As a casual observer of other people’s children, I’ve often pondered why sane moms and dads don’t give the more obnoxious youngsters away.
I figured most parents stick with it because they love their kids and remember their own childhood, which probably included some familial torment.
Also, I assumed, it would be a major legal hassle to dump Junior (and his creepy taxidermy hobby) off on someone else.
I was wrong.
It turns out you can give someone “power of attorney” and they can pretty much take Junior off your hands for good.
“Underground” online forums make it easy.
Or it was easy until Reuters published an article about it. Now Yahoo and Facebook have shut down multiple forums where disgruntled and prospective parents swapped children like used cars, only without having to get the government involved.
The Reuters article is frightening and shows how little oversight there is on “re-homing kids.”
Todd and Melissa Puchalla, from Illinois, adopted an 8-year-old girl from Liberia but decided to give her up due to her severe health and behavioral problems.
Instead of taking her to an orphanage, they listed her on the Internet.
A few weeks later, the girl was living in an Illinois trailer with Nicole and Calvin Eason. No child welfare officials or attorneys were involved, just a notarized document similar to a receipt that is never filed with any agency.
The Easons and the girl, Quita, soon went missing. They left two chained puppies behind.
It turns out authorities had taken away both of Nicole’s biological children because she and Todd have “severe psychiatric problems … with violent tendencies.”
Children accused the couple of sexual abuse.
The only document attesting to the couple’s parenting skills is one they made up to show parents of unwanted kids.
Nicole Eason likes being a mom because it makes her feel important. And getting disruptive kids is cheaper than a real adoption, which can costs tens of thousands of dollars and involves annoying things like rules and regulations.
And there’s tax breaks. Nicole and Todd can legally apply for tax deductions and draw more government benefits.
Nicole Eason spoke to Reuters and described her parenting style:
“Dude, just be a little mean, OK? … I’ll threaten to throw a knife at your ass, I will. I’ll chase you with a hose,” she said. “I won’t leave burns on you. I won’t leave marks on you. I’m not going to send you with bruises to school.”
It’s not all bad though. She will feed and tickle a child when they need it.
Quita, now 21, survived the “nightmare.”
Authorities tracked the Easons to New York and returned Quita to the Puchallas, who still didn’t want her.
Police said no crime had been committed.
Nicole Eason began looking online for another child.
By the time she picked up the new “disruptive” child, a 10-year-old boy, she also had a new man, who would later be sentenced to federal prison for trading child porn. Reuters has that story too.
The Reuters investigation turned up 260 kids being offered by parents on one of several Yahoo groups the Internet giant shut down after being contacted by the news agency.
A Nebraska woman offered an 11-year-old she adopted from Guatemala: “I am totally ashamed to say it but we truly hate this boy.”
Another ad offered a “handsome” Indian boy “obedient and eager to please.”
A 4-year-old Haitian boy was available because his adoptive mom didn’t like that he kissed her 2-year-old biological daughter. “I hate my home because all we do is scream and now I am beginning to feel like a monster,” she wrote.
She got that last bit right.
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