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  1. #1
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    IA - Gabriel McFarland, 4 mos, dies of head trauma, Des Moines, 22 April 2014



    Just a month ago, he was the new son of an Iowa couple who adopted him at birth from a teenage mother they supported financially and emotionally throughout her pregnancy.

    On Thursday he was found dead, his tiny body lying in a chair, a bottle of milk at his side.

    His 16-year-old mother had changed her mind in March and reclaimed her baby. She had left him in the care of his 17-year-old father, Drew James Weehler-Smith, on Thursday while she ran errands.
    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...#ixzz2zrUD9cRx
    Last edited by Salem; 05-08-2014 at 07:01 PM.
    Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean.
    We are all just trying to make sense of an unimaginable crime.

  2. #2
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    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/sto...death/8047729/

    The child's father was not in the apartment when the mother returned, Halifax said.

    The baby's father, Drew James Weehler-Smith, 17, was charged with the neglect of a dependent person for leaving the baby alone, police said. Additional charges are possible, pending autopsy results, police said.
    Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean.
    We are all just trying to make sense of an unimaginable crime.

  3. #3
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    Oh my! This is beyond sad!

  4. #4
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    Just a month ago, he was the new son of an Iowa couple who adopted him at birth from a teenage mother they supported financially and emotionally throughout her pregnancy.

    On Thursday he was found dead, his tiny body lying in a chair, a bottle of milk at his side.

    His 16-year-old mother had changed her mind in March and reclaimed her baby. She had left him in the care of his 17-year-old father, Drew James Weehler-Smith, on Thursday while she ran errands.
    ================================================== ===

    was that a bottle of milk or formula? Because if it was MILK, not formula, that could have been a problem. Hopefully the teen father knew better than to give a newborn regular milk from the grocery store.
    “Every day that they don’t find something is good for me.“ Billie Dunn

  5. #5
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    How could anyone leave a small, defenseless child alone? The idea of a baby crying and someone not being there to hold them just breaks my heart.
    'Every life has a measure of sorrow, and sometimes this is what awakens us.' - Steven Tyler

  6. #6
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    Typical on how the system works. I think when a child is adopted legally the birth parents should not be able to do anything legally and it should be the child's chose when he/she reaches adult age. So sad for this baby!

  7. #7
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    The infant’s mother had only been gone a few minutes Thursday when a friend phoned her to ask if she trusted Weehler-Smith with Gabriel.

    The friend had just come from the couple’s apartment and saw Weehler-Smith holding the baby.

    It wasn’t clear what alarmed the friend, Halifax said.

    “There’s some kind of history with the father, but we’re not certain of the details,” he told The News.

    The mother asked her friend to go back to the apartment. When the friend got there, she saw the dad driving away


    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...#ixzz2zvWoq3TQ


    I wonder why the friend didn't stay with the baby if she was concerned enough to call the baby's mother after the baby being alone with dad for only a few minutes. I'm not blaming the friend and I can see a teenager possibly being afraid of saying something in front of the dad.




    Such a sad sad case.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by katydid23 View Post
    Just a month ago, he was the new son of an Iowa couple who adopted him at birth from a teenage mother they supported financially and emotionally throughout her pregnancy.

    On Thursday he was found dead, his tiny body lying in a chair, a bottle of milk at his side.

    His 16-year-old mother had changed her mind in March and reclaimed her baby. She had left him in the care of his 17-year-old father, Drew James Weehler-Smith, on Thursday while she ran errands.
    ================================================== ===

    was that a bottle of milk or formula? Because if it was MILK, not formula, that could have been a problem. Hopefully the teen father knew better than to give a newborn regular milk from the grocery store.

    You bring up a good point here katydid', though, I kind of hope this was a case of ignorance and not knowing cows milk could harm the baby-versus maliciousness.

    If milk was given to a 4 month old could something happen in such a short amount of time that would have killed the baby?

    When my son was about 12 mo's he couldn't tolerate cows milk. It would curdle and come right back up. He was 3 or so before he could tolerate cows milk.
    ~JMO~

    A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart. ~Author Unknown


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubby View Post
    You bring up a good point here katydid', though, I kind of hope this was a case of ignorance and not knowing cows milk could harm the baby-versus maliciousness.

    If milk was given to a 4 month old could something happen in such a short amount of time that would have killed the baby?

    When my son was about 12 mo's he couldn't tolerate cows milk. It would curdle and come right back up. He was 3 or so before he could tolerate cows milk.
    I just wondered if the baby might have thrown up and then choked. Especially if he was left alone and/or on his back. Tiny infants can choke very easily.
    “Every day that they don’t find something is good for me.“ Billie Dunn

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubby View Post
    The infant’s mother had only been gone a few minutes Thursday when a friend phoned her to ask if she trusted Weehler-Smith with Gabriel.

    The friend had just come from the couple’s apartment and saw Weehler-Smith holding the baby.

    It wasn’t clear what alarmed the friend, Halifax said.

    “There’s some kind of history with the father, but we’re not certain of the details,” he told The News.

    The mother asked her friend to go back to the apartment. When the friend got there, she saw the dad driving away


    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...#ixzz2zvWoq3TQ


    I wonder why the friend didn't stay with the baby if she was concerned enough to call the baby's mother after the baby being alone with dad for only a few minutes. I'm not blaming the friend and I can see a teenager possibly being afraid of saying something in front of the dad.




    Such a sad sad case.
    Wow. I wonder what she saw him doing. And why would she leave?
    Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean.
    We are all just trying to make sense of an unimaginable crime.


  11. #11
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    The medical examiner has concluded that the baby died of head trauma. It was murder, not an accident. This has to be one of the saddest cases I've ever read. A child was taken from a loving home only to be murdered by his father.

    Four-month-old Gabriel King McFarland died of abusive head trauma, a medical examiner determined.

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/sto...death/8422785/
    all my comments are just my opinion. jmho. moo. etc. etc.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenD View Post
    Typical on how the system works. I think when a child is adopted legally the birth parents should not be able to do anything legally and it should be the child's chose when he/she reaches adult age. So sad for this baby!
    Adoption wasn't yet completed when teenage mother changed her mind.
    Just my opinion

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gxm View Post
    The medical examiner has concluded that the baby died of head trauma. It was murder, not an accident. This has to be one of the saddest cases I've ever read. A child was taken from a loving home only to be murdered by his father.

    Four-month-old Gabriel King McFarland died of abusive head trauma, a medical examiner determined.

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/sto...death/8422785/
    I don't think it's fair to say that he was taken from a loving home, as if to imply that the baby's current home wasn't loving. By all accounts, his mother loved him. She hasn't been charged, and is distraught.

    It's a terrible, terrible thing that happened. But we shouldn't paint the mother with the same brush as the murderer, in my opinion.
    “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.” - Eleanor Roosevelt


    In no way should any of my statements be construed as legal opinion or advice. While I am a lawyer, I am not a verified poster here at WS. The above statement(s) are an expression of my personal opinion, for entertainment purposes only, and copyright.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjenny View Post
    Adoption wasn't yet completed when teenage mother changed her mind.
    I'm confused about this one. Afaik, Iowa law stipulates that a birthmother has 96 hours to change her mind. If there is a clear and compelling reason she may move to reverse/disrupt the adoption no later than 30 days, but the circumstances must be extraordinary. This makes me wonder if there was a legal issue with this adoption from the beginning, thereby allowing the mother to regain custody without a court battle.

    http://adoption.laws.com/iowa-adoption

    http://www.adoptionbirthmothers.com/...laws-by-state/
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  15. #15
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    I used to wonder why some adoptive parents fight so hard to keep the child they are adopting when some loophole sends them back to birth parents. I remember one case it was because the baby was part native American and that takes precedence over legal adoptions. The family had the child for a year or so. I think in the end he was turned over to the birth father.
    My son was adopted and from the second he was placed in my arms my biggest fear was the birth mother changing her mind. In Oregon she had until he was 6 months before the adoption was finalized. Of course, even after the adoption was complete I had fear that something would allow her to take him back.
    My son and his wife are in the process of adopting right now. That is my biggest fear from them as well. After all they have gone through and are going through, to have a baby in their arms and then have it ripped away would be beyond devastating. That is why I am hoping the baby they get is from out of state. They are working with two different agencies. One is a program that places newborns locally and the other is a program that finds homes for African American babies from Louisiana, from extreme poverty situations. I truly hope that is what they find because hoping being further away would make it more difficult to take back the child.
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