More Court Cases Involving Abused Adopted Children

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[article no longer available] 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.


  1. watchmom3 on April 23, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I do not advocate abuse of children, however, I do believe God’s Word over man’s word and HE says that discipline is good… If you can not understand this, at the very least be careful what you might be speaking against God. (also in scripture)

    • Hermana Linda on April 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Of course I understand the need for discipline. I totally agree that discipline is good. My goal here is to warn against abuse, not discipline.

  2. Zooey on April 22, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    This is so sad…..I have such big feelings about the way that parents are treating their children as enemies, instead of letting them be children.
    The folks who have advocated for this kind of parenting have a lot to answer for with the Lord, IMNSHO.

  3. Melkmeid on April 20, 2013 at 4:43 am

    That is so sad!!! Don’t people realize that these children problems come from violence and neglect!!!
    So they are only continuing to use to very things that caused the problem in the first place!!! (Head banging on wall)

    This is what religion has done to people, nobody thinks for themselves! Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit, not another religion! People wake up!!! Violence doesn’t work, to make people better! It may control the outward behaviour for a time, but it will never touch the heart! (Very Frustrated)

    I’m so tired of people calling themselves christians and by the way they live, it’s more like they are followers of the devil.
    How much do you have to twist and distorted the nature of God, to make this okay!

    Gentle parenting isn’t anti-christian! Using violence and neglect is anti-christian!
    People wake up and remember that God is love! And love isn’t violence or neglect!!!

    Hurtful people are hurting people! They don’t realize how loved they are by Papa(God)!
    This breaks my heart! Wake up, you are loved, loved!!!

    Filled with sorrow,

    • Sarah S on April 20, 2013 at 5:21 am

      What about the little guy, I think it was in Texas? The news is reporting that the police found no foul play involved but it still sounds disturbingly similar to the Lydia Shatz case, he was ‘found’ in the yard collapsed?

      • Hermana Linda on April 20, 2013 at 2:20 pm

        I guess you mean the Williams case. Not sure if I heard about that one. There are so many, I couldn’t possibly discuss each one. 🙁 Rodrick Arrington (Las Vegas) was beaten to death by his step-father and mother in Dec 2012 for lying about reading the Bible but he not adopted and they did not seem to be following any particular teaching. Certainly adversarial parenting was involved.

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