A couple runs into horrific problems ...

A couple runs into horrific problems after they adopt two broth...

There are 59 comments on the Orlando Sentinel story from Jan 13, 2008, titled A couple runs into horrific problems after they adopt two broth.... In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

About the time the youngest of the Umatilla couple's three daughters turned 6, the pair decided that adding more kids to the family would be really neat.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Orlando Sentinel.

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lake county teacher

Eustis, FL

#1 Jan 13, 2008

I'm real sorry for the family's pain. Sad situation. The link above is a Newsweek article about the problem.

Monroe City, MO

#2 Jan 13, 2008
what agency set up this adoption? I keep seeing more and more stories like this but the agency is never named. I hope this couple sues the agency for wrongful adoption.
Is this America

Apopka, FL

#3 Jan 13, 2008
In reality we all are responsible to some extent for this matter. The adoptive parents first and foremost of course, they had no business going to Russia to adopt kids when there are thousands of great American kids lanquishing in foster homes and throw-away-kids are everywhere and tragically the victim of our "me-me-me no-parent authority society". But the retiree taxpayers of Florida in particular should take a good look in the mirror. Our child welfare system and DCF have been scandously underfunded and horribly mismanaged for years, budgetary priorties you see, and there is no real hope of it being improved so as long as it is viewed as "somebody else's problem". If the DCF, at taxpayer's insistence and willingness to pay for, properly did their jobs, "our" own great kids would receive the support that they need. Hundreds of Lake County's kids now in the "system" and hundreds more not even accounted for need a family" but what is being done? "Pay me now or pay be later".
America's "greatest generation" is leaving behind a nation that is in crisis.

Van Wert, OH

#4 Jan 13, 2008
I also wish I knew the agency who helped with this adoption.
A responsible agency and social worker should have counselled this family prior to the adoption about the risk of violence and inappropriate sexual behavior from older children who have been institutionalized - whether in a Russian orphanage or a US Foster home.
Typically it is best if you adopt children younger than your youngest children, so the children can protect themselves. That is for the best of ALL the kids - both the younger sibs and the newly adopted sibs... who should be given a chance to learn proper behavior.
There are lots of resources which describe the reasons professionals do not suggest adopting out of birth order.

The agency and social worker should also be assisting with finding a new home for these two boys. One possible option

What a tragedy for all the children and parents ~~
Karen NYState

Middletown, NY

#5 Jan 13, 2008
The parents did the RIGHT thing by having these boys removed from their home and their family. While they sought to help these boys, the rights of their girls MUST come first. Shame on the Russian agency for not telling about the problems that one of the boys already had.

Batavia, IL

#6 Jan 13, 2008
Is this America wrote:
they had no business going to Russia to adopt kids when there are thousands of great American kids lanquishing in foster homes
Who are you to say they "had no business?" All children need homes, and just because they happened to be born on one piece of land rather than the other doesn't make them more or less entitled to one. People have their own reasons for choosing intercountry adoption or domestic. It's no one's right to judge them for that decision.

Athens, TN

#7 Jan 13, 2008
Wish granted. The agency was Reaching Arms International. The agency was put out of business by the Minnesota State Attorney General for defrauding their clients. It made the news in Minnesota.
Yes adopting children out of the birth order is a big mistake.
Is this America

Apopka, FL

#8 Jan 13, 2008
Certainly the adoptive parents have the right to adopt children wherever they, in their combined judgements feel is appropriate and God bless them, but at what point does their personal and financial responsibility begin and end vs. the taxpayers obligation to now support these poor kids which have very troubled future prospects, now that we taxpayers are being asked to pick-up the tab while American kids are in such dire straits? The point being, please think about adopting American kids first as some safeguards are in place to help prevent a repeat of this tragedy.

Harwood Heights, IL

#9 Jan 13, 2008
People spend thousands of dollars to go to foreign countries to adopt instead of adopting American kids because the court system is all too willing to give the child back to a "baby daddy" who may reenter the picture a few years down the road. Look at the court cases of "Baby Jessica" and "Baby Richard". And I do know people who have adopted out of birth order and gotten terrific kids. Everyone is so quick to have opinions and give advice, and so slow to provide any real help. The reality is that these kids are here, and they ARE American citizens now. Florida is the only state I know of where you have to give your child to the foster care system to get help. It doesn't leave adoptive parents many options.

United States

#10 Jan 13, 2008
Reaching Arms International. Figures. They are also embroiled in a lawsuit brought against them by their Guatemalan AParents.
Figure it's all about money to these agencies - especially these foreign adoption agencies. They don't care about anything but how fast they can cash clients' checks.
Elizabeth Case

Martin, TN

#11 Jan 13, 2008
Is this america? Well, we did it the other way - we adopted 2 beautiful children from Russia first, babies ages 20 mos (g) and 9 mos (b), then we did foster care for a while (because there were so many kids RIGHT HERE in the usa who "needed a good home") and adopted a baby we had in our home since he was 8 days old (a multiracial crack baby) then we adopted a sibling group from TX - older - American. TARE did not tell us everything about these 3. 2 girls and a boy. I cant begin to tell you the hell these children put us thru. And it was a no win situation. When I found out- in spite of all the monitoring and protections in place - that the boy had molested my 5 year old daughter (the original one adopted from Russia) that was it. It was amazing how quickly I went from being an adoption advocate and president of our regions adoptive parents association to someone who had to deal with cps. Cps rapidly became an advisary. There was no winning. If we refused to allow the boy to come back to live with us we could be charged with neglect. If we did allow him back we could be charged with "failure to protect" the younger children. We also hired an excellent adoption attorney who had dealt with cps many times before. She was a strong advocate for our family and negotiated a "deal" with cps who took custody of the boy. The oldest daughter turned 18 before this happened, stole from our inlaws and ran away. The middle girl was also not allowed back in our home as we learned that she had known about the abuse but chose to protect her birth sibling instead of her younger brothers and sister. We felt her actions made her staying a safety issue. The boy has, since he has been in foster care, molested another little girl. There are no easy answers. We adopted the 3 older children because we believed we could make a difference in their lives, we loved them. The whole experience tore our families and our lives apart.

Van Wert, OH

#12 Jan 14, 2008
If anyone knows the adoptive family, please make sure that they know Children's Home and Families Services is now handling the post adoption cases since Reaching Arms was closed by the State.

If you are a former client of Reaching Arms International and your adoption has been finalized, your closed adoption file was transferred to:

Children's Home Society & Family Services
1605 Eustis Street
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108
Deb Harder or Carol Wiens
(phone number on the webpage)

They may also find help here: http://www.guatadopt.com/archives/000619.html

United States

#13 Jan 14, 2008
These parents were obviously victims of an extremely deceptive international adoption agency. There are U.S. agencies and foreigner faciliatators who will lie about the health & behavior of a prospective child just to complete an adoption~this happened to us with our Russian adoption. It's all about the ultimate dollar and the fee's/expenses in international adoption can run from the low $20,000 range up to $50,000+.
Sadly, this family was lied to about the boys background from the very beginning.
Also, the agency should have stepped forward to assist the family when the boys molested the other child.

It's just heart breaking all around. I pray this family is able to recover and move forward and that these boys receive the appropriate help with their problems. Clearly they came to the U.S. with their own suffering, pain and abuse.

Grand Rapids, MI

#14 Jan 14, 2008
"PCD" please accept my sympathy. Both your story and the original one are tragic for all involved.
But not for a minute do I fault either family for adopting from Russia "instead of" the US. ALL children deserve families and loving homes, regardless of their country of origin. But not all people can provide what every child needs.
Everyone involved in these families is a victim--the boys are victims of their birth families and native countries (and PCD's foster-adopted kids the same), and the family members here are obvious victims as well. At some point, each family had to decide who to protect first--and I cannot fault either for deciding to protect the younger children, the more vulnerable ones. I would have done the same. I pity the older children, but perhaps, just perhaps, there is some hope for them now, since their problems have been brought to the attention of the "authorities". I offer my prayers for all involved.
Finally, to anyone seeking to adopt: educate yourselves thoroughly and research adoption agencies thoroughly. Most are wonderful, professional organizations. When adoption works as it is meant to, the rewards are immeasurable.

Chicago, IL

#15 Jan 14, 2008
Anyone who spends the time to read the countless books, articles, and forums on the subject of adoption would have gone into the adoption with eyes wide open. They would have known what agency to use, what questions to ask, what signs to look for, what ages and other factors to consider, and when to say no thanks and move on.

This isn't secret information. It's just that most people are convinced that adoption is so wonderful that they don't bother to do any research.

Adoption is harder than raising your own children, even if you are adopting a newborn baby from the same town. There are a multitude of issues that need to be addressed for the benefit of the child. Going into it blind, thinking you're going to be someone's savior, is a recipe for disaster.
Sammy and Sally

Dunnellon, FL

#16 Jan 14, 2008
My husband and I were seriously considering adopting. We have two biological children and would like to adopt, but this has scared us both. We've changed our minds.

Martin, TN

#17 Jan 14, 2008
Sammy and Sally - Adoption is wonderful. Just be smart about it. I personally think that older child adoption can be a wonderful thing. If we had been older with no other children in the home then adopting an older sibling group would have been fine. If you have children in your home already, then try to adopt children younger than they are. Alot of families dont want to "foster adopt" but I think that is a wonderful thing - it allows you to truly get to know children and their behaviors before they are a permanent part of your family.
Also, there are so many children who are waiting in orphanages overseas, just be smart. We were incredibly blessed and lucky - our first two children were absolute dreams come true (and were adopted as an infant and toddler from Russia). I dont want to discourage anyone from adopting but I did want to respond to the person who claimed that situations "like this" dont happen with children adopted from foster care here in the US. They do, all the time, but no one wants to talk about it.

Miami Beach, FL

#18 Jan 14, 2008
I believe that this was wrong to print this story. What about the boys who have been in living in the community. What about their privacy. Everyone knows who they are because of the fact that they came from Russia. Don't they have it bad enough because a family adopted them and then put them back in foster care here. Did they get them any counseling when they arrived here. For heavens sake they were 11 and had dealt with plenty in Russia before even coming here. You don't adopt just because of the way they look. How much time did the parents spend in Russia to get to know the boys? What chance do the boys have now in our foster care program, not much.
BeenThereDoneTha t

Orange Park, FL

#19 Jan 14, 2008
We adopted an older child. We read all the books and knew what to expect. What nobody tells you is how the fallout from that behavior affects your entire family. Our daughter still won't admit she threatened to harm us. She has a long-distance, distant relationship with us, calling when she wants something or is in dire straits. I hope it changes. Some of these kids do well. The few that don't seem to get all the attention.

Stop blaming. Who knows what happened except those involved? The decision to relinquish parental rights was hard enough on these people, as is the nightmare they have to live with. As far as the boys, don't blame them; pity them for having to be themselves. They don't know how to love or trust. What kind of existence is that?

this situation is so sad. I pray for all the families in this situation, whether as a result of a domestic or an overseas adoption.
Alma Boudreaux

Houston, TX

#20 Jan 15, 2008
Bravo to this couple for stepping forward and speaking out. International adoption is not for the feint of heart. Anyone considering this route to making a family should be aware of potential problems.

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