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  1. #1
    belimom's Avatar
    belimom is offline Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~MLK Jr
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    OK - John & Sonja Kluth for starving, abusing 3 adopted kids, Yukon, 2011

    Can these stories get any worse?!? These poor children...

    Sheriff: Three adopted children suffered horrific abuse

    Three adopted children who allegedly suffered burns and were forced to eat pet food lived in "inhumane conditions" and might never fully recover, an Oklahoma sheriff said Thursday.

    "They have been raised worse than dogs," Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards told CNN of the three malnourished juveniles, who are 9, 11 and 15.


    More at http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/02/24/...ex.html?hpt=T2
    And more:

    The complaint alleges the Kluths confined the 15-year-old boy to a plastic dog carrier for two months and deprived him of food.
    Fly high and free, Jhessye ~

    My posts are meant to help think through possibilities and are strictly an additional opinion under circumstances when many points of view need to be considered. I apologize in advance to anyone whose potential involvement is contemplated in error. Please understand that much of what is happening is merely brainstorming during unfortunate events.

  2. #2
    belimom's Avatar
    belimom is offline Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~MLK Jr
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    So this is what gets me.... the money. I wish there was some way for it to be more accountable, such as paying bills, etc, and not just flat out cash. I think this is purely what motivated the Barahonas in Florida.

    bbm

    Originally, the three were foster children in Wisconsin, officials said. The state placed them in the home of the Kluths, who adopted them and were still receiving $1,500 per child per month from Wisconsin after they moved to Oklahoma, Edwards said.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/02/24/...ex.html?hpt=T2
    Fly high and free, Jhessye ~

    My posts are meant to help think through possibilities and are strictly an additional opinion under circumstances when many points of view need to be considered. I apologize in advance to anyone whose potential involvement is contemplated in error. Please understand that much of what is happening is merely brainstorming during unfortunate events.

  3. #3
    belimom's Avatar
    belimom is offline Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~MLK Jr
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    And this (bbm) - and they were STILL allowed to adopt?!?

    The sheriff also said that three biological children of the couple, who are now adults, urged Wisconsin officials to investigate their claims that they were abused while living at home.

    The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families said it could not comment on specific allegations relating to anything that may have happened in that state.

    "Under Wisconsin law the Department is prohibited from providing confidential information as it pertains to specific children," according to Monroe-Kane.

    The Kluths' biological son, Bill, told CNN Oklahoma City affiliate KWTV he was not shocked by the allegations.

    "These people were basically out just for the money. They weren't out for taking care of these kids," he said.
    Fly high and free, Jhessye ~

    My posts are meant to help think through possibilities and are strictly an additional opinion under circumstances when many points of view need to be considered. I apologize in advance to anyone whose potential involvement is contemplated in error. Please understand that much of what is happening is merely brainstorming during unfortunate events.

  4. #4
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    I am just physically ill after reading that. I cannot believe the low bond! Sometimes I think murder is more humane. I take that back...I remember wishing my ex would just kill me and be done with it. Why oh why can't we punish the criminals who abuse children using their own methods?

  5. #5
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    Dang, Sonja can help you buy or sell a house. She's a real estate pro.

    Here's her profile with photograph.





    http://www.trulia.com/voices/profile...on_OK-1448096/

  6. #6
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    "I injoy meeting people and traveling"

    Sitting on my hands......

    I like it here very much...

    I hope the cow Injoys prison!!

  7. #7
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    Here's her FB says she's in Oklahoma.





    http://www.facebook.com/people/Sonja...00000535931045

  8. #8
    belimom's Avatar
    belimom is offline Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~MLK Jr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filly View Post
    Here's her FB says she's in Oklahoma.


    http://www.facebook.com/people/Sonja...00000535931045
    They had moved from WI to OK... STILL getting money from WI for those kids... Ugh.
    Fly high and free, Jhessye ~

    My posts are meant to help think through possibilities and are strictly an additional opinion under circumstances when many points of view need to be considered. I apologize in advance to anyone whose potential involvement is contemplated in error. Please understand that much of what is happening is merely brainstorming during unfortunate events.

  9. #9
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    how do these people get through the 'system' that's supposedly in place to screen adoptive parents?

    and why didn't the adult children make a few phonecalls during the fostering? or maybe they did and 'the agency investigated and found no cause for concern' ...


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by belimom View Post
    They had moved from WI to OK... STILL getting money from WI for those kids... Ugh.
    Oklahoma has a low cost of living. They were able to live well on the amount of money they were getting from WI, especially if groceries provided were dog food.


  11. #11
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    I swear by all things Holy if this does not end I will lose my ever lovin mind. I cannot take even one more story of gross neglect, torture, starvation, beatings, burnings were CPS were ON NOTICE that there could be serious problems and STILL nothing is done.

    I am sick to death of it. I am not one of those posters who gets in the lynch mob mentality demanding heads roll, but I must tell you all, I am quickly heading that direction with CPS all over this country. Enough is enough dammit!
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  12. #12
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    I, too, am appalled. My heart breaks to read of such abuse. I sometimes think we haven't traveled far from Dickens' time when children were chattels. But please allow me to weigh in.

    Once children are adopted there is no oversight per the Child Welfare Act of 1980. An adopted child has the same legal standing as a child born to a family. Adoption stipends--which are paid to the parents but are negotiated considering the child's specific needs follow the child wherever the family moves and a medical card is issued in the state of residence. States continue AAP until age 18, and states can choose whether to extend the payment to age 21 for special needs children. Former President Bush signed a bill into law which will extend all payments through age 21 for special needs children by 2014. The program is federally mandated and funded with a federal "patch" and with a co-pay equal to the current Medicaid co-pay for each state. States' payments are not equalized and there is always pending legislation concerning that issue. Each state has a minimum AAP payment and then there are various ways of determining specialized rates for children with different levels of challenges.

    I have no idea why OK DHS did not investigate when older siblings called. That should have been a waving red flag. FWIW, OK has never had a stellar reputation with the adoption advocates in the US. I'm sad to say that I used to caution anyone from adopting from that state as they had a very poor track record with the children I worked with.

    Representing the adoption community as an adoptive parent and being a long time advocate of appropriate adoption assistance per the federal law, I have to beg to differ that it is "about the money". Evil is evil, plain and simple. Just as some teachers, coaches, and clergy can be evil while others are fabulous, the same goes for adoptive parents. Our family received adoption assistance for all eight of our special needs children through their 21st birthday and it was absolutely necessary to pay for all the therapy, non-covered medical and pharmaceutical expenses, special training, special diets, property damage and specialized respite that our children required. There are many variables in the negotiations. The program allowed my husband and I to parent full time 24 hours per day for 17 years. Adoption assistance can be set at a rate equivalent to but no more than the appropriate foster care payment for a child and their is no means test based on family income. There's no means based test as I fought in Sacramento, Salem and Washington DC along with my co-advocates for over five years on this issue alone. The federal mandate is clear. It states that all financial disincentives SHALL be removed from the action of adopting a waiting or special needs child. Shall be...

    The program was designed as an incentive to move 100s of thousands of children out of foster care and into permanent homes as it was proven by study after study (check with me if you'd like links) to cost the American taxpayer 1/7 the cost of foster care, dollar for dollar. The outcome for legally adopted children is also far brighter than for children who age out of foster care taking into consideration education, crime, teen pregnancy, and drug use.

    As I stated above, once a child is adopted the child is treated the same as a birth child legally and there is no oversight and no accounting--only a yearly re-certification of need. For facts about the incredible success of the AAP program, please check out the North American Council on Adoptable Children site for fact sheets:

    http://www.nacac.org/

    http://www.nacac.org/adoptionsubsidy...onsubsidy.html (an excellent overview of the program)

    My prayers are with those children tonight. It always cuts me to the quick to hear that an adoptive family has committed vile acts. This is my chosen life and has filled my life with incredible joy and fulfillment.
    Last edited by Missizzy; 02-25-2011 at 03:19 AM.

  13. #13
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    As always Missizzy, I appreciate your "inside" view given you by your life's experience. I do not think we are frustrated with all fosters or adoptors, nor do I think we believe that all fosters or adoptors are in in for a payday. But in cases such as this, it does appear that money may well have been a part of the, not motive, per se, but incentive. Aubusers do not need a paycheck to be abusive. They would have done it for free, saldy. But it is very frustrating and upsetting to know that these aminals were PAID for their abuse of these children, by an agency which was not overseeing properly.

    I understand that after adoption there is not really meant to be oversight. What concerns me is where was the oversight prior to adoption? Where was the oversight when these children were wards of the state an shoved into the lion's den? These children should never have made it to the point where there was no oversight! These parents never should have reached the point of approval. I got the impression that the adult children attempted to avert this, knowing full well their parents were simply plucking their next victims from the system. Unfortuately - their pleas for their bio parents to be investigated fell on deaf ears.

    I am bone tired. Soul tired of reading these stories over and over and over. It must be stopped, somehow, someway, else we end up with more damaged children and homes such as yours who are willing to take and love all these damaged kids are few and far between.
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  14. #14
    belimom's Avatar
    belimom is offline Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~MLK Jr
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    Missizzy, thanks for all the info. I agree that it's not always about the money, but I do believe in some cases, there's obviously a motivator other than love. Especially when these children were fed dog food, kept in dog crates, and tortured/abused. And when the Barahonas adopted special needs kids (even more $$$) and then abused them and even killed one.

    I have some friends who have adopted through the foster system and they are the most loving and giving people you'd ever meet. But I just don't think that's always the case.

    We have an adopted child, but she did not come from the foster system. Adoption is a beautiful thing. People tell us how lucky she is that we adopted her, and it makes me angry b/c we're the lucky ones to have her.
    Fly high and free, Jhessye ~

    My posts are meant to help think through possibilities and are strictly an additional opinion under circumstances when many points of view need to be considered. I apologize in advance to anyone whose potential involvement is contemplated in error. Please understand that much of what is happening is merely brainstorming during unfortunate events.

  15. #15
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    Belimom and tlcox--Thank you. I know we've been caring and engaged parents to our children but of course I realize that their are horror stories. And believe me when I say I cringe when I read these stories as this is my life. I imagine the same response happens to clergy, teachers, and coaches when one of their own is accused.

    I cannot figure out how this couple got past the front door of the agency. I believe they adopted in Wisconsin and each state has a period of time one must wait for an adoption to finalize. It's a wise plan as undoing an adoption is heartbreaking. But during that time, especially with a group of siblings, especially with any child with a special need, there should have been extremely close oversight. Even if a family moves prior to an adoption being finalized, the Interstate Compact on Adoption mandates that there shall be courtesy supervision provided by the receiving state. I'm not certain if this couple "played nice" during that time period and then started their appalling behavior or if the states just didn't do their jobs from the beginning. I also wonder if this wasn't a kinship adoption as often rules are bent for such.

    Once the family was established in Oklahoma, however, why were other reports not rolling in concerning the children? This is specifically why most state DHS agencies breathe much easier when older and special needs adopted children are out in the community--school, camps, church, day care, sports, and therapy. The more eyes on, the better.

    Because I realized these concerns early on, we had an open door policy. If you were a worker and wanted to talk, come on in. In fact, we used to invite workers to our home and to meet us at the park. We also never had blinds or curtains in our home. We lived in a large home on a large lot on a hillside but we wanted the world to know that we had nothing to hide. We never isolated ourselves. Go to Ashland today and anyone could point out where the L's lived, where the kids went to school, and plenty of details about each child. My philosophy is that if you choose this lifestyle, you'd better be comfortable with a total lack of privacy.

    Back in the early 2000s, counties and states offered "warm lines" for adoptive and foster families in crisis and there were vibrant and active support groups. Sadly, many of these things have faded away due to budget cuts. IMO, just like with all child abuse, we have to figure out a way for families to seek help if they are headed down that path and wish to stop. Sadly, this couple probably wouldn't have sought that help however.

    I do agree that once a family begins receiving AAP (which can total a generous amount with specialized rates for siblings), it is much harder for a family to say, "I can't do this anymore". Much harder. Abuse like this is a slippery slope. Once it starts, it's very hard to get it stopped. People believe (often rightly so) that if they complain, if they ask for help, they will lose their children. They also are terrified of the abuse to date being discovered.

    It's like a freight train and the children are the ultimate victims.

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