I have been watching 2 very sad cases in the news since October 2012. I have not mentioned them before now because neither of them seem to be following any particular extreme teaching. They are both about Christian adoptive parents who apparently tried to control their adoptive children using adversarial parenting and corporal punishment and ended up almost killing them and are now being tried for abuse.
The first case is the case of Douglas and Kristen Barbour in Franklin Park, PA. He is a Deputy Attorney General. They are accused of abusing and starving their 2 children adopted from Ethiopia. They recently regained custody of their biological children. There was mention in this article of their defense lawyer saying that they “did their best to cope with the children’s extraordinary needs.” Update: They were going to do a deposition of the 5 year old but decided against it.
The other case is the case of the Russel and Mona Hauer. The Hauers live in North Mankato, MN. It appears that their adversarial parenting caused them to starve their 8-year-old adopted son. They took him to the hospital severely malnourished and weighing only 35 lbs. Part of this was because of existing problems the boy had and part was their failure to get help and their way of trying to control the situation. In a news story published today, I see that their parental rights over this child have been terminated. There is a quote in this story which I find very interesting:
[The judge] said the Hauers failed to follow professional advice on services he needed and how to address behavioral challenges. He also faulted them for their “aversion to traditional health care beliefs and practices,” and said their “highly moralistic” efforts to correct his behavior were the opposite of what he needed.
This very much suggests to me that there is Christian corporeal punishment and adversarial parenting involved so I decided that it was time to at least bring these to your attention. I will continue to update this post as seems appropriate.
I should probably mention poor little Rodrick Arrington in Las Vegas here. He was not adopted, but it was his step father who beat him to death while his mother helped. I’m very unsure of this case, but certainly adversarial parenting and corporeal punishment came into play. But then, they do in all abuse cases and there are hundreds every year. 🙁 The purpose of this blog is not to discuss undisputed abuse. It is to discuss abusive teachings which many loving and sane parents are not recognizing as abuse and to give Biblical arguments against such teachings. That is why this post is categorized as “blog.” Because it is technically off topic and does not quite fit into any of my categories. Although, I admit that I’m seeing a grey area and might end up changing my mind about that at some point. I just don’t see anyone defending any of these abuse cases or denying that is is abuse, except the defendants and their lawyers.