Ohio Couple Heartlessly Abandon Adopted Son After Raising Him For 9 Years

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The choice to adopt isn’t something I think any parent takes lightly. It often takes years of planning, a ton of money and endless patience, and even then it doesn’t always come to fruition. Which makes it even more baffling when parents abandon their adopted children. Much like a similar case that occurred in Russia, one family did just that in Cincinnati last month.

Cleveland Cox, and his wife Lisa from Cincinnati turned themselves in this week for allegedly abandoning their  9-year-old son who they adopted when he was just 3-months-old. The most unbelievable part of this story to me is that according to Ohio law they are only being charged with a misdemeanor.

The details are damning and it’s easy to judge this family, but there is more to the story. According to the couple, the boy (who remains unnamed in new sources) had “behaved aggressively.” Back in August Mrs. Cox filed a report with police claiming that the boy suffered from “mental issues,” and that he had threatened to kill herself, her husband and their two other children. The boy had also been hospitalized on several occasions.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m in no way defending this couple’s actions. The country prosecutor in charge of this case, Michael Gmoser, said about the situation:

‘When you are the parent and you recklessly abandon a child or children, there are criminal consequences. These children don’t have a return-to-sender stamp emblazoned on their forehead. The child is hurt and confused and doesn’t understand what is happening…If your 9-year-old needs help, you get him help,’

As the mother of a 9-year-old, this story is heartbreaking. I couldn’t imagine walking away from my parental duties for any reason. That being said, it’s easy to judge when one hasn’t walked through their shoes.But considering the myriad of options this wealthy, upper-middle class family had at their disposal, I still think they are heartless and will never get the punishment they actually deserve.

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    • Katia

      Biological parents also do this to their kids sometimes.I don’t see the connection with the Russia case where an older child was adopted. But i guess it’s weird that they only abandoned one kid, and I assume the other kids weren’t adopted?

    • Emil

      It is not as if they left their child at Walmart. They left him at a children’s services facilty. This may sound horrifying to people that aren’t familiar with it but this type of thing happens all the time to both adopted and biological children. Ask anyone who works in children’s mental health. Parents are overwhelmed, the siblings have been terrorized for years and the child has received extensive psychiatric intervention with no results. After years of violence the parents are at the ends of their rope and give up their parental rights.

      • Tinyfaeri

        Just because something happens all the time doesn’t make it OK. Lots of bad things happen to people every second of every day, but that doesn’t make this bad thing any less traumatic to a child who was already having problems. There should be no such thing as a consequence-free mulligan when you adopted an infant and he’s now a 9 year old boy, even if he “doesn’t want to” get help.

      • Emil

        I didn’t mean to imply that any of this is “OK” just an unfortunate reality that affects many families both with adopted and biological children. I was actually wondering why this made the news- maybe because the kid was adopted? Anyway, parents might be total assholes-I have no idea. But I suspect they simply felt they had no choice and that keeping him at home put his younger siblings in danger.

      • A-nony-mous

        There seems to be lots of assumptions going on and very little empathy for this poor child on this page or any other on this story that I looked at.

        Assumptions that he’s made death threats.
        Assumptions that he has RAD.
        Assumptions that he’s super violent.
        Assumptions that constantly out of control.
        Assumptions that the family is afraid of him.
        Assumptions that he won’t be affected by being abandoned.
        Assumptions that his siblings won’t be affected by him being abandoned.

        Basically every assumption under the son that a third grader brought complete abandonment on himself and is an unfeeling, unremoreseful little sociopathic demon. I think I and the other Anonny poster are the only ones who even talked about him like he’s a human being with feelings. Everyone else was ONLY concerned with how stressed the adoptive parents are, and reduced him down into ONLY being the problem that he SUPPOSEDLY presented. A problem that could be unloaded onto others.

      • Emil

        I don’t believe I painted him as an unremorseful sociopathic demon. If I’m going to assume anything it is that he has a lot of feelings and emotions that he can’t control and it creates a situation that is unsafe, both for himself and those around him. He was hospitalized multiple times for psychiatric symptoms. This doesn’t happen in the US unless he is deemed to be a life threatening risk. On at least one occasion he reportedly he threatened to kill his siblings and parents with a knife- this would make me scared if I was his younger sibling. I do agree with you that this rejection from his parents will likely only exacerbate his symptoms but perhaps his parents felt they had no choice.

      • A-nony-mous

        We live in a disposable society of discontented people where the products we buy aren’t meant to last. That seems to carry over into our personal lives: many don’t feel the need to honor their commitments, most marriages don’t last, and the majority of people are willing to pack it in at the slightest discomfort with the thought that another opportunity will arrive at their doorstep. — Breezy, on the Yahoo article

        This seems to be a sad but accurate statement and it’s more sad that this attitude has bled over into parenthood. I half wonder if people are so blasé because adopted children are already moved once (by the very nature of being adopted) so many adults don’t seem to think it’s a big deal to move them again, or again, or again. Adoptees can start to seem infinitely [inter]changeable and hey, it’s not like they dropped him off at Walmart so it’s okay!

        For those that agree with this, what is the difference between this and people that “rehome”? Or the mother who put her 7 year old on a plane back to Russia? Every single excuse could be applied in those cases. They were all just innocent families who adopted out of the goodness of their hearts who were overwhelmed. They had siblings to protect. They had fears and stress. Why is that wrong and this isn’t?

      • Ennis Demeter

        I see this a more of a throwback to the orphan train days, not a new phenomenon at all/

      • Ennis Demeter

        You should be more careful with your assumptions. Extremely abusive adoptive parents are not unheard of, and they ALWAYS blame the child.

      • Emil

        That’s certainly a possibility but I would hope that would have been picked up on during his multiple hospitalizations. It is standard of care to screen kids like this for abuse and unless the psychiatric team was completely incompetent he was probably questioned about this in many different ways on many different occasions. He would have had a physical exam upon each inpatient admission as well. I agree with you about wanting to know the child’s side of the story. I’m not blaming him, I’m just withholding judgment altogether because I know how complicated these things can be.

      • Emil

        I’m sorry if I am starting to sound like a broken record-I’ll stop now, I promise

      • Ennis Demeter

        You are correct. None of us knows the child’s side of the story, and he has one.

      • Blueathena623

        But you are also making assumptions that he isn’t one of these things.
        One article I read said that initially the parents tried petitioning the court to give up parental rights, but the court said no. I don’t know how much after this they dropped the kid off.
        The fact that there is a sherif’s report makes me think they tried getting the police involved in the hopes they could do something.
        The kid has been hospitalized multiple times. As others have said, this is not easy. I don’t even know what a kid that young has to do to be hospitalized, but I do know some scary things that kids have done that should have resulted in hospitalization but apparently didn’t make the cut.
        The mom was apparently trying to get him into another 72 hour hospitalization. Three days. So sad.

        I know you will pick this apart and say I’m assuming too much, but if I tried everything I knew to help my son, and none of it was working, and I seriously feared for his life and the lives of my other kids, and I thought the state had better resources than I did, I’d turn him over too.

      • A-nony-mous

        I got curious so I went through many many articles and did my own digging to try and see what kind of mental health services are available and what the situation was. It’s only left me with more questions and feeling that this is unfair.

        In only about 15 minutes of digging I found that the Cincinnati area that they’re in actually has a very good mental health system from the look of it. They have a number of private youth & family therapists, youth psychiatrists and even a number of sliding-scale fee youth mental health facilities. Between just two of the many there are 117 spots available. Many offer partial hospitalizations for children as young as 2. Some cover the entire cost themselves through their own funding. Many do crisis and emergency care and referrals.

        It’s not that hard to have your child “hospitalized”. The connotation is a lot more ominous than it actually is. Referrals for care for the facilities I looked at could come from basically anyone; a teacher, a school, a private therapist, a psychiatrist (which he clearly has if he’s on medication), a social worker. As long as you have some money and they have a spot you can have your child “hospitalized”. Sometimes it’s a part of fairly standard care.

        So, again, it’s hard for me to believe that with so many spots, so many funding options and numerous places in just their immediate area that they were COMPLETELY out of options. Some of them offered care from 8 am to 7 pm Mon-Fri.

        Also bothered by the comment “‘According to Mrs. Cox [the boy] has outbursts every day but nothing this severe,’”

        So he’s never made threats before. He also made the threat on Aug 9 and the family didn’t think it serious enough to do anything about it until they dumped him on Oct 24. Nor did the police, nor social services (who I believe the police are obligated to contact) feel it serious enough to remove either him or the other children AT ALL on Aug 9 or any time thereafter. If it was as dire as they, and everyone else, make it sound where people’s lives are hanging in the balance that very instant, why wait three months to deal with it? Nor is there any documentation of him making another threat after that (Aug 9).

        And the comment that the parents “were frustrated that he refused to get help for his behavioral issues.’”

        Yes, children can shut down in therapy but that doesn’t mean you just stop and it certainly doesn’t mean you give up and dump them. Therapy can take years and years and sometimes be a lifelong process. It just sounds like the kind of parents who let their children run the show and now they’re punishing him for their lack of parental authority or discipline.

        The only mental health service mentioned was his hospitalizations at Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati. There are plenty of others, did they never even attempt to reach out to any of the others I found in the same area? Some even closer to Butler County?

      • JLH1986

        While I agree that something is fishy here your “It’s not that hard to have your child “hospitalized”.” statement is misleading at best. I work in the mental health filed in the Cincinnati area. There are many factors that go into play and while yes “anyone” can “refer” a child to be hospitalized there are a myriad of factors that go into actually getting one of those beds, money, level of care needed, his risk/threat level. If he is only displaying these behaviors at home it might be difficult to get him hospitalized. Given his age other factors have to be considered, he would have to attend school and is there a bed available in a place that provides school in his age range? CCMC is flooded daily with requests for beds. As for going out of county, even a well off family would find a long term hospitalization costly and if they needed any assistance going to another county might not be possible. Counties tend to try to service those in that county. Since it took me almost 24 hours to get a child who was suicidal and already AT a hospital a bed, yes it sometimes can be that hard to get a child hospitalized.

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        I don’t think it’s a fair assumption that I’m not being compassionate. I specifically called for the parents to be punished further, I specifically referred to the claims that parents made as just that, claims, and I left out the parts that other (in my opinion less reputable sources like the Daily Fail) media sites reported on, like how the neighbors allegedly called the boy some bad names, because I thought (and still think) that it would be shitty to report something like that about a 9-year-old. And where did I say that he wouldn’t be affected?

      • A-nony-mous

        You are, most of the other posters are not. 99% of the comments are “The parents must” “The parents are..” “The parents tried” “The parents could have…” “The parents” “The parents” “The parents” “The parents” “The parents” “The parents” and then all the assumptions about this boy’s mental state and basically, as I stated, taking everything the parents say as gospel/fact with very little questioning of their account of things. Even less talk of his feelings or desires or future (at least in any sort of positive way).

    • AugustW

      I’m kind of torn on this one. Clearly they needed help and were overwhelmed. I’d like to think there was something they could do before abandonment, but I also didn’t live what they were living. I don’t know, and none of us can really know.

      I hope the kid can get help now.

      • Emil

        It sounds like they were doing a lot to try to help this kid. He was even hospitalized for mental health problems on multiple occasions and I’m willing to bet there was a lot of outpatient treatment in addition. I’m not saying that the parents aren’t partly to blame but you are right- we didn’t live what they lived so we don’t know.

    • keelhaulrose

      I don’t think there’s enough information here to judge one way or the other. Kids are hard to raise. Some kids are really hard to raise. Some kids are overwhelming to raise. And some parents give their children to someone else who can handle that responsibility.

      I worked at a place where we took in children with special needs. They lived there. It was their home. When they were old enough they would move from our children’s program to our adult program. A few of these children were wards of the state before coming to us, but most were signed over by their parents. I can’t imagine making that decision, but I don’t blame them. Sometimes you have to do what you really, really don’t want to do because it’s in the best interest of the child, yourself, and the rest of your family. And I won’t judge anyone who does it in a responsible manner. According to the parents the boy threatened to kill the family. They abandoned him with child welfare workers, which might seem like a safe place to abandon a child. It’s not like we’re told when we become parents, “oh, if you child becomes too much, or too violent, here’s where you go and what you do”. And if you want to see a lot of judging, even suggest the thought on your average mommy-oriented message board.

      If this couple had put the child on an airplane back to Russia with a note in his pocket, like has happened before, I think it would be okay to judge.
      If they dropped him off in the middle of no where, like has happened before, it would be okay to judge.
      Dog cage, beating, killing, all of it has happened before and is totally unacceptable.
      There was a better way for these parents to do this, but I don’t think they knew where to start, and did what they thought was best for the boy.

    • Sara610

      You know, I started reading this all prepared to be completely outraged, but I agree with a lot of the other comments–there’s not enough information here to judge. It sounds like these parents were completely overwhelmed, in a situation they didn’t know how to handle, and with other children whose safety they were concerned about. It also sounds like they took advantage of help available from agencies that are more prepared to handle their son’s issues.

      My older sister and I are both adopted, and no doubt about it–when you adopt a child, that is YOUR CHILD. However, my older sister has mental health problems and major anger issues. She tried to kill herself a couple of times, but she never threatened to kill our parents, or me or our younger sister. If she had, I’m not totally convinced my parents wouldn’t have sent her someplace where she would be safe and so would the rest of the family.

      Like others have said, it’s not like the parents left her in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart. I’m reserving judgment for now because I don’t know exactly what sort of facility they took him to.

    • CW

      Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a very scary mental disorder that can sometimes happen in adopted children (especially ones from foreign orphanages). I have heard some horror stories about RAD kids getting violent and putting their adoptive family in serious fear for their lives. Arresting the adoptive parents isn’t the answer- there needs to be some way to help these families dealing with RAD.

      • carosaurusrex

        THIS. RAD is one of the most complicated and difficult to treat mental disorders there is. I’ve worked with quite a few RAD kids and while I had a lot of affection and sympathy for them, I also have scars from being bitten and scratched, I’ve had kids try to stab me, plus lots of run-of-the-mill stuff like hitting and punching. I have known kids whose biological parents have sent them away to relatives because otherwise they would have killed their baby sibling. It is serious, serious shit. And it can be caused by anything from neglect and abuse to simply not being paid enough attention to as a young infant/toddler. I have an acquaintance who was diagnosed with RAD as an adult, not because their parents abused them but because their mom stopped paying much attention to them when she had another baby when they were a year old.

      • JLH1986

        YES! It’s so hard to explain how bad RAD can be. I know it seems heartless and cold to send a child to a relative but these kids can be DANGEROUS. And if parents don’t have support…they can easily be overwhelmed.

    • whiteroses

      On the one hand it’s hard for me to defend them. It really, really is. Once you take in or give birth to a child, that child is yours, come hell or high water.

      But on the other hand, on some level I can understand it. I’m glad they gave him back as opposed to abusing or killing him, and I’m sorry they were at the end of their rope, but I’ve also read elsewhere on the Internet that they didn’t want to “force” him to go to therapy. I’m not sure what to make of that, really.

      I think there’s more to this story than we’ll ever know. And this situation is, in my mind, pretty complicated.

      • Andrea

        Therapy can be tricky, specially for children. As an adult, of course, we all know that if you have no interest in it, it won’t help you AT ALL. For a child the process can be even more complicated. I don’t know what to make of him “not wanting” therapy, but I imagine he may have been so surly, or resistant, or uncooperative that therapy wouldn’t do fuck-all. I am don’t know this for a fact, I am just speculating.

      • A-nony-mous

        Then why would they ever think that abandoning him and subjecting him to IMMENSE trauma and terror would help him be more cooperative in therapy?

      • whiteroses

        Because once a child threatens to kill you- you absolutely cannot brush that off. You have to take it seriously, because if you don’t, someone will probably find you on the kitchen floor lying in a pool of blood.

        Holly Harvey comes to mind. She threatened to kill her grandparents repeatedly. One day, she followed through. http://www.news4jax.com/news/Georgia-Girls-Admit-To-Killing-Grandparents/-/475880/1919482/-/l41ibmz/-/index.html

      • A-nony-mous

        We have no idea if the child actually said that. It’s their word that he did and they don’t seem like the most reliable or trustworthy of people…abandoning a child and becoming fugitives and all.

        And even if he did make threats, that doesn’t negate what I said. People are saying that this was a last, desperate attempt by loving parents to get him help. But generally further traumatizing and terrorizing a child is pretty unhelpful to getting them to open up in therapy…if refusal or non-progression in therapy is the issue.

      • whiteroses

        If he did make the threat- then letting him live in their home wouldn’t be a great option. They’ve got two other kids to look after, right?
        I’m not saying these people are stand-up citizens. I do agree that as far as good options go, this was not one of them. And I do think that at the very least, the two other children in their home need to be elsewhere. But the fact is, we don’t know the whole story. We just don’t. It sucks all around.

      • whiteroses

        Speaking as a kid who had to undergo therapy when my dad was in Desert Storm- all I remember is drawing pictures. Picture after picture of flowers and unicorns and kittens with a bright red crayon. I wouldn’t speak. I wouldn’t answer questions. You can’t force someone to talk.

    • Annona

      Yeah, if they hadn’t adopted him at three months, I might have more sympathy. But it’s not like they took in an abused 5 year old who’d already suffered psychological damage from prior foster care or an abusive home situation. So, seems like to me if the kid is broken, it’s because of something they did. They’ve had him since he was practically a newborn; if your kid is a danger and needs help you get him help, and adopting him means he’s YOUR kid. I don’t care where they left him or who they left him with. He’s a child and they’re the only parents he knows, and they dumped him like he was a puppy that wouldn’t stop peeing on the rug.

      As someone who has worked with foster kids and adopted kids, I’d like to punch them in the face. And we can also keep in mind that every time some bullshit like this happens, it becomes that much harder for people who aren’t heartless morons to adopt a child.

      • Annona

        You precious bleeding heart “I don’t want to judge” darlings can downvote all you want. I can’t believe that I’m the only person with brains enough to see this for the bullshit that it is. So I’m guessing you’d all just turn your biological spesul snowflake children over to DSS if they have mental problems (WHEN THEY’RE 9?) Because they’ve had this baby since he was 3 MONTHS OLD…so it’s pretty much the same thing as you taking your own 9 year old, who you shot out of your own vagina, and dumping him into foster care if he becomes too much trouble for you to handle.

        And also, I want to know what is going on in these people’s home that the 9 year old (who, let’s reiterate, they’ve had since he was A TINY INFANT) is so disturbed that he’s threatening to harm himself or others. Because the cases I dealt with where kids were that disturbed that young…it was usually the result of systematic sexual and physical abuse. I’m really concerned for the other children left in their care. I wonder if they’re a “doing it for the money, feed the kids beans and stack them like sardines” foster family.

      • carosaurusrex

        I work with children with these sorts of issues, and while I see more than anyone should of abuse and neglect, I also see good parents at their wit’s end because their child is setting fires, killing pets, and hurting siblings. Sometimes people are born with sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies. I also know that the type of care this boy needs is extremely expensive, prohibitively so unless you are really rich or have insurance that will cover it (the program I work at costs almost $300 a day, per child–even if you are upper middle class, that’s a lot of money, AND it’s not even a residential program). If he needed institutionalized on a more permanent basis and the parents couldn’t afford that, maybe they felt this was their only option. I guess my ultimate point is that I don’t believe we can judge these people–we don’t know if there was abuse or not, we don’t know if this little boy had hurt his siblings or pets–we don’t know any of that.

      • Annona

        I’m sorry, but bullshit. I’ve seen some amazing therapeutic foster parents dealing with some terribly disturbed children, and they manage just fine without dropping the kid off at DSS and going into hiding like these people did. I’ve been reading articles about this story since I read the OP, and all I can find is that he has outbursts, he threatened to stab himself and them, and he won’t “accept” help. There are many options that can be taken other than abandoning the child they made a commitment to raise. I’m pretty sure if he’d been torturing pets and setting fires, they’d be crying about it all over the news media, since right now they’re coming off (to everyone except the current Mommyish readers, apparently) as colossal dicks. I get that this is the land of moral relativism and god forbid we be branded a “sanctimommy” by “judging” or “shaming” anyone, lest someone get their soft little feelings hurt by the implication that there is right and wrong in the world, but I don’t think that there are many facts that can come out about this case that will make me not judge these people, because what they did was WRONG.

        There are options other than abandonment. They might not be cheap, they might not be great, but they exist. If this was their bio-child, would everyone be pleading for me to understand their point of view? Or would we be lining up to stone them to death? They committed a crime. A crime involving the abandonment of a 9-year-old, whose mental problems are I’m sure not being helped by the situation. I don’t care how tired and at the end of their rope they supposedly were. Take the other kids out of the home before they get sick of them too.

      • carosaurusrex

        I’d feel the same if this was their biological kid as well. Mental issues like this are serious stuff. Also, if you cannot afford an option, it ceases to be an option. There was an article I read a couple years ago, I tried to find the link to post but I couldn’t. In it, the author (whose older son has major mental health issues, including violence towards self and others) writes that the only way she’d be able to get her son the help he needs would be to put him in the system–to press charges against him. Because insurance wouldn’t cover the care he needed and she could not afford it out of pocket. No one should have to make that choice. We shouldn’t be stoning anyone, we should be demanding changes in how mental health is treated re: insurance companies, laws, policy, etc.

      • A-nony-mous

        Or doing a better job to weed out poor potential adopters like this who are inclined to “unadopt” and abandon their adoptees when things get tough, so no poor adoptee is victimized and loses two families.

      • Annona

        That article is called “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother.” The child in question was a teen, and the mother did involve the police and have him committed because she felt he was dangerous. And you’ll get no argument from me that our mental heath system in this country is seriously fucked and in need of reform. But demanding changes, while necessary, does not help this child right now. Nor does it in any way excuse what these people did. If they felt that they or their other children were in danger, they too could have involved law enforcement. While it’s not ideal, it’s better than the crime they chose to commit instead.

      • whiteroses

        Speaking as someone with a “speshul snowflake”- who didn’t want to judge- my son’s mental problems, should he ever have any, would be something that my husband and I would deal with. And we would do our best, whatever that meant.

        Ever heard of “rehoming”? It’s a process whereby adoptive parents, for some reason or other, give their kids away to near-strangers. I’d rather see a child given back to child welfare services than passed off to strangers. These people don’t get a gold star. At all. I think what they did was reprehensible, and I don’t understand it.

        But as a parent, if my son threatened to kill me and I had done everything I knew how to do? I’d take it seriously. Especially if I had two other children in the house.

      • Annona

        You’d “take it seriously”. Yeah….but would you give him to child services like he was a cat you couldn’t take to your new apartment? Or would you exhaust every avenue to help him like he was…you know, a kid you were supposed to love and take care of? I mean, are we supposed to give them a cookie because they did something slightly less reprehensible than giving him to a stranger at the gas station?

      • whiteroses

        Of course I’d exhaust every avenue. And reading other stories around the net- that sounds like what they did.

        I think that there’s a massive, massive issue with adoption in that the focus is about finding placement. Once the child is placed, they’re not checked in on or looked after in any way by authorities, at least with my experience with adoption. Most adoptive kids are perfectly fine when they go to their new families. But ongoing care would be a good idea for families who request it.

      • Annona

        Really? Because one of the ones I read said they didn’t want to “force” him to go to therapy, and another said he “refused” treatment. I’m pretty sure if the child was really threatening to kill them, and they really felt endangered, they could have called the police and had him committed, and worked within the system to get him to a therapeutic foster home for kids with those kinds of emotional problems. He’s adopted…they have resources through that system that many bio parents don’t have, unless something has changed drastically and radically in the 10 years since I was working in the system. There would be no need for them to drop him off, in violation of the law; if he were really that big a problem and they were taking advantage of all the resources available to them, they could have given him over to some kind of program without abandoning him. What sickens me the most about it is the sense that they are somehow less obligated to take care of this child that they legally adopted as a three month old baby because he’s not biologically theirs. That’s a shitty message for adopted kids, and it says something pretty disturbing about the mentality of people reading this site.

      • carosaurusrex

        Once an adoption is legally completed, the support and oversight the state provides ends. It’s a huge problem, both in situations like these, and situations such as Hana Williams’s, where continued intervention would have likely saved her life.

      • whiteroses

        They aren’t less responsible for him because he’s adopted. If my biological son had threatened to kill me or any siblings, I can’t say I’d do differently than try to find him help any way I could. Beyond that, having never been in that situation, I honestly can’t judge.

        What program would they have used? Would they even have known where to start? We can’t really say that, can we? You’d have to be pretty damn desperate to give up your child- at least I would. And we don’t know they weren’t. There are a ton of conflicting stories out there.

        Or maybe they were just assholes. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt, I guess. Especially when I’d rather believe that they were incredibly desperate and didn’t know where to turn versus being complete and utter jagoffs who dumped their kid despite it all. I don’t know how black and white this is. Nobody’s reported on it fully yet, far as I can see.

        Full disclosure: I have maybe eight or nine people in my immediate family who were adopted, both at birth and when they were older. They are no different to me than they would be if they were born into my family. My aunt is my aunt, and that’s all there is to it. I’ve always known she was adopted, but it’s never made a difference to me. Adoption is an amazing, amazing thing. And fortunately for my family, none of us have ever had to face anything more complicated than teaching one of my cousins English because he was adopted from Central America. I have no idea how we would have dealt with something like this.

        The mental health system and familial care systems in this country are sorely, sorely broken. You know that better than anyone, having worked in them. And its stories like this that make me more convinced than ever that support and oversight for adoptive kids need to be ongoing. If we’re going to be responsible- not just for adoptees but for all kids- we need to stop pretending that everything’s sunshine and roses because things look good on the surface.

      • Annona

        If they were at the point where they’re dropping the kid off at child services, they could have contacted them before it got to that point. They could have contacted the county where they live. Services are imperfect, but they exist. Call the county DSS, call the kid’s pediatrician, call the police, call 211 (most states have it, it’s on the front cover of our phonebook, it links people to all kinds of services including mental health services.) Call the health department. Call 911 and say “my kid is threatening to kill me”. If the kid was hospitalized for mental health issues, they’re probably dealing with social workers and therapists through whatever hospital he was at. The therapy that they didn’t want to “make” him go to was initiated somehow. One article that I read (though it could be erroneous) states that some of the other kids in the home are foster kids…if that is the case, these are not people who are ignorant of the system. There HAS to have been something that they could have done, other than just basically saying to this kid “we don’t want you anymore” and dropping him off like a stray animal.

      • whiteroses

        Sure. But none of that happened. So now what? Make other parents afraid to even ask for help?

      • Annona

        How is a bunch of people on the internet displaying an in my opinion disgusting lack of empathy for an abandoned CHILD and two adults being slapped on the wrist for committing a CRIME going to make other parents afraid to ask for help? It might make other parents afraid to adopt a child, raise it for 9 years, and then drop it back off at child services…but I don’t see that as a bad thing.

      • whiteroses

        I don’t think they should be slapped on the wrist. At all. They didn’t do the right thing. And they should never be allowed to raise children. At the very least, they should do some jail time.

        But just because a child is a child doesn’t mean they don’t have homicidal tendencies. And just because they say he threatened to kill them doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. They may not be trustworthy. I don’t really think they are. But if there’s documented proof (and there seems to be) that they tried other avenues to help him and they were rebuffed at every turn? Yeah, I tend to believe they were desperate, whether the desperation was justified or not. The police, and authorities- in my experience at least- can’t do anything until an actual harm is committed. By then, it’s too late.

        There are three sides to every story: one side, the other side and the truth. I’d be interested in reading a fair, balanced article about this case, and one that includes the boy’s perspective. That has yet to happen. Which is why I say I can’t judge.

        And yes, I do think that dropping him off at child welfare was a lot better than what happened to Hana Williams. NOBODY has the right to abuse a child. But I’m glad this boy is in a safe place, at least.

      • Mikster

        Police can’;t do anything until they can establish that he attempted harm. It’s a real problem out there.

      • A-nony-mous

        I don’t think families should have to request it. I think all adoptive families need ongoing supervision and care PERIOD.

      • whiteroses

        Yeah. But until that happens… stuff like this still will.

      • Justme

        I’m only down-voting you for the use of the phrase “shot out of your own vagina.”

      • Annona

        Well, that made me snort beer out my nose.

      • Mikster

        If that child presented a serious threat to the life of my other kids, and there were no resources to help- um yeah. Even if he/she was surgically extraceted from my my uterus. I didn’t shoot any of them out MY vagina ;-)

      • A-nony-mous

        Don’t take it personally. I think a lot of people here aren’t experienced with adoption and thus they place themselves in the shoes of other adults and not in the shoes of the innocent child who’s just had his entire world destroyed for simply having a problem.

        As an adoptee I upvoted both your posts. I think it’s so sad and disgusting that people think this sort of behavior is in any way acceptable or justifiable. When you adopt a child, that child is yours. I think there’s even more onus on adoptive parents NOT to abandon their children because it’s so planned. I can understand with biological children where you don’t always get so many choices and where often the pregnancy is unplanned. But there’s so much choice with adoption and you CHOOSE to adopt a child and to accept that particular child and you PROMISE them that you are going to be their parent. It’s just awful to abandon the child for simply having problems, especially when you’ve raised them from infancy.

        It’s frustrating to see no one empathizing with the child and everyone essentially blaming him for being abandoned by the adults who were entrusted and legally mandated to care for him. He is innocent and blameless and it’s probably destroyed him for life now being abandoned after promises of parents and a “forever home”.

        Adoption doesn’t have a time limit nor a return policy. You don’t get to take children home and “try them out” and then return them months and years later because “they’re not working out anymore” just because they’re no longer new, exciting, small, cute and easily molded into your fantasy of family.

      • elle

        Your last paragraph is just spot on. Love it.

      • A-nony-mous

        Thank you. :-)

        Would also like to add, I see a lot of people saying “Well at least they didn’t beat/kill him!”

        I think if our standard of parental finesse is that you don’t kill your child and everything else above that is acceptable then I think we have a serious issue here.

      • Tinyfaeri

        You know, I would also like to know when not beating/killing/raping/maiming your child became the new bar for doing OK as a parent, because I’ve seen that a lot lately…

      • A-nony-mous

        It’s pretty scary that’s for sure. I mean…really…that’s the BEST we can hold people to?

      • elle

        seriously! I totally agree with everything you are saying but you are much more eloquent/knowledgeable then I am so you will just have to deal with all the thumbs up from me.

      • Andrea

        I think that most posters would have the same opinion if the child was biological. I know I would.

      • AE Vorro

        Yep. This. (Also am an adoptee.)

      • Melissa T

        Are you for real? Are you seriously suggesting that mental illness has a sole factor, and that it’s parents??? That there’s no such thing as alcohol, drugs, genetics, first environment, mental illness of bio family, etc. that could possibly be to blame?

      • Emil

        Yeah the line “if the kid is broken, it’s because of something they did” was pretty distressing to me. I very much hope that parents of children with serious mental health problems aren’t reading this comment. Most parents in this situation are already blaming themselves enough as it is.

      • Annona

        Maybe it’s my limited experience, maybe it was my education, but yeah. If a child is behaving like a psychopath, you look at what is going on in the home. Mental illness in young children is a thing that happens sometimes…but it is often a signifier of abuse. Hurting siblings, hurting pets, hearing voices, displaying signs of schizophrenia or psychosis at 9 years old? Might be bad genes…might also be that mommy and daddy were starving him and locking him in a closet from the time he was a toddler. God forbid I might offend someone with my anonymous internet comment…but the kids I’ve personally dealt with who were being treated for this kind of stuff, they were broken because some scumbag “parent” did something horrible to them during their early life that manifested in serious mental illness before the onset of puberty. (I was a child advocate for children who had been in foster care, usually therapeutic foster care for behavioral issues, during the process to fully terminate the rights of said shitty “parents” so that the kids could be adopted or fully turned over to the state. So excuse me if that life experience makes me doubtful of any parent who claims their kid just suddenly went crazy with no provocation.)

      • JLH1986

        It could also be RAD from his first three months of life. There simply isn’t enough information available online to determine if the parents were abusive. If they were this was the best possible outcome because now he can get help and be safe and there will be an investigation for the other kids.

      • meteor_echo

        Dude, there’s a metric fuckton of hereditary mental illnesses (schizophrenia, depression, BPD (yes, sometimes the predisposition to it can be inherited), and many else). Then, there are things like FAS, which the child gets in utero, or sociopathy, which is basically a brain structure malfunction, if you simplify it. You can be the most loving and doting adoptive/biological parent, and you still might get a kid whose favorite pastime is torturing animals, beating their siblings, or, later, raping and assaulting other kids.
        Case in point: one of the boys in my elementary school group had the most awesome and loving parents ever, and yet he tried to burn my face with a lighter. I’m not even kidding you, he tried to stick a burning lighter in my fucking face, and he was grinning as he tried to do it. He also beat up other kids. His parents ended up putting him into a boarding school for problem children, because he became too dangerous for them to handle. I am not going to judge them, the little monster had a full capability of killing or injuring them.

      • Annona

        Yeah, I get it. I went to college. Mental illness exists.
        What I find disgusting and disturbing is the fact that everyone on this site is automatically saying “Oh, those POOOOOR people, they must have just been SOOO overwhelmed, I can’t JUDGE them…” Like we’ve automatically just jumped to “the kid is an little evil monster” with very few facts other than the statements made by a “mother” who chose to commit a CRIME by abandoning the child she was supposed to be raising. People who commit crimes often lie about why they did it. We don’t know this kid, or what he did and didn’t do…we know that his “parents” were arrested for what they did, and that they’re claiming he was dangerous. He’s still a 9 year old who has just been dumped in a very horrible and disturbing fashion by the only family he’s ever known. I don’t get why the wonderful Mommyish land of Moral Relativism can howl for the blood of some people over the stupidest shit…but everyone just assumes that this kid is the bad guy and throwing him away was the best option for these assholes. Like, well, at least they didn’t beat him to death, shouldn’t they get a cookie and a pat on the head?

        I have no problem judging them, nor do I feel like I have to ooze with empathy and try to bend myself into a pretzel trying to see all possible sides of a fucked up situation in order not to be labeled as something naughty by the internet. Also, there is a difference between putting a child into a boarding school for problem children (which might have been needed for this kid, I don’t know) and abandoning him. I mean, I feel like this kid is probably going to be better off away from these people, and I hope that he ends up somewhere with parents who actually give a shit about him, but he’s 9 so his chances of that are pretty slim. If he wasn’t suffering from emotional problems before, he certainly will be now.

      • meteor_echo

        Okay, let’s just agree to disagree on our opinions about this article. You’re a cool person and I don’t want to get into a heated argument with you.
        I just think that they also have parental responsibilities for their other two children, which includes ensuring their safety. I think they’d feel even worse if something happened to those kids. I hope that this kid ends up in an area where there are more resources to help him before he becomes too damaged to be rehabilitated. That’s all.

      • Annona

        Yeah, I’m not trying to be a bitch about it. I just…I know what this kid’s life is going to be like now, and it’s not a pretty picture. The fact that they abandoned him and are most likely going to get their wish to not have to deal with him…he’s a 9 year old child of color who may or may not have severe behavioral issues. His chances of finding another, good, stable placement are pretty close to nil. If they’d kept him, and tried to get him help while still supporting him and loving him like a family, he might have had a good outcome. Now he’s going back into the system, which I admit 100% is fucked up and broken. His whole life is pretty much ruined by the choice that these “parents” have made for him. I hope I’m wrong on all counts. And I certainly don’t mean to negate the feelings of others when I talk about this…my perception is colored by my own subjective personal experience, just like everyone else’s is.

    • brebay

      And if he’d stayed in the home and murdered a sibling, you’d be judging them for keeping him there…

      • A-nony-mous

        I certainly wouldn’t. I would think it was a tragic accident. I never agree with abandoning your child. Your child is yours until death do you part. I’m starting to understand why he likely has issues if this is the sort of conditional and judgmental “love” he was subjected to for nine years. This isn’t the sort of thing that just pops into people’s heads one day. This is something that they think about and display with their words and actions for a LONG time before they work up to actually going through with it…and that’s the attitude and household he had to grow up in.

      • Mikster

        And what if that child presents a threat to the safety and/or lives of other family embers for which you are responsible? This is an example of the glaring lack of resources
        for parents of troubled children- whether adopted or biological. You
        have a kid who’s violent, possibly sociopathic, you max out mental heath
        coverage at about 10 days or so in-patient-
        not nearly enough time to remediate the underlying pathology to any
        extent, and law enforcement tells you that their hands are tied until
        the child actually attempts to injure or kill someone. So you have
        families that live in fear of being murdered, burnt alive- and there is
        NO ONE to turn to for help. So we agree on one thing: this probably is NOT something that popped up in day. But it may have built up over a long period of time and something triggered a complete breakdown int his family’s ability to do it anymore. I’d rather see one 9 yr old relinquished to a system that will HAVE to help him, than read about the murders of his family because they had no one to turn to.

      • Emil

        I would love to hear the perspective of his siblings. I have no idea what it is like to be a child and live in constant fear that my older sibling is going to kill me. I feel like the voice of the sibling gets lost in all of this.

      • Mikster

        I’d like to hear their input too.

      • Aldonza

        I have a friend who grew up with a sibling who was severely mentally ill. He would hurt himself and threaten to hurt her and her parents. She had a lock on the inside of her door for protection, and he had to be locked into his room at night. I wasn’t allowed over at her house because of him. They finally had to have him committed when he attacked them with a knife. At that point, when he became a legitimate threat to their lives and their other child’s life, they took the only action they felt would be best for everyone.

      • Emil

        Was this recently or 10-20 years ago? Unfortunately, having a child “committed” is becoming less of an option. You can have an acute hospitalization, for a week or two and often very little changes. There are more long term residential facilities but often the wait list is 6-12 months and even when they get in it is only for a limited period of time. The mental health system is unfortunately under constant pressure to decrease length of stay and get kids back home, it’s cheaper.

      • Aldonza

        This was awhile ago, probably about 15 years or so. Our mental health system is so busted.

      • Anony-Mom

        I’ve been the sibling of a violent, mentally ill brother. Who parents were trying desperately to get help – luckily he ended up in the mental hospital and on meds at the right times and no one was ever seriously injured. It is hard as hell. Can’t say I blame them – if you have an honest fear that one of your family will hurt the rest of you, or any of you, and no one is taking it seriously? What else are you supposed to do? Let someone get hurt?

      • Emil

        Glad to hear treatment was effective for him and that nobody was ever harmed. Sounds like it was a long miserable process though.

      • Anony-Mom

        It was. There were times my little brother and I locked ourselves in rooms to stay away from him – I would stay up and watch the door to make sure my little brother slept safely. Or stayed with my grandmother for days while my parents sorted out things with my older brother. The feelings can be very hard to process, as a child, too – you know you’re supposed to love your family and you’re terrified and resentful, and … sigh. I just can understand why these parents would try to drop him off at DSS as a last resort sort of thing.

      • Mikster

        My heart goes out to you and your family. I hope many good things come to you in life- you were a guardian to your little brother.

      • Ennis Demeter

        Are you interested at all in HIS perspective?

      • A-nony-mous

        I have difficulty believing that a well-to-do family who lives in a $300,000+ home in an upper middle-class area, with a large extended family of money/resources (who is now hiding them), who were quite obviously receiving the Adoption and Special Needs subsidy for the 9 year old which can top $500/month, and if they are fostering other children are also receiving money for that, on top of any other working income…can’t afford another option.

        Even if they had to make the difficult decision to institutionalize him they should have done so as their son…not simply dumped him off. Plenty of parents deal with these options and yet they seem to find ways to make it through without abandoning their child and many of them make far less than this family did and have far less family resources as well.

      • Gangle

        Throwing money at a problem doesn’t necessarily fix it if there are no resources to turn to. If there is no effective system or treatment facilities or support in place how is money meant to help?

      • A-nony-mous

        It doesn’t sound like they made much attempt if they’re letting their nine year old child call the shots and simply decide he doesn’t want to even try therapy. So I have a hard time believing that they really went through all available resources, especially since they seem to be pretty well off so they probably aren’t limited to just their geographic area. If they needed to get help in another state nearby, they could probably have afforded it.

      • Mel

        Therapy is pointless if the patient refuses to participate. That’s not a failure of parenting, that’s a problem child refusing to improve. Granted 9 year olds are obviously immature and have to be encouraged and sometimes forced to do things they don’t want. But things like therapy are simply a waste of time and money if the child sits there refusing to participate, or worse, gets aggravated even further. It’s just not that simple.

      • Gangle

        You are assuming that they haven’t travelled. What makes you think that one state has something different to offer? Mental health is something largely ignored by society and the government. You cannot force someone, even a 9 year old someone to participate in therapy. You can book them in, take them there and make them sit in the therapists office. You cannot make them participate. You cannot force them or threaten to take away their favourite toy.. it just doesn’t work that way.

      • JLH1986

        They have several other children in the home. If the child is that out of control, I doubt ONE parent could have handled him. That and simply taking him to counseling or a hospital isn’t going to make him talk or participate in therapy. While it’s rare there are kids who can sit for hours and ignore a therapist, play therapy, movies whatever. If the kid isn’t willing to participate after a while he’s discharged because someone who will participate needs the bed. it’s a very gray area.

      • Mikster

        And many must spend own ALL of their assets and plunge their entire family into poverty just to do so- the same as many families that kids with special medical needs. This country sucks in long-term care. Sorry, but I wouldn’t make my entire family suffer if – and I say IF- one child was a violent sociopath.

      • A-nony-mous

        So you admit that you have conditional love for your children and that you’ll abandon them if they have mental issues. Do they know that? Might be nice to warn them that you’re not interested in parenting them if they get too unruly or expensive.

      • Andrea

        What the hell man. That’s not what she said!

      • Emil

        My love for my children is unconditional but if, god forbid, they are violent and regularly put their siblings lives at risk they are no longer going to be able to live in my home.(I feel sick just writing that sentence and am reassuring myself that it will never happen)

      • meteor_echo

        Unconditional love for children who threaten to kill your whole family? Not something that will turn out too well.

      • A-nony-mous

        You’re right. I mean, here I was planning to adopt and thinking that it was a lifetime commitment. Now I know better and can take kids home, try them out and then send them back when they’re no longer convenient or when they get too tiresome. That’s fair and even better.

      • meteor_echo

        Sure, as long as the adopted kid is with you, everything’s alright. I guess, finding your other kids and/or your spouse stabbed to death one day is a small loss.
        Two can play this game.

      • SarahJesness

        If Mikster has a crazy kid who threatened to kill his other siblings and she sent him off, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love the kid. It just means she doesn’t want to put the lives of the other kids at risk. Where does one draw the line? If she has more than one kid, it isn’t fair to put the lives and safety of some of them at risk because of one kid.

      • Mikster

        I think you are confusing love with support, tolerance and acceptance. For instance, if Jeffrey Dahmer were my son, though part of my heart would likely still have loved him,. I would NOT have supported, nor permitted him within my life or home.
        I don’t believe that any love is totally unconditional. For instance, dictators who kills thousands or more people- I don’t really think there could have been much unblemished love left in their child-parent relationship.

      • A-nony-mous

        We’ll have to agree to disagree then.

        For me, without support and tolerance there can be no love. That doesn’t mean you accept everything, but I don’t believe that there was EVER any love from the parents towards this boy if they can abandon him at 9. If he were 18 or 19 or even 17 and thus capable of getting a job and being independent in some way/essentially an adult I might feel differently but such a young child?

        I also dislike when adults put their needs and desires in front of the needs of a child. It’s very unlikely that dumping him into the overcrowded CPS system will get him any better care than this wealthy couple could provide for him. He almost guaranteed will not be adopted again at his age and with his record and “fame”, guaranteeing he will spend the next 9 years in the system. Thus this was NOT about the best needs of this child AT ALL and the fact that no one seems to care about that is disturbing and angering. That you can basically sacrifice one child to save others disturbs me immensely because there are thousands if not millions of people in this situation, should we encourage them to dump their children en mass too? Should parenting be temporary? Should parents be allowed to only parent the children that are “good enough”? It gets to a point where it almost feels like eugenics and everyone is in denial or justification mode.

      • Mikster

        Nah- we should make them suck it up and then imprison them when the whacko one kills the other kids. You’re right though- never going to agree on this one.

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        I think you make an excellent point about a lack of resources. This couple is relatively wealthy too, I wonder how much worse it is for people with lower incomes who have children with these issues (adopted or not).

      • JLH1986

        Its mind boggling. A child who is suicidal/homicidal may have to wait days before we can find a bed. And then Medicaid will only pay for 3-5 days a week at best. Which does nothing. And even a well to do family, a 2 week hospitalization for a child can be astronomical.

      • elle

        No I wouldn’t….I would think it was tragic and that the mental health system and familial support system in this country is a joke. Which is what I actually think.

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        I’m not judging anything but the choice to abandon a child rather than exhaust every other legal route. Do I have compassion for their situation? Of course. But this couple chose to break the law and they are going to be punished for it. I also have compassion for that little boy (and his siblings) and what happened to them just wasn’t fair.

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      I’m disturbed… and torn. You love your children. All your children. If one threatens to kill the other, and enough scary behaviour has occurred that you take the threat seriously, and you don’t have access to resources to get your troubled child help, what do you do? Wait and see?
      Do you abandon one to save the other? Do you keep your family together? I wouldn’t know how to handle this. Giving up parental rights is a grave and dark thing to do. I can’t imagine how bad it would have to get to drive a couple to make that choice and I hope I never know first-hand.

      • Véronique Houde

        This reminds me of a documentary series I saw on TLC about families with children who are schizophrenic… One family had a 6 year old girl who had voices in her head telling her to kill her younger brother. The family struggled to get help at the UCLA mental health centre – she would be admitted for a certain amount of time and then released. They eventually got two small apartments, and the parents switched apartments regularly, and kept their children apart for a few years until they could find an effective solution for their older daughter.

        However, throughout all of this, the love they have for that child was so apparent – even through all of the violent lashing outs, and they preferred to spend the money on two homes, and keep their children apart than putting the girl at risk.

        Later on, I think they found out that their younger son also was showing signs of schizophrenia… :S But they were all able to move back in together.

      • Blueathena623

        Her name is Jani. That family is actually messed up. The dad has a blog and one time wrote about how they used to hit Jani and starve her as a baby to make her stop screaming, and he and his wife at violent against one another. Bodi is the little boy. I think those kids have issues, but I think their parents also have munchausan’s by proxy.

      • meteor_echo

        My fiance’s sister was schizophrenic. She nearly killed him on several occasions, beat him up, gaslighted him and actually tried to advance on to him (then told their mother that it was he who did it). The mother sided with the sister, which didn’t turn out well at all. They later had to commit her to a mental institution (temporarily), and there’s still some resentment that he feels towards his mother who was supposed to protect him but instead fucked up. Majorly.

    • Kay_Sue

      I think this highlights an issue that is inherent in our current mental health system. There are parents every day that battle these same issues with both biological and adopted children, and receive little or no support from society at large, or the government, in particular. We need ways that support parents in helping these children, instead of abandoning them to do it on their own and figure it out. Help them before it comes to abandoning their child out of fear, and before that child’s mental struggles become dangerous to other people.

    • Gangle

      I think this looks like a desperate act from desperate people.. I wonder what life had been like in that family leading up to this decision? I think there is a major problem being illustrated here that doesn’t necessarily have to do with the parents.

    • anon87

      I’ve read most of the comments on this article, and I agree with a lot of different points. For me, I don’t have enough information to make a judgement about these parents, all people can do is assume at this point. Most topics have been covered already, so I won’t reiterate what I’ve already read. My main thought upon reading this and similar articles is that some people are just not able to care for children with mental/physical issues. Whether they are biological or adoptive parents, most parents that fall into the “good parent” category commit to doing anything and everything in their power to help their children. Situations like this cause severe stress on people, they are triggers for depression. If all resources are exhausted and the mental and physical health and well-being over other family members is being compromised, it might be safer for all involved to look at other options. It’s not like this is an easy decision to make, but at what point do you decide that everything up to that point has not worked and the child needs to go to a safe place? It is a very unfortunate situation, but not all children can be “saved”, they will not all turn out “okay” no matter what interventions are performed. Again, I don’t know enough of this story to judge the parents on what happened, but some people just cannot handle a mentally/physically troubled child no matter how hard they try.

      • Gangle

        All of this.

    • mostafa
    • mostafa
    • Véronique Houde

      In quebec, you wouldn’t have to give up parental rights for a child to be placed in a centre for troubled kids (or a foster home). There is a voluntary course for the program, where parents can work with the centre on a plan of action on a temporary basis, where the child is admitted into care, and followed, given mental health treatments, but the parents don’t lose the rights to their children. They don’t need to go through the courts to have social services take the child.

      I’ve worked in one of these centres, and although it’s tough to see the kids being there, there are also some great services provided for them. The centres in montreal were really working hard to provide these kids who could be violent with the resources they needed to deal with their issues. The most awesome resource was a sensory room, where a kid could go, accompanied or not, and experience sensory stimulation (such as soothing lights and projections, soft pillows, hammocks, beds, smells, etc) to teach their bodies to relax when they were too up there in their emotions. They had play rooms where kids would go when they acted out so that they could work through their issues with a more qualified professional. They served great meals, and the units were beautifully decorated, and the staff was awesome.

      Perhaps in the US, services such as these don’t exist as much. Had these parents had the option of voluntary placement, I wonder if they would have tried using that option?

      • Kati

        I have a feeling they’ve used up their resources. Pretty sure there’s no access to a nice treatment centre, or money for another residence. :( I hope the poor boy will heal and they will be reunited. They might have been terrible parents who raised him wrong! But they are still not as bad as many many parents who harm their kids ..

      • JLH1986

        I have a 19 year old AOD client whose parents had to sign him over to the state at 16 because his violent outbursts ended with him breaking his 13 yo brothers nose and blacking both of his eyes…for the 4th time. He moved to the other parent’s home where his 3 yo step sister accused him of inappropriately touching her. At this point he had been hospitalized 10 times. In an effort to protect the other minors in both families they HAD to sign over their parental rights to him. He was then placed with DCJFS. He was emancipated by DCJFS at 19 and after only a month on his own was homeless. He drank, used drugs and was violent in a group home and they were forced to make him leave. Other kids he was in the home with have apartments of their own (with DCJFS assistance) etc. His parents are supportive of him but neither can tell him where they live because in the past he’s shown up and assaulted other family members. Other than this child being adopted I have no idea why this is news. This happens fairly frequently (and legally). Of course they don’t just drop them off either so there is that.

    • Paul White

      Where and how do you get him help though? Getting mental health care in that age bracket for extreme issues is damn hard.

    • Sami O’Malley

      It sounds like the kid has serious issues. Possibly the product of drugs during pregnancy or something like that. Truth is, any kid, raised by biological parents, or adoptive ones, can be put in a mental health facility if they’re acting dangerously. Were they even trying to give up custody? The story is sad, but it sounds like this is about 1/8 of it.

    • Ennis Demeter

      People should be very, very careful about assuming these parents are telling the truth. Not that it is impossible that they are, but tread carefully. It’s almost as if most commenters here are starting with the assumption that the couple are decent people, and maybe they are. But maybe they are not. A nine year old is a very defenseless person, and this article has absolutely nothing from his side of the story.

    • Sheila

      People are quick to label these parents as heartless or cruel. But then we have stories where parents are overwhelmed and abuse their children and everyone says, “Why didn’t they take the children into children’s services instead of hurting them??” I’m sure this child is going through a lot of pain as well as mental problems, but it’s just crazy how people love to be so judgmental. I guess it makes them feel better.

    • sasareta

      I don’t think they should be arrested. They were frightened of this child, and I’m pretty sure the child was uncomfortable, too. Dealing with an unruly, violent child can be heartbreaking, tiring, and depressing. Arresting them won’t help them or the child.

      • A-nony-mous

        If you abandon your child there needs to be consequences.

        And it might help. They have other children which, I’ve heard, they’re fostering. They don’t need to be fostering and influencing anyone if this is the kind of message and behaviour they’re demonstrating in that household. They need their foster license revoked. And they need to be banned from adopting any child again because apparently they don’t consider having a child a lifetime commitment.

        We have no idea what kind of abuse might have gone on in that home to make this boy the way he was. Arresting them may have just saved the lives of all the children in their “care”.

      • JLH1986

        While I agree that dealing with an unruly, violent child can be all of those things. There ARE systems in place. They still could have turned him over to DCJFS, but legally. It would have taken longer but DCJFS would have had time to place him (or hospitalize him) they would have investigated etc. I’m not saying I agree with “giving him back” but what they did? Not ok. They had more appropriate legal routes than what they did.