Should parents who adopt a child be allowed to unadopt them if they discover mental disabilities later? A Virginia couple has done just that. In 2003, the 12 year old boy they adopted sexually molested a 6-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl still in diapers. At that time, case workers revealed the medical records of the 12 year old boy. The records were shocking. They revealed that the boy's biological parents were drug addicted alcoholics who abused him. The records also indicated that the boy had been hospitalized seven times in psychiatric institutions and diagnosed as possibly psychotically bipolar. The couple claims that the social worker did not reveal this information, and if they had known they would have never adopted the young man. The deciding factor to unadopt was when psychologists informed them that he was a "sexual predator." This meant that the couple could not have their three grandchildren in their home nor could they continue to be foster parents. They were forced to choose between their grandchildren and foster children or their adopted son.
In the state of Virginia, if the child is older than 14 the child must give consent for a parent to terminate their parental rights. The young man won't consent, he wants this couple to be his parents forever. Can you feel my heart breaking? I have mixed emotions about this situation. First, I believe that the couple should have been told about the boy's mental state. Second, I believe that you are a mother and father for life. You take the good and the bad with your child, right? I'm not judging this couple none of us know what's in store for us when we commit to parenthood, but how do you tell your child that you no longer want them. This had to be a difficult decision for any mother. If my son was seen as a sexual predator, and I had grandchildren and other children in the home would I have made the same decision? Yes, I believe I would have chosen to unadopt him as well.
This is not the first court case to unadopt a child. The first was in 1986. An Ohio couple was told the 16-month-old they adopted was a healthy infant born to a teenage mother. When it was determined later the child had a fatal disease and displayed mental disorders, the parents discovered he was born to two middle-age mental patients. I'm sure this happens often there are so many children waiting to be adopted. Is this deception? In my opinion yes. This is information that would influence a couple's decision to adopt. It certainly would be a major factor in my decision to adopt.
The state of Virginia has relieved the couple of their custodial rights only, they must pay $427.00 per month in child support and cover any court costs that may be incurred by the boy in the future. The state has placed the boy in foster care. The couple don't believe they should have to pay child support, and they are looking to politicians to help them out. They believe they were deceived. What's the chances of this young man growing up to be a productive human being? How many children will he harm when he's on his own? What will be his attitude toward women in the future? What does the future hold for the two children that he's already molested? What a heartbreaking story.