parents behaving badly

TIME reports on that Dutch couple I mentioned last week that dumped their eight-year-old adopted Korean daughter in Hong Kong, citing her failure to "fit in": Can an Adopted Child Be Returned? Seven years ago, Dutch vice consul Raymond Poeteray and his wife Meta, adopted a four-month-old baby, Jade, in South Korea. The couple, who also have two biological children, brought Jade with them to Indonesia and then to Hong Kong, although Poeteray never applied for Dutch nationality for the child. Then, last year, the Poeterays put Jade in the care of Hong Kong's Social Welfare Department, saying they could not longer care for her because of the girl's "emotional remoteness."

Poeteray claims Jade was diagnosed with emotional problems, and despite intensive family therapy, did not seem to improve. He also says Hong Kong social workers advised the family to give her up—a claim that specialists and lawmakers are skeptical of. Sounds like an excuse to me. More excuses:
According to a spokesman from the South Korean consulate in Hong Kong, the family also said that Jade did not adapt to Dutch culture or food. "They said she had not adjusted to a new home, that there were some problems," he says. But some specialists are skeptical of that explanation as well. "My gut feeling is it's just an excuse," says Law Chi-kwong, an associate professor of social work at the University of Hong Kong. "That only happens when the adoption took place when the child is already six or seven years old. It would not happen to a child they raised for several years, raised in the family."

Media reports have raised questions about just how well integrated into the family Jade was. The South China Morning Post quoted a babysitter who looked after Jade while the family was in Indonesia as saying that the girl was cared for by nannies. "She was rarely in her mother's arms," the babysitter said. "I also found it strange that she was so quiet." A babysitter told a Dutch newspaper that Poeteray's wife did not treat Jade as a "real daughter."

While it is illegal to abandon a child in Hong Kong, says Law, children are sometimes ceded to the Welfare Department: "if for very difficult reasons, you can't look after a child, you can sign off your rights." Cheung says he believes the Poeteray family is in the process of doing that. "From what I understand," he says, "they're ready to relinquish their rights to the child."
To me, this family basically discarded Jade like puppy they just couldn't handle. It sounds like they didn't exactly make the effort to integrate her into the family in the first place. I don't care what kind of emotional problems they had to deal with—parenting is hard, but you don't just dump a kid when things aren't perfect. Parents everywhere have had to deal with worse, and they've stuck it out. When you become a parent, adopted or otherwise, you enter into a covenant to care for and protect that child. Shame on you, Raymond and Meta.

While we're on the topic of bad parenting... A woman in Indianapolis was arrested last week on charges of killing her adopted Korean daughter: His wife didn't kill baby, says Sheridan woman's husband. Investigation revealed that Chaeli Kyrie (born Hei Min Chung) suffered fatal brain trauma due to the whiplashing effects of shaken baby syndrome. Her mother, Rebecca Kyrie, is basically accused of shaking her to death. She charged with murder, battery resulting in death, neglect of a dependent resulting in death and aggravated battery. More here: Woman Charged With Killing Adopted Korean Child

And because I feel ending this post on the biggest downer possible... here is some news that left me absolutley disgusted and angry: O.C. woman guilty of molesting girl. has been convicted of repeatedly molesting a 4-year-old girl with her husband in a case that unfolded after authorities discovered a trunk full of homemade child porn movies in the couple's home. It's absolutely sickening. Read the story if you want the details. I'm done.

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