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  1. #1
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    OR - Angelica Swartout charged in death of newborn, Springfield, 18 Oct 2010

    This story surprises me, not because of the crime. That's tragic, as always. No, I'm surprised that I could be so immersed in the world of adoption in Oregon for 18 years and never hear of this family. 70 siblings? I guess the lesson here is to pay close attention to relatives and friends who are pregnant, especially those with a drug habit. Watch carefully and enlist all the help you can.

    May the little one rest in peace.

    http://theworldlink.com/news/state-a...cc4c002e0.html

    Police will search landfill for baby’s body

    "Springfield [OR] police say they plan to search a landfill today, looking for the body of a baby boy they say was killed by his mother and left in a trash bin.

    Angelica May Swartout, 23, of Springfield has been charged with aggravated murder in the case. She was arrested this week.

    Police say Swartout was nine months pregnant in October, but told family members her baby died at birth. When no record of the baby's birth or death was found, police were notified. An investigation showed that Swartout gave birth on Oct. 18. Police allege the newborn was killed that same day...."

    more at link


    And:

    http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms...aby-family.csp

    Woman, 23, accused of killing her infant son

    "SPRINGFIELD — Angelica Swartout grew up with several dozen brothers and sisters who, like her, were adopted by a Springfield couple who turned an old church on 21st Street into their home.

    But when it came time in October for the 23-year-old Swartout to become a mother, Springfield police say, she murdered her newborn son and disposed of his body in a trash bin while working alone at the front desk of a Gateway area motel.

    Now, family members — whose doubts about Swartout’s original story regarding the baby’s death led to her arrest on Wednesday — say they want nothing more than to find her son’s body and give him a proper burial...."

    more at link

  2. #2
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    all I can say is WOW. Several dozen siblings . . . 70 siblings? WTH?! What is the IRS cutoff for dependents? How does one afford so many kids? Any privacy for these kids? This is just WRONG!
    ~ krimekat ~
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  3. #3
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    Respectfully, I wouldn't go so far as to say it is wrong. It's merely unique. We have a very large adoptive family (we have 14 children) and I've worked with many others far larger than ours. Often times, families will adopt for decades and yet only have 10 or so children at home at any given time. I know of a family such as this in Central Oregon but they have a different name. I just did some research and found no "human interest" stories about this family. Actually, that's the greatest news possible. Large and/or unique families suffer under the glare of lights.

    There is no such thing as a an IRS or any governmental cut-off or restriction on size of families. This is America, after all. And most very large families specialize in adopting children who are waiting, part of a sibling group, of color, or who have special needs. These children are entitled to adoption subsidies and medical care by federal mandate.

    Meth addiction can certainly happen in any size family. My heart goes out to the family.

  4. #4
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    They are going to resume looking for little Lucias body tomorrow.

    Meanwhile the poor family. They want to at least be able to bury this poor little guy. Also family members are obviously trying to come to some sort of terms with this. It's apparent Angelica was loved. Is loved.




    http://www.katu.com/news/111703314.html

  5. #5
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    OMG I have no sympathy for this woman, and don't understand the family's support and love for her. She needs a quick kick in the rear.

    Swartout went into labor and delivered a baby boy in an employee washroom at the Crossland Economy Studios in Springfield. The affidavit says she wrapped the live baby in a dirty bed sheet from the laundry room, and smothered him until she was sure he was dead. Police said she then disposed of the body in the dumpster outside of the motel.

    This child was born well and alive. How does a mother do that?

    I hope she gets the stiffest penalty law will allow.

    MOO

    Mel

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by krimekat View Post
    all I can say is WOW. Several dozen siblings . . . 70 siblings? WTH?! What is the IRS cutoff for dependents? How does one afford so many kids? Any privacy for these kids? This is just WRONG!
    That was my first thoughts too after reading about an infant that was murdered and about a loving family who are beside themselves this has happened. Yep, I wondered what the cutoff was for dependents.

    Casey Anthony had alot of privacy. She was one of two children only. Her little baby doll was an only child.

    Prayers for the entire Swartout family.

  7. #7
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    70? OMG!

    Only six family members showed up for court. 6 out of 70?

    I wouldnt think it possible to raise that many children without making children raise other children. I also would wonder what motivates a couple to take on that many children.

    This is wrong. 70 children in one house isnt a home it is an orphange. I hope they check these people taxes and affairs

    They are hoarding children. You cant even have that many pets and those need less time and money then children. I think I am in shock over this really.

  8. #8
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    Soulmagent--Before you jump to conclusions, please realize that this family has adopted for decades. They do not have 70 children at home. There are far more specialized large adoptive families than most people realize. After we raised our 14, the state kept approaching us. If I hadn't gotten sick, I'm certain that we'd still be adopting. Tragedies occur in any sized family.

    The issue here is that a baby was murdered. The family, IMO, did what any loving family would do. They watched this young woman and reported the situation when things didn't add up. As to how this woman committed this act, I can't fathom it but I'm sure drugs played a huge part.

    My heart goes out to all of them. I am praying that baby Lucias can have a proper burial.

  9. #9
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    This thread bothered me all last night. I feel drawn to use this as a "teachable moment". Many people have a negative knee jerk reaction to very large adoptive families. I've heard it all. They are baby hoarders. They are doing it for attention/fame/the money. There are surely bad apples out there but the vast majority of the very large (over 10 children) families who I've worked with love children and love their lives. Just as teaching or ER medicine is not for everyone, neither is this life. But thank God for the ones who choose it. They are not saints, they are not martyrs. They are not crazy (although, that's up for debate, in my case LOL). They are just parents.

    Each family is unique and each family makes the decision as to how many children to have. With a birth family, that decision is typically between just two people--the parents. However, with large adoptive families, the decision includes the parents, judges, caseworkers, doctors, therapists, and the schools. A huge amount of work goes into choosing a family who is the right fit for a child. It is truly a lifestyle and many parents who find that they have success with children--especially hurting and special needs children--will be used as a resource by counties and the state for decades. After all, they've got the system all figured out. They have their routines, their connections, their resources, their coping mechanisms. They can hit the ground running. They know the police chief's home number and how to get hold of a surgeon or the DA on a Sunday afternoon.

    I agree that large adoptive families are unique. They have many differences from a small to medium sized biologically related family. They are even very different than biologically related large families--usually because they contain many children with various special needs. The successful families build a milieu setting and work with behavioral specialists and therapists. They are the front line but they have to accept working as a team. There might be 8 bedrooms and a dining room table set for 20 but the parents will almost always work very hard at creating a sense of safety and normalcy for their children. I know that we did.

    Unless you've lived in this world, it's hard to imagine juggling birthday parties with trauma assessment, constant medical emergencies with soccer practice, and bedtime stories and prayers which look like a Kindergarten class. But there is love, dedication and permanency in the best. One of the ironies of traumatized children is that if they are given the level of love and attention available in a small family, they would blow out of there in a heartbeat. They need space. They need time. They need experienced and dedicated parents who have seen it all and who refuse to give up. They have nothing to give back, often for years, and they need parents who need nothing back.

    Please try not to judge families by their size or any other "ruler". Each is special and it all comes down to love and commitment.

    Thanks guy, off my wobbly little soap box.

    So, let's focus on the fact that a little baby boy died before he had a chance to live. I am so hopeful his tiny body can be found.

  10. #10
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    Not judging the family, just doubting the effectiveness of parenting when there are so many dependents!
    ~ krimekat ~
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missizzy View Post
    Soulmagent--Before you jump to conclusions, please realize that this family has adopted for decades. They do not have 70 children at home. There are far more specialized large adoptive families than most people realize. After we raised our 14, the state kept approaching us. If I hadn't gotten sick, I'm certain that we'd still be adopting. Tragedies occur in any sized family.

    .
    I agree. My husband and I have adopted three children from the state who are all siblings. While we were looking to adopt, there were sibling sets of up to 8 kids looking for families....so at that rate, its easy to see how an adoptive family can have so many children, though as you pointed out...not at the same time (70). Sometimes the sibling sets can have a child as old as 17 in them, and so they dont stay home for long, and in a few years, the adoptive family has more room...etc, etc.....


    RIP McStays

  12. #12
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    I personally think the people who adopt this many children should be praised not judged. They cared enough to give a loving HOME to 70 kids who may never have had it if they didnt.

    I dont think that has anything to do with the baby being killed. There was a girl here who is an only child who killed her baby and left it in the back seat of her car for several days.

    Meth is a horrible drug that has ruined so many familys. Mine included and I sure dont have 70 kids. This isnt about adoption. Its about a young girl with problems. JMO
    GREAT MOUNTAINS OF HAPPINESS GROW OUT OF TINY HILLS OF KINDNESS

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by the seeker View Post
    I agree. My husband and I have adopted three children from the state who are all siblings. While we were looking to adopt, there were sibling sets of up to 8 kids looking for families....so at that rate, its easy to see how an adoptive family can have so many children, though as you pointed out...not at the same time (70). Sometimes the sibling sets can have a child as old as 17 in them, and so they dont stay home for long, and in a few years, the adoptive family has more room...etc, etc.....
    I tend to think just because the child turns 18 doesnt mean that is the end of the job. Most can move out at 18 and return to a lifestyle as the one they left. The same lack of family devotion feelings of defeat return as an adult and maybe more so because for lact of a better term the rug is gone and no one is coming to put one back. How does an adoptive family care for the needs of grown /fostered out children where is the support system to break the cycles?

    I mean no disrespect at all. I know you guys would do anything in you power to prevent children for suffering even for a minute but with familys that large I dont see how and person would get the parental support most people need for a successful life beyound childhood.

    I dont have parental support nor have I ever but I do believe it is needed more now than when I was a kid.

  14. #14
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    I fully and whole-heartedly agree that young adults (and even adults into their 30s) require and can benefit from family support. That's the wonderful thing about adoption. Foster care ends at age 18, adoption is forever. That's why society and our national budget benefit from every single finalized adoption. Studies have shown (PM me if you'd like the links) that children who "age out" of foster care are far more likely to get pregnant, drop out of school, get involved with crime and/or drugs, and be sent to prison. Why? Primarily because they do not have a safety net. They lose their moral compass at age 18--just when they need it most.

    Almost every child who has their parental rights terminated has some sort of special need--just by merit of being in the system and in an out of home placement. Just because a child is cherished by their new adoptive family, however, does not erase their genetics. Adoptive families know this all too well. Out of our 14, sadly we have lost four to the streets. They might come back. They might not. We've also had unbelievable successes, however. The reason I responded so viscerally to this case is that this young woman could be my daughter. My daughter was trafficked. She's done drugs. She has a developmental disability and has a tremendously hard time making good choices. Does this mean that I don't love her or weep for her? Of course not.

    Interestingly enough, I think that highly experienced families who know how to get services and work the system are actually excellent with young adults who need help. I spend my days helping my special needs adult children apply for services, housing, reduced cost medication, how to figure out the bus system, the telephone, the library, etc. They will never live a totally independent life. But they will always have their father and me and their siblings available to go to court, to the doctors office, to the caseworker's office. To make some sense out of this confusing world. They can depend on that.

    People who adopt special needs children have high hopes but they also see the writing on the wall. They dream of success and a healthy, independent adult. However, the most they might be able to hope for is letters from the state prison. But that is something. It's far better than a child growing into an adult who is alone in the world. Someone cares, that's the most important issue of all.

    IMO, that's why this family worked with LE and traced down the facts about this baby's expected due date that came and went. They'll be there through thick or thin. And how do we do it? It's our primary job--loving and caring for and raising children born to others who we make somehow, inexplicably...our own.

  15. #15
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    I can only admire a woman and her two (not at the same time) husbands who would take in and raise so very many children. There is such a need out there for a soft place for the unloved, unwanted or abused youngsters of the world. I am glad that her family has brought this to light. I am saddened by this young woman's behavior, I am angry that she could do this to her own infant. Unfortunately a womb does not make you a good candidate for motherhood, and pregnancy does not automatically instill a maternal instinct.

    RIP sweet unnamed little one. These cases are heartbreaking but I do not think the young lady coming from a reallly large family of adopted kids is in any way connected to her actions. It sounds as if they loved this young woman, still do, despite her awful act, just as most birth parents would continue to love their child while being shocked and hurt and disappointed by their adult crimes.
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