Those great adoptive homes

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Those great adoptive homes

Postby Momoffor » Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:44 pm

This is a local news story:

September 29, 2008 - 2:30pm

LUSBY, Md. - Human remains found in a freezer in a Maryland home may be those of two children, police say.
Calvert County sheriff's deputies say they found the bodies Saturday in Lusby as they were investigating a report of an injured child.

The injured child had escaped from her adopted mother, Renee Bowman, and been found by investigators. Authorities say the 7-year-old girl showed signs of extreme abuse and neglect.

When officers searched Bowman's home for evidence of the abuse, they found the remains of two other girls in the basement freezer. Bowman, 43, allegedly told investigators the remains had been in the freezer since she moved from Rockville to Lusby in February.

Montgomery County Police Officer Melanie Brenner said authorities are investigating whether the deaths took place in Rockville. It is not clear how the children might have died.

The surviving girl who escaped apparently jumped out a second-story window. Bowman admitted to beating her with a "hard-heeled shoe," according to officers.

Bowman is being held without bond at Calvert County Detention Center on first degree child abuse charges.

A spokesman for D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty tells WTOP Bowman adopted three girls out of foster care in the District. The Mayor's Office is investigating if all adoption procedures were followed by the D.C.'s Child and Family Services Department.

The girls would have been 11 and 9 years old if they were still alive. It is believed the 7-year-old who escaped and the 9-year-old were sisters.

(Copyright 2008 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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Postby Momoffor » Mon Sep 29, 2008 1:13 pm

The news just reported that she was/is getting $2,600 a month for the girls to raise them.

That was what she got after they had been adopted!!!


Postby MaggieC » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:21 am

There is absolutely no oversight. Dear God in heaven, those poor children.

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Postby Marina » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:43 pm ... 02032.html

Secrecy on Adoptions Understandable -- and Wrong

By Marc Fisher
Sunday, October 5, 2008; Page C01

When two children -- two adopted children -- end up dead in a block of ice hidden in their mother's freezer, the entire child welfare apparatus flies into a panic.

Almost immediately after the news broke about the gruesome case of Renee Bowman and her children, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty called a news conference to say that the city had done no wrong (the family lived in Maryland, but the children had been adopted in the District). The Baltimore-based agency that cleared Bowman to adopt dropped into a defensive crouch from which it has yet to emerge. And social workers braced for another round of outraged cries for heads to roll.

It sure looks like someone messed up. You might think that the people charged with investigating Bowman before she adopted one child in 2001 and two others in 2004 should have known and raised alarms about facts such as these: Bowman was convicted of threatening bodily harm to a 72-year-old motorist just two years before the first adoption; she may have had an abusive mate; she filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001; she described her childhood to friends as akin to that of "an abused dog"; and her own mother had been a homeless wanderer of the city's streets.

Now we learn that Maryland's social services agency got a complaint accusing Bowman of child neglect last January, sent a caseworker to the house and concluded that everything was fine -- "clean and appropriately furnished," though with a funky smell that was attributed to mildew.

Still, it is possible, as Fenty and some adoption advocates argue, that everyone did their jobs, that Bowman passed every screening, and that whatever went horribly wrong in her life happened only after she had adopted the children.

The problem is, we can't know. And the fact is, it is our business.

In the reflexively privacy-obsessed world of adoptions, it is somehow an imposition if the public wants to know where the state's wards end up, who is collecting the stipends taxpayers shell out to encourage adoption and how all that money is being spent. We know best, social workers say.

But anytime public money is involved, it's the public's job to demand oversight and accountability, and the only road to that goal is transparency.

I met Adam Pertman many years ago when he was a foreign correspondent for the Boston Globe. After experiencing the joys and frustrations of adoption, he left the news business to advocate for those who give that loving gift of parenthood. Now, as director of the Adoption Institute, he understands both instincts: the newsman's passionate belief that sunshine is the best medicine, and the adoption world's embrace of secrecy to protect children and grant adoptive parents the same rights birth parents enjoy.

When he trains social workers, Pertman tells them: "Your secrets don't do you any good. The only time you get in the news is when someone dies, and it's because you won't give out any information."

The roots of that secrecy lie in the not-so-distant past, when adoption carried a powerful stigma. "This is a whole institution built on stigma and secrecy and shame," Pertman says, "on people being told to lie for the rest of their lives. You didn't tell your children they were adopted. Amazingly, we got to the other side, and adoption is no longer anything to be ashamed or embarrassed about. But the remnants of that era of secrecy are profound."

Executives at the Board of Child Care, the Methodist church-affiliated agency that investigated Bowman's suitability for adoption, would not talk to me. The top boss didn't even return my call. The reflex is to circle the wagons and board up the windows.

page 2

Luckily, some see that public trust is essential. Janice Goldwater, who runs Adoptions Together, a private agency in Silver Spring not connected to the Bowman case, opened her files so I could see how exhaustively her social workers investigate families being considered as adoptive parents.

Adoptive parents tell me they feel as if they've had a colonic irrigation of their finances, family history and even their sex lives. Social workers interview friends, relatives and co-workers; examine tax, criminal and credit records; and ask about religion, guns, drugs and corporal punishment. Families are rejected if they are likely to spank the child, keep unlocked guns in the house or put the child to sleep on a bunk bed or sofa bed.

And somehow a Renee Bowman gets through. How? The pathetic truth is that people inside the system already know that answer, but the rest of us might never know.

The legacy of secrecy lives on. Goldwater, who has an adopted child as well as three birth children, was appalled to see that her adopted child's birth certificate was rewritten to show Goldwater and her husband as the birth parents, a deception that fools no one.

Goldwater and Pertman are both wary of making adoption records public, even in a case that ends in an awful crime. Once an adoption has been completed, they argue, the parents should have the same rights as a birth parent.

But the public has an obligation to children who were placed by the government. Bowman, for example, received $2,400 a month in federal money to defray the cost of raising her three children. In the current system, there is no way to see if that money is being spent as intended.

"There are sound, competent professionals doing this work," Goldwater says. "We have to show people that, not hide anytime something bad happens."

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Postby Marina » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:04 pm ... type=Daily

In wake of freezer discovery, DC considers checks on adoptive parents

Associated Press
October 9, 2008

WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia may start requiring families who receive adoption subsidies to provide proof that the children are being cared for following the deaths of two girls who were one-time D.C. foster children, the head of the city’s child welfare agency said Wednesday.


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Postby Marina » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:40 pm ... =21746&z=3

DCF blamed for house fire

Neighbor rescues family from fire
Friday, September 19, 2008

Originally posted on: Monday, September 22, 2008 by Ryan Hughes
Last updated on: 9/22/2008 6:29:44 PM

BONITA SPRINGS: A nurse says the Florida Department of Children and Families is to blame after fire broke out at the home of a wheel chair-bound amputee - the caregiver for two children.

Nurse Pat Belanger says the fire could have been prevented if DCF had listened to her warnings.

"I can only say when I found out about this fire, and the children were home, I was absolutely devastated," Pat Belanger said. "This situation, as a medical professional, needed immediate action."

Belanger says she called DCF two weeks before fire broke out inside Rosa Patino's home on Oakland Drive in Bonita Springs.

"The living conditions were deplorable - absolutely deplorable. She needed help desperately. I felt the children needed to be in a safe environment," said Belanger.

Patino was severely burned in the fire last week and is now in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital. Her two adopted children made it out safely.

Belanger says she just wishes more could have been done.

"As God is my witness, I felt the ball was dropped. I'm upset about that," she said.

DCF Spokeswoman Erin Gillespie says a caseworker visited the Patino home after a complaint in August.

"There are plenty of people in this world who have physical limitations, who are very good caregivers of children. You can't look at a physical limitation and say they can't take care of children - that's ludicrous," said Gillespie. "How do you suggest we prevent fires? That's a question."

Gillespie could not disclose information about cases the agency handles because Florida law prevents it from becoming public.

She says DCF handles about 600 investigations in Lee County every month.

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Postby eyeq181 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:44 pm

WTF. There should be no money given to adopting a child. When you have a child the government don't cut you a check. Would she have adopted them if she didn't get a check. Isn't the purpose for this is to have a child. Children are not animals and should not be bought like in a pet store. I am so glad I did a private adoption years ago, at least I know that this stuff will never happen to that child. That lady needs to be put out among her peers and stoned. That is some unforgivable stuff to take some innocent childs life for a paycheck.
Parents spend so much time teaching our kids not to go with strangers or talk to strangers, and no to show your body to strangers. And this is what CPS-DHS is all about.

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Postby Momoffor » Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:14 am

the wierd thing about this whole case is on the local news the guy who found the little girl wandering around said she told him about her daddy and there were very FEW articles that made reference to a father, only when neighbors stated they never saw any kids in the house, just a man and a woman who moved in.

There has been no mention in the articles who this man is, and if knew about or was around when the girls were killed and if he knew about.was around the girl who was being beaten and starved. He HAD to have been.

Its very confusing what role the 'man' plays in the whole scenario as he isnt mentioned other than in passing.

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