's Resource Centre, adoption in Tamil Nadu is a complex maze of sleaze, with unethical and illegal "dealings." Says Sujata: "Even a very superficial investigation into inter-country adoptions from Tamil Nadu opens up a can of worms." According to the study, only NGOs (as elsewhere, except Andhra Pradesh) offer adoption services in Tamil Nadu. "If these `homes' of varying size and background have one thing in common it is the free flouting of norms and adopting various dubious methods to bend rules and `source' babies. Of course, as always, there are exceptions."

Most agencies, according to the study, are run as a "family business" and keen only on lucrative inter-country adoptions (ICA). In this there seems to be cooperation. For instance, agencies without an ICA licence transfer babies to those with one.

Babies missing from government hospitals have been traced to adoption agencies. For instance, in 1999, four babies missing from the Salem General Hospital were found at an agency in Chennai. The police filed a case in the Chengalpattu District Court against the agency's director. CARA immediately revoked the agency's ICA licence and the Tamil Nadu Social Welfare Department suspended its in-country licence. But the agency's in-country and inter-country adoption licences were revived after the police arrested five persons for stealing the babies from the hospital. The question of how the stolen babies landed with the agency remains unanswered.

The recent arrest by Chennai's Central Crime Branch of P.V. Ravindranath, Director of the Chennai-based Malaysian Social Service Society (MSSS, which had been placing children in adoption between 1991 and 2001), and his family members for their alleged involvement in kidnapping and selling children, has blown the lid off a major racket in child trafficking. A five-member gang was also arrested for kidnapping and selling about 350 children to the MSSS between 1991 and 2001. Even as scores of parents who had lost their children in the last decade are queuing outside various police stations in the State to see if their child figures in the list given by those arrested, the police are investigating the probable links the five-member gang could have with other adoption agencies.

Licensing of agencies is the single most important tool of disciplining and monitoring adoption agencies. The threat of withdrawal of licence is often the only way to ensure compliance. However, there is evidence that the procedures of licensing are flouted and officers are "pressured to issue licence." Says Sujata: "The licences of several agencies have been revoked. But soon enough, they have also been restored. This is an indicator of the weak regulatory and licensing system."

To promote in-country adoption, the number of agencies allowed to do ICAs is generally limited. But there are instances where the Department of Social Welfare in Tamil Nadu has been keen - indeed, in a hurry - to give inter-country licences to agencies. For instance, according to former CARA Chairperson Andal Damodaran, a Coimbatore-based agency, which was operating with an in-country licence for barely one year (the usual time is three years), was issued a CARA licence to do ICAs.

The agency, which was severely indicted by a Government of India inspection team last year (a copy of the report is with Frontline) for malpractices and improper records, was recently issued the ICA licence. According to the inspection team, the agency has indulged in "unethical practice" by tying up with a U.S. adoption institution, International Families Incorporated (IFI), to which it has proposed most of the children and from which it has received substantial donations.

Sourcing babies

Investigation reveals that babies are "sourced" from remote towns and villages. According to Sujata Mody, they are surrendered, abandoned, trafficked, stolen, bought, and even kidnapped.

Often, abandoned children are declared "surrendered" by fabricating documents so that they are free to be given for adoption without obtaining a certificate, which may take a little longer, from the Child Welfare Committee. According to a former member of Tamil Nadu VCA, some agencies "never get abandoned babies; they are always surrendered." A former employee of an adoption agency said that even the surrender documents are not always signed in the presence of a notary public as mandated by law; several documents are also signed by the same person. According to Chandra Thanikachalam of the Indian Council of Child Welfare, even if the scrutinising agency doubts the veracity of the surrender documents, it has no powers to initiate a probe.

Many agencies run short-stay homes for destitute and pregnant women, who are encouraged to give away their babies for adoption. According to Sujata Mody's study, a Chennai-based agency has a rehabilitation scheme for unwed pregnant mothers who, till giving birth, are even employed to take care of other babies in the agency. The agency says it conducts re-marriage for widowed/separated and deserted women, and has special facilities for the new-born. In fact, the agency explains that the high cost of adoption is because often it has to support women through pregnancy.

Many unwed pregnant mothers are directed to short-stay homes by government hospitals after an abortion has failed or is too late. Even agencies that do not have short-stay homes allow unwed mothers to live on their premises, until the babies are born. For instance, according to Sujata Mody, a Chennai-based agency admitted to keeping "pregnant women in difficult circumstances" at its home till they give birth. She says: "Usually, the babies are taken away for adoption and the women encouraged to leave the home."

According to former Tamil Nadu VCA member Vidya Reddy, while babies are generally poorly fed to look weak and sick so that they are rejected by Indian parents, once they get the VCA nod for ICA, they are fed well and cared for very well to be showcased to prospective foreign adopters. She says: "There is always a difference in weight before and after VCA clearance."

According to Sujata Mody, prima facie, there may be no reason to suspect the dealings and transactions in babies from unwed mothers in the short-stay homes. But there seems to be a conflict of interest here that offers scope for unethical practices. An agency staff member confirmed that poor women signed the relinquishment paper without realising the import of their act. Instances of mothers coming back to ask for their baby - even within the stipulated two-month period - are common.

The role of the Department of Social Welfare

According to Sujata, the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) "routinely conducts inspections and files inspection reports, sends out show-cause notices, gets a routine follow-up done, and then routinely renews the licence of the agency or, in some instances, even recommends it for inter-country licence." For instance, the inter-country adoption licences of two agencies were revoked by the Tamil Nadu DSW in 1999-2001, although they continue to hold the permit for in-country adoption. Serious charges of malpractices, including those of child trafficking, had been levelled against them. One of the licensed agencies, which houses orphans in Hosur, has been issued a show-cause notice for irregularities and anomalies by the DSW.

Despite large-scale fraud, the number of adoptions has increased in Tamil Nadu. Of the 1,742 adoptions done between 1991 and 2001, nearly a fourth happened in the last two years. According to Andal Damodaran, the number of children given in in-country adoptions has also increased. Between 2000 and 2004, the number of agencies with in-country licence has doubled, from 10 to 21, and two new agencies were issued inter-country licences.

At a workshop in Chennai, (reported in The Hindu, December 27, 2003), adoption agencies complained that there was not enough staff meaningfully to evaluate the foster homes, or follow-up on the child's progress. They agreed that the screening process was inefficient and the documentation improper and that procedures were violated. But they attributed this largely to inadequate funding and staff. They also agreed that some agencies were violating State procedures by changing the antecedents of the child, to please prospective parents. For most agencies, responsibility ends when they hand over the baby to the adoptive parents or, in some cases, "when they receive the money for the baby."

The adoption agencies seem to have no clear policy for charging for the babies they place in adoption although CARA has set certain rates. The adoption agencies in Tamil Nadu charge between Rs.3,000 and Rs.5,000 a month for a child. Aside from this, there is a service charge and a set of fees for home study, scrutiny, lawyers, and registration fee, which may add up to about Rs.8,000. Most agencies are unwilling to reveal the amounts they collect from foreign adoptive parents; they only admit to "charging more". Most institutions have tie-ups with government hospitals for treatment of the infants, but they conjure up large medical bills that are charged to the adoptive parent.

The DSW, according to reliable sources, has received several complaints by adopting parents. Adoption, insists, Vidya Reddy, should not be the main focus; it should be part of a larger welfare programme. But many agencies seem to run it as the main, even the only, programme.

In fact, agencies justify ICA for healthy babies on the ground that they run up huge medical and maintenance costs for the children. Some rationalise the high amounts recovered from foreign adoptive parents by saying that this "subsidises" Indian adoptions. Further, the agencies receive donations - in money and in kind - towards capital costs such as building and land. For instance, according to the Report given by CARA after it inspected the Coimbatore-based Peace Society on July 2, 2004, the agency has been getting huge donations from the Washington-based International Families Incorporated and in 2003-04, over Rs.27 lakhs from E.A. Rao, an NRI.

According to Sujata Mody's study, from 1998 to 2002, various adoption agencies in Tamil Nadu received from their foreign counterparts grants ranging from Rs.20 lakhs to Rs.2 crore.

Foreign adoptive parents pay their local agencies, which send the sums as "grant-in-aid" to their Indian counterparts. It is difficult to find out how much each parent in the foreign country has paid - but, according to some estimates, it ranges from $10,000 to $50,000. There is, however, a clear link between inter-country adoptions and foreign contributions. In fact, many agencies admit they cannot survive without doing inter-country adoptions.

In this context of funding, it is useful to note that none of the adoption agencies in Tamil Nadu now accesses the State government's Shishu Griha Scheme (SGS), which helps in-country adoptions. Under the scheme, agencies are given Rs.6 lakhs every year to take care of 10 children until they are given in adoption. According to Vidya Reddy, an important reason deterring agencies from accessing the grant could be the need for "greater accountability and governmental interference, which these agencies may not want."

Most agencies, under the guise of protecting privacy and pleading a lack of acceptance of adoption in India, continue to cover up their lack of financial accountability and lack of transparency. Inadequate funds are used as a pretext for remaining understaffed to be understaffed and poorly equipped. The lack of resources is cited as an excuse for deficient service, such as poor and incomplete home studies and shoddy follow-up of adoptive parents.

When contacted, a DSW official who did not wish to be named pointed out that ICA comes under CARA and "we have nothing to do with it."

The Tamil Nadu study raises some important questions: Are babies really surrendered by parents who face economic and social crises? Have enough efforts been made to counsel and support parents to keep the girl babies rather than abandon them? Have all avenues to unite the children with their biological parents been explored? Has serious effort been made to place babies with Indian adoptive families? Are CARA guidelines being followed? What is the real motive of these agencies? And, what if any is the role of the "cradle baby" scheme in this web of unethical and illegal adoption procedures?

Anonymous said...


The Baby Trade

In Guatemala City, where the international adoption industry runs with little government oversight, Elivia Ramírez Caño wins back her 12-month-old boy from an adoption attorney. Photo: CASA ALIANZA.
Elivia Ramírez Caño lost her baby moments after giving birth August 13, 1997, in a Guatemala City hospital. The nurses took him away, saying he had been adopted. The arrangement had been made by an attorney, Javier Oswaldo Villatoro Morales, who found the pregnant 29-year-old Ramírez unemployed, abandoned by her husband and homeless. She says Villatoro Morales loaned her money and, during the birth, tricked her into signing adoption documents. A Spanish couple had contracted him to obtain the baby.

Casa Alianza, a children’s rights group based in San José, Costa Rica, waged a legal battle that eventually convinced a Guatemalan Supreme Court judge to order the baby, Pablo Ramírez Caño, back to his mother. By then, he was 12 months old.

The Guatemalan government offers birthmothers few protections against a burgeoning international adoption industry that took shape during a military dictatorship two decades ago. Unprincipled attorneys, adoption agencies, foster home networks and even smuggling rings help produce 2,300 children a year for adoptive parents, mostly in the United States. The adoptions pump at least $25 million a year into the local economy.

International adoption of Latin Americans began on a large scale in the early 1980s, when wars and dictatorships wracked the region. Today Guatemala, Colombia and Belize are the only Latin American countries that still allow relinquishment from birthmothers directly to private parties. The Guatemala system all but invites adoption practitioners to abuse the birthparents. Other countries have reformed their adoption laws, but still struggle against a black market in babies. The child “abandonment” rulings behind many legal adoptions, meanwhile, tend to discriminate against poor families.

The driving factor in all cases is a growing North American and European demand for Latin American babies. Every year thousands of couples part with huge sums, as much as $30,000, to get a healthy one. The United States, in particular, plays a pivotal role in the global adoption industry. Last year, 16,396 children immigrated here via adoption, according to the State Department. That’s more than double the number of a decade earlier and more than to all other nations combined.

Washington’s ability to choke the demand by approving fewer visas gives it enormous power to reform the industry. A significant step was a September vote by the Senate to ratify a seven-year-old treaty that creates the first global ground rules for international adoptions.

The stakes are high. Children adopted into the United States gain a significant material advantage over what was in store for them in their birth country, but they lose their name, family, language, nation and culture—rights enshrined by the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Searching for personal identity may be a lifelong struggle. And the suffering of birthparents unwillingly separated from their kids is immeasurable.

UNICEF says international adoptions are unethical in times of armed conflict, natural disaster, massive displacement or other widespread chaos, because authorities can’t guarantee a child is an orphan. In the 1980s, Latin America was rife with wars and dictatorships. Thousands of children disappeared at the hands of military regimes. Few of the parents had the resources to mount a search; many couldn’t complain without incurring retribution.

Military officers conceived of the disappearances as a means of repression, but quickly saw the potential for making money from foreign couples wishing to adopt “war orphans.” Most of the children ended up with U.S., Canadian and European families that didn’t know their role was anything other than “saving” children from the violence.

In El Salvador, U.S.-backed troops took thousands of children from villages sympathetic to the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front. Some of the children went to the families of officers and soldiers, but most are believed to have left the country with smugglers or adopting families. The Association for the Search for Disappeared Children has located 120 people adopted overseas, mostly in the United States and Europe.

A similar process was underway in Guatemala during the early 1980s, the bloodiest period of the nation’s 36-year civil war. As many as 1,100 children disappeared, according to an August report by the human rights office of Guatemala’s Catholic archbishop. Officers delivered many of them for international adoptions, according to the report. The office’s seven-month investigation adds flesh to similar findings by a U.N.-sponsored truth commission last year. Guatemala’s military dictatorship started changing the nation’s adoption laws in 1979. Soon the regime had removed the court system from the process and shortened the adopting family’s waiting period to three days. Military officers helped set up foster homes and dispatched agents to the countryside to gather children. From 1979 to 1983, U.S. families adopted about 438 Guatemalan “orphans,” according to the State Department.

In Colombia, the number of internationally adopted children increased throughout the 1980s as paramilitary groups formed. These private armies worked closely with government forces, committing numerous massacres aimed largely at scaring peasants off valuable land and eliminating leftists. Adding to the chaos, the Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted in 1985, causing a mudflow that killed 21,000 people in the central town of Armero, Tolima. The slayings and the volcano separated thousands of children from their parents; many kids ended up in international adoption channels. By the end of the decade, U.S. families were bringing home more than 700 Colombian “orphans” each year, the State Department reports.

In other South American countries, U.S.-backed military dictatorships were still fighting dirty wars against political opponents. The tactics included baby stealing. In Argentina, where dictators ruled from 1976 to 1983, a human rights group called Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo has pushed the government to end impunity for the officers behind the crimes. Gen. Jorge Videla, the dictator from 1976 to 1981, is among several former top officers under arrest after indictments alleging they trafficked children. The Grandmothers inspired portions of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, completed in 1989.

By the early 1990s, most Latin American wars and dictatorships had ended, but international adoption rates were still increasing. In Paraguay, Gen. Alfredo Stroessner’s 35-year rule ended in 1989; within five years, the number of adoptions from the country to the United States had almost doubled to 483 per year, according to the State Department.

Behind this phenomenon was a growing demand for the babies among North Americans and Europeans. This demand owed to widening acceptance of adoption, declining fertility rates and increasing tolerance of child rearing by people who were single, gay or middle-aged. Families were choosing to adopt from overseas primarily because it was faster than adopting a local baby and because it reduced the chances the birthmother would try to reclaim parental rights.

In those years, the private international adoption industry enjoyed direct access to birthmothers across most of Latin America. The only government role in many countries was a hasty determination of whether a child had been “abandoned.” Such rulings most often targeted families for whom survival was a day-to-day struggle; it was easier for a government to remove a child from birthparents than to invest in employment, housing, education and other programs to help the family. In Paraguay, 80 percent of children “abandoned” during the early 1990s went to foreign families, according to Rosa María Ortiz of the Asunción-based Global Infancia.

In recent years, Latin American countries have begun to update their adoption laws, capping legal fees, setting up government adoption programs, banning birthmother relinquishments directly to private parties and trying harder to place babies with local parents. In Paraguay, a 1996 law has all but eliminated international adoptions.

The stronger laws haven’t eliminated baby smuggling. In April, two women in a New York City suburb were sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $43,500 each for smuggling 17 Mexican children into the country between 1990 and 1999. The women, Arlene Lieberman, 48, and Arlene Reingold, 47, were partners in adoption businesses. An Arizona lawyer who worked with them was sentenced to 30 months with restitution of $125,000. The lawyer, Mario Reyes, 41, admitted to defrauding Mexican authorities by forging documents and having women pose as biological mothers. The three allegedly arranged adoptions and charged fees of up to $22,000 per baby.

Stories of misconduct have led embassies, including those of the United States, Britain and Canada, to introduce DNA tests to ensure that the woman signing over a child is the real mother. The testing has made black-market operators craftier; instead of stealing, they issue threats, devise tricks and make purchases.

The coercion is most widespread in the countries that have not banned private international adoptions. In Colombia, eight private adoption houses operate, with only perfunctory oversight by the nation’s family courts. Last year, 231 Colombian “orphans” came to the United States via adoption, the State Department reports.

The hemisphere’s only country sending more children to the United States is Guatemala. As the war there was winding down, the number of international adoptions kept rising. In 1996, the year Guatemala’s peace accords were signed, 731 children left the country in adoptions. By last year, the annual number had reached 2,300, according to UNICEF and the Geneva-based International Social Service, making Guatemala the world’s fourth-largest exporter of children for adoption.

The largest share goes to the United States. Last year, according to the State Department, U.S. families brought home 1,002 Guatemalan “orphans.” That’s more than from all other Latin American countries combined, and more than from any other country except Russia, China and South Korea, despite Guatemala’s population of just 10 million people. Neighboring Honduras allowed an annual average of only 45 adoptions to the United States between 1994 and 1999.

The flow of Guatemalan children is due partly to economic misery there. An estimated 80 percent of the Guatemalan population lives in poverty and 40 percent is illiterate. Some mothers who relinquish a child are prostitutes; others are struggling to care for kids already.

A related factor is Guatemala’s birth rate, Central America’s highest. The Catholic Church campaigns vigorously to keep abortion illegal and contraceptives inaccessible. Many teenage women migrate from rural areas to Guatemala City to look for work. In the capital, some get pregnant, feel compelled to carry the fetus to term, and decide they can’t return home with the “illegitimate” child.

The demand for Guatemalan babies, meanwhile, has increased sharply as other Latin American countries have clamped down on their adoption industries. Guatemalan attorneys get away with charging as much as $15,000 for an international adoption, more than 50 times the rate for an adoption to local parents. The adopting family pays thousands more for adoption agency fees, travel, food, lodging and, often, the birthmother’s expenses.

In Guatemala, the birth mother (or sometimes the father) signs a consent release. All the paperwork is handled by an attorney, often the person representing the adoptive parents. The only Guatemalan governmental roles are a review of the documents by the attorney general’s office, and a social worker’s report on the biological and adoptive parents.

Gustavo Amílcar Tobar Fajardo, 30, learned about Guatemala’s adoption system in 1997, when his 6-year-old son Osmín and infant stepson Jeffrey were taken from him. Tobar says an adoption lawyer convinced the boys’ nanny to report abuse. A juvenile judge who is friendly with another adoption lawyer declared the boys “abandoned.” Eight months later, two U.S. couples in Pennsylvania adopted the brothers. Today, Tobar and his ex-wife Flor de María Ramírez Escobar are still trying to prove the adoptions were illegal, saying no social worker ever reviewed the case.

A U.N. investigator reported in March that most international adoptions from Guatemala are illegal. Ofelia Calcetas-Santos, the U.N. special rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, says she found evidence that lawyers, doctors and judges with a stake in adoptions do everything from falsify birth records to drug illiterate birth mothers and force them to sign over their babies. Pregnant prostitutes and indigent single mothers are frequently threatened or tricked into handing over their children, the report adds. Other poor women are contracted to produce babies. The women usually assume they are powerless because they have accepted money and spent it. If they change their minds, according to the report, their kids sometimes are stolen.

Meanwhile, about 20,000 Guatemalan orphans languish in inadequately funded government institutions because most adoptive parents seek babies instead of older children and because processing papers for adoptions to Guatemalan parents can take years.

Efforts to reform the Guatemalan adoption industry have hit a brick wall. In February, the nation’s congress suspended a 1996 child-protection law that would have put convicted child traffickers in jail for six years. The code’s main impediment is a web of lawyers, judges, doctors, military officers and international agencies with a stake in exporting children. The most powerful of these is Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, president of the congress and head of the ruling Guatemalan Republican Front. Ríos Montt was dictator from 1982 to 1983, when the military was stealing children and establishing the industry.

International pressure may be the key to adoption reform. On September 20, the U.S. Senate unanimously agreed to ratify the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, the first global adoption standards. The vote marked a defeat of members of Congress who delayed ratification in an effort to restrict adoption by gay men and lesbians.

The convention, completed in 1993, protects children from being sold, mandates cuts in bureaucratic hurdles for finding homes for babies and orphans, and lays out standards for preventing coercion of biological parents. Under the treaty, each country establishes a “central authority” for international adoptions. (In the United States, that agency will be the State Department.) The central authorities set standards and procedures for their own nations, and deal with central authorities in other nations so that practitioners don’t have to do so individually. The convention also requires countries to set up accreditation standards for adoption agencies.

President Clinton is expected to sign the bill soon, making the United States the 41st country to ratify the treaty or accede to it. The others in the hemisphere are Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela. Most conspicuous among those that haven’t ratified it is Guatemala, Latin America’s largest exporter of children. Washington, in addition to its ability to regulate immigration, exercises considerable influence over Guatemala City.

“The U.S. government knows about the illegalities in Guatemala and the weakness in the local laws,” says Bruce Harris, executive director of Casa Alianza. Until Guatemala ratifies the convention and reforms its adoption laws, he adds, the United States “should have the political courage to walk away from adoptions from that country.”

Anonymous said...

Children's Aid Society to run Chinese Adoptions
Leslie Papp and Jim Rankin
Toronto Star
Sunday January 13, 2002

Amid concern over placing Canadian Children

In a dramatic departure from its existing service, the CAS of Toronto is moving ahead on a one-stop centre where CAS staff would run adoptions from China in addition to finding homes for local children.
The public agency's governing board decided Thursday to enter the
controversial world of international adoption despite concern from
critics that the CAS was straying from a mandate to serve local children.

"We're moving ahead", Toronto CAS exec director Bruce Rivers said
yesterday. "It's something we believe needs to be done".

The agency is formally applying to the Ministry of Community and Social Services for a licence to handle orphans from China with plans to expand into adoptions from other countries after the centre has opening likely in April.

"This will result in better service for children - in Toronto and
elsewhere", Rivers said in an interview.

Ontarians wanting children currently face a bewildering number of
adoption possibilities. The province's run 52 CAS's run local
adoptions, at little or no cost to parents; several private agencies
handle domestic adoptions - that is, providing babies for a fee - and Ontario has 20 private agencies licensed to handle international adoptions, which can cost $35,000 or more.

Would-be parents often don't know where to turn, or which type of
adoption would best suit them, Rivers said. "There's a great deal of

Having one centre provide both local and foreign children would cut
through the chaos and give people clear choices, said Nancy Dale,
director of adoption services at the Toronto CAS.

"It allows people to come to one place to learn about adoption and make informed decisions', she said. "Our goal is really to bring people in and educate them'. No taxpayers' dollars would be used to run the centre's international operation, said Rivers, adding that people
adopting abroad would be charged a fee 'typical of fees charged

Exact dollar amounts haven't been set, but Dale said would-be parents adopting from China might expect to pay $25,000 to $30,000, including travel and other expenses. China was chosen "as a starting point" because adoptions there are reliable and well-regulated, she said.

Prospective parents are in a good position to know what to expect.
Rivers stressed that the Toronto CAS would run its foreign adoption on a non-profit basis, adding that the service isn't meant as a moneymaker for the agency.

Critics remain unconvinced about the wisdom of going abroad. "To me, it looks like (CAS officials) are worried about meeting the needs of kids", said Judy Grove, head of the Adoption Council of Canada,
an unbrella organization for adoption groups. "I'm worried this might detract from (CAS) efforts on behalf of the children of Ontario, who are their prime mandate."

Martha Maslen, Executive Director of Children's Bridge, an Ottawa-based adoption agency handling abour 250 Chinese orphans a year, questioned the expertise of CAS staff.

"I am actually quite honestly, perplexed as to why they want to take
this on", Maslen said. "This would be, presumably a means of bringing money into the agency."

Rivers said he knew of no other CAS in the buisiness of international adoption. The planned adoption centre will be run at the Toronto house owned by the agency and where the adoption department is already based. The CAS currently employs 10 people to handle local adoptions and more staff will be hired to handle orphans from China.

" It's not yet clear how many additional adoption workers will be needed," Rivers said.

Dan Miles, spokesperson for the Ministry of Community and Social Services, said the licence application from the Toronto CAS will be treated the same way as that of any private agency seeking to run adoptions abroad, even though the CAS receives public funding.

"There are some specific details they need to fill in. There is a strict licensing process to follow, and we're following it with the Toronto CAS like any other agency".

"We're still awaiting information with respect to staffing, qualifications and arrangements in China," he said. When that data arrives, the
ministry will "evaluate it like we will any other application".

Anonymous said...

From Hansard Bill Ontario Adoption, the speaker won the lawsuit against the Metro CAS.


The Chair: Our next presentation will be from Kariann Ford. Good afternoon and welcome to the committee.

Mrs Kariann Ford: Good evening, ladies and gentleman. My name is Kariann Ford and I am an adoptee. I feel it unfortunate that I have to be here today, but during the past three years I have discovered some disturbing anomalies in current practices concerning how vital medical information is being conveyed to adoptees. The adoption agencies are neglecting to pass on information given by birth mothers who are trying to help their adopted children. Life-saving information is being withheld from these adoptees. This information is being withheld by the very organizations that have been put in place to help and assist.

I would now like to tell you the story of my three children and myself.

In 1996, I was diagnosed with PKD, polycystic kidney disease. This is a life-threatening disease. It had taken doctors 11 years to reach this diagnosis. It is not a common disease. During the years in which I was ill and no one seemed to know why, I had suffered with so much abdominal pain that the doctors had performed six abdominal surgeries on me to try and give me some pain relief. If they had known what was wrong with me, most of these surgeries could have been avoided.

I now deal with this disease on a daily basis. Nothing could have prevented me from getting it, so I deal with it. I have to take strong painkillers every day. I have frequent debilitating kidney infections that necessitate intravenous medications to control them. My future outlook will probably include the need for dialysis and a kidney transplant.

In 1998, all three of my children -- Bryce, 16, who is here tonight; Matthew, 11; and Kristy, 9 -- were diagnosed with PKD, and all three are showing some early signs and symptoms of the disease.

After I was diagnosed with PKD, my doctor mentioned that it would be helpful to know my family history with respect to what type of PKD I suffered from, and therefore to what degree the disease might be expected to affect me. This was when I made my first attempt to obtain information from the children's aid society that arranged my adoption. The paperwork at that time either never arrived at CAS or it got mislaid when it got there. I had been told that it could take up to two years to get any information back, but I never received anything.

By early 1998, my condition had continued to deteriorate. I again tried to get some family information. This time I received a telephone call advising me that they were conducting a search for my birth mother. At this time, I asked for a background history. That August, I received that history. It included the information that my biological grandfather had a congenital kidney disease, but there were no further details. In September, I finally met my birth mother. It was only then that I discovered that my biological family had an extensive history of PKD. A large number of the family had already died due to the PKD and its many related problems, such as aneurysms.

My birth mother then told me that as early as 1983, when I was 16, she had given this information to the CAS to be placed in my file. She wanted me to know about this. She wanted this passed on to me so I could readily have knowledge of the risks and dangers that I might have to face in the years to come. CAS never passed this serious medical data on to me. Even when I received the background history, it was never revealed just how serious the situation was.

In 1983, my birth mother had also requested information regarding me. She had no response to this request for 18 months, and I was never contacted by the CAS to inform me of her inquiries as to my health, and so was denied the opportunity to exchange critical health information with her. I now know that when the CAS placed me for adoption, they knew that my family was afflicted with congenital kidney problems. My birth mother was at a very high risk during her pregnancy. They never told my adoptive parents, not even when they inquired in the 1970s, when I was having so many medical problems. I also now know that a woman with this terrible hereditary disease can pass it on to all her children.

As I have said, my eldest child, Bryce, is now 16. He was born in 1985. I should have known about PKD two years before his birth. Matthew was born in 1990, and Kristy was born in 1992. It would be four more years before a diagnosis would be made for me. I have three children who now have to live with the very real prospect of dialysis, transplant and disability. The implications of this include limited opportunities of getting life or health insurance and a significant decrease in their quality of life at a relatively early age. They will have to make the heart-wrenching decision of whether or not to have children of their own. Bryce is already working his way through this decision, and he's only 16.

I have debated whether or not I should say anything tonight about a lawsuit I have brought against the CAS of Toronto. I don't think I need to elaborate on it, other than to say it is in progress at this time. My children and I have been so badly hurt by what the CAS has done that I felt this was the only way we could get any justice.

If the Legislature does not make changes to open these files, then many other people may choose to seek justice in the same way I have felt compelled to. Unfortunately, I am not alone. Mine is not an isolated case.

Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

The Chair: Thank you very much. That allows us about two minutes. This time I will give it to the government, if there are any questions.

Mr Spina: I would just like to say thank you, because that's a very different perspective on the issue of disclosure. I appreciate that.

The Chair: Thank you very much for taking the time to come before us today.

Anonymous said...

KATU 2 News - Portland, Oregon

Girl testifies adoptive father threatened her over pizza

September 22, 2005

- SALEM, Ore. - A girl who prosecutors say was nearly starved to death by her adoptive parents testified Wednesday her father once held a gun to her head and threatened to kill her after she tried to sneak a piece of pizza.
The gruesome testimony was among the new details that emerged during the first day of the trial for Tammy and Christopher Nickel, both 33, who face two counts each of felony criminal mistreatment.

Their adopted daughter, Kayla, weighed less than 27 pounds when she was removed from their Salem home in December 2003 a month before her 10th birthday.

The Nickels were arrested shortly after an anonymous caller contacted the Oregon Department of Human Services. The caller, records show, "stated that Kayla is extremely underweight" and that "the Nickels are starving her to death."

Police officers and two child protective services workers arrived at the couple's home on Dec. 10, 2003. They removed the emaciated Kayla and the Nickels' biological 9-year-old son.

"I was horrified," Karen Shobe, one of the DHS workers, testified Wednesday. "I had never seen a child in that condition."

The girl, now 11, testified that she often became so thirsty that she drank from the toilet and that she was closed in her room for hours and days at a time.

When she was given food rarely anything other than oatmeal and SPAM she was forced to eat alone in her bedroom while the Nickels and their biological son, the same age as Kayla, ate together elsewhere.

"When I first came (to the Nickels)," Kayla testified as her former parents looked on, "I thought they were going to be my forever mom and dad. I never thought they would be mean. Now I'm really scared of them."

Lawyers for the couple argued that the Nickels were never cruel to Kayla and did not withhold food as a punishment. The Nickels adopted Kayla when she was 5 years old.

Records obtained by The Oregonian show the child weighed 33 pounds at the time of her adoption and suffered from an eating disorder triggered by the abuse and neglect of her biological parents.

On Wednesday, the Nickels' lawyers argued that the couple were simply overwhelmed by the challenges Kayla presented. The couple, according to their lawyers, are guilty of criminal neglect - not the more serious charges they face.

"They're not guilty of intentional conduct," said Craig Rockwell, who represents Chris Nickel. "Given the circumstances, they weren't sensitive to what was going on. They should have been, but they weren't."

After she was removed from the Nickels' home, Kayla was transported to Salem Hospital and, later, to Portland's Doernbecher Children's Hospital, where she received lifesaving treatment.

Shobe said Kayla had large patches of hair missing and looked skeletal. She said workers at first thought Kayla weighed 40 pounds, but at the hospital they realized she was wearing two thick layers of clothing to hide her condition.

Shobe testified that she nearly broke down and had to leave the room while helping Kayla undress. The girl's skin was translucent and sloughing off in large patches, her teeth were discolored, and her mouth was full of sores. She had pressure sores and "numerous bruises."

The girl now lives in a foster home in the Salem area. In the first 13 months after she was removed from the Nickel home, she grew 6 inches and gained more than 54 pounds.

The trial is expected to last through Friday. The Nickels could face as much as five years in prison.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Anonymous said...

Thursday, June 24, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Guilty plea in federal adoption fraud case

By Maureen O'Hagan
Seattle Times staff reporter

Lauryn Galindo entered a federal plea agreement.

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A woman who operated a Seattle adoption agency with her sister pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to visa fraud, money laundering and currency structuring, admitting that some Cambodian children she had adopted out as orphans did, in fact, have parents.
Lauryn Galindo, 53, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years, but her lawyers say that under federal sentencing guidelines, it likely will be substantially less. She will be sentenced Sept. 24.

For years Galindo had been praised for her humanitarian work with Cambodian children, and she had boasted actress Angelina Jolie among her clients.

"Every child has (his or her) own story," Galindo told The Seattle Times in a 1997 feature story. One of the most common stories was that the child's mother or father was killed in land-mine explosions while tending rice paddies, she said.

According to the plea agreement in U.S. District Court in Seattle, prospective parents paid $10,500 to $11,500 for each adoption. As part of the deal, several thousand dollars would go to Cambodian government officials to "facilitate" the process. Meanwhile, the adoptive parents were instructed to fill out immigration paperwork by stating that the children's birth parents were "unknown."

But Galindo knew that the children had one or more living parents or "acted in deliberate ignorance of the truth," according to the plea deal, which covered the period from 1997 through 2001.

In other court documents, prosecutors said that parents in the poverty-stricken nation were paid as little as $100 to give their children up for adoption. Then the children were brought into the United States by fraud and adopted under false pretenses, court documents say.

It's unclear how many adoptions of this sort were done, but Galindo and other unidentified conspirators received $93,700 for the adoptions to which she pleaded guilty, the documents say.

The currency structuring charge stems from an incident in Hawaii, where Galindo lives, in which she made bank transactions in such a way as to evade notice by the federal government, which requires banks to report transactions of more than $10,000.

The government has said the status of the children and their adoptive parents is not in jeopardy.

Galindo's federal public defender, Jay Stansell, said that at sentencing he will "put the case in context of Cambodia and her whole life. We want people to know who Lauryn Galindo is and what her work was."

She continues to do humanitarian work while she is out on bond, he said, and has asked permission to travel to Cambodia and elsewhere before sentencing as part of that mission. A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow on that issue.

She and her sister, Lynn Devin of Mercer Island, operated Seattle International Adoptions and arranged hundreds of adoptions starting in the late 1990s. Devin pleaded guilty in December to related charges and has not yet been sentenced.

They both have agreed to forfeit all property connected with the criminal acts. At the time of her arrest, Galindo had an expensive beachfront home.

Maureen O'Hagan: 206-464-2562 or

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

Anonymous said...

Two young men say DSHS failed to protect them

10:45 PM PDT on Wednesday, July 27, 2005


SEATTLE – For years, they endured unimaginable abuse at the hands of their adoptive father, and despite all the complaints reported to the state, two brothers in Lewis County say the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services did not do enough to stop the abuse.

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Elisa Hahn reports

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The two young boys were placed into the home as foster children and were eventually adopted by the same family in the early 1990s. But for 10 years, they say, their adoptive father, Terry Swann, raped and molested them.

Now those boys are young men who say the state never heeded the calls for help.

The abuse did not go unnoticed and Jonathan says as a boy he unwittingly told others about the molestation, and for ten years, letters, e-mails and phone calls from concerned citizens, counselors, even school officials came in to DSHS with allegations of physical abuse, molestation, and that the kids were living in horrible conditions.

Delilah Michael, a children's advocate, was hired as a private investigator in 1995 by Timothy's biological grandparents to check out the home in Toledo, Washington.

She befriended the family and secretly started taking notes and photos.


Timothy and Jonathan Swann
She says the house was in deplorable conditions and unfit for any child. She was further disturbed by the physical abuse she witnessed of the two boys and bizarre comments by their adoptive father.

Like many others, she forwarded her information to DSHS.

Attorney Tyler Firkins claims when caseworkers came out to the home they failed to conduct an adequate investigation.

According to the Child Protective Services practices and procedures guide, in a case that has been given a "high risk tag" such as this one, the social worker must "interview the victims face to face" and make sure "the presence of a third party will not jeopardize the investigation."

But according to Timothy and Jonathan Swann, the caseworkers who came to the home never questioned them away from their parents.

Finally, in March 2001, Jonathan confided to a family friend about the molestation.

Terry Swann was caught and pleaded guilty to child rape and child molestation. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

DSHS, in a written statement, called the abuse "deeply regrettable," "Mr. Swann's heinous crimes were well-concealed," and "numerous private and public officials and experts interacted with the family and determined there were no problems."

At 23, Jonathan has already served time for drug charges. Timothy at 18 is on his own and unemployed.

The two boys, made brothers through adoption and bound together by the abuse they endured, wonder where they would be now if the state would have helped them.

The attorney representing the Swann brothers has filed a lawsuit against DSHS on Jonathan's behalf. It is scheduled to go to trial in the fall.

The attorney says Timothy's lawsuit will soon follow.

The boys' adoptive mother, Rose Swann, is still married to Terry. She claims she never knew about the molestation and also says she wants nothing to do with the two boys.

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Re: the Kilshaw story - it was later discovered that Richard Allen the first buyer of the twins was a pedophile.

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