"Re-homing" children like pets

"Re-homing" children like pets

by digby

Sometimes people get a cat or a dog and it just doesn't work with the family. And so they find a home for the animal, hopefully one with people who will love and care for it. But apparently some people are doing this with kids too. Reuters did an expose about this a couple of years ago and it's stuck with me ever since.  So cruel and heartless. And dangerous for these kids, many of whom are basically "sold" to sexual predators who advertise on the internet.

Even knowing all that it's still jarring to read about these situations like this one featuring a Republican politician by the name of Justin Harris in Arkansas. A Christian schoolteacher in his employ was arrested and convicted of raping a 6 year old girl. Harris was said to be horrified to find this out saying the man's reputation was "pristine":

What Harris did not publicly disclose last spring, however, is how Francis came into contact with the 6-year-old victim. In prosecutor documents recently obtained by the Arkansas Times, state police investigators and multiple witnesses concur that the child was in fact the legally adopted daughter of Justin and Marsha Harris.

The Harrises had adopted the girl and her 3-year-old sister through the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). The couple also has three biological sons who are older than the girls. Pictures of the girls appeared on Justin Harris' social media accounts in early 2013 (the images have since been deleted), and Harris announced on Twitter and Facebook on March 6, 2013, that the couple had officially adopted the girls. Because DHS adoptions require an in-home trial period of at least six months prior to papers being signed, the girls likely entered the home no later than September 2012.

And then, something evidently went amiss in the household. For unknown reasons, about six months after the adoption was finalized, the Harrises sent the two girls to live with Eric Francis and his family in Bella Vista.

According to an Arkansas State Police investigative report prepared by Sgt. Kimberly A. Warren dated April 3, 2014, she contacted Crimes Against Children Division Supervisor Terri Ward who advised that "Mr. and Mrs. Harris placed the girls into the care of Eric Francis and his wife Stacy [sic] Francis in October 2013." The report further states that "It was later reported to the Department of Human Services that Mr. and Mrs. Harris had left the children with another family and had basically abandoned them. This incident was reported to the child abuse hotline and the children were interviewed."

After her husband's arrest, Stacey Francis told a state police investigator that she and Eric "met [the girls] through friends of theirs, Justin and Marsha Harris, who were looking for a new adoption plan for themselves ... Stacey Francis reported that she and Eric Francis brought [the girls] into their home with the hopes of being able to adopt them." The Francises already had three older children — two girls and a boy — who were adopted internationally. Stacey Francis said the Harris girls stayed with her and Eric "until February or March of 2014." That means the Harrises left the girls with Eric Francis and his wife even after firing him.

The sexual abuse of the 6-year-old girl came to light only because of a call placed to the state's child maltreatment hotline on Friday, March 28, from an unidentified caller who said the Harrises "gave their adoptive children to a family" and "that family in turn gave the children to another family" and that they had "continued to accept adoption subsidy money even after giving the children away."

I think this is what's known in the trade as "family values."

There's a lot more at the link. And apparently this man is giving a press conference today so perhaps there will be some more news on this creepy case later.