MOUNT VERNON — A boy of about 12 has post-traumatic stress disorder because of the way his adoptive family treated him, a mental health therapist testified Wednesday.
Larry and Carri Williams adopted the boy from Ethiopia in 2008, along with a girl believed to be older than him. Three years later, the girl, Hana, collapsed in the family’s Sedro-Woolley backyard and died, reportedly of hypothermia hastened by malnutrition and a stomach infection.
The Williamses are each charged with homicide by abuse and first-degree manslaughter in Hana’s death, and first-degree assault in connection with alleged abuse of her brother. They have pleaded not guilty.
Wednesday was the third day of testimony in the trial, and the sole witness was Dr. Julia Petersen, a mental health therapist from Seattle Children’s Hospital. Petersen works exclusively with children who, like her, are deaf or hard of hearing.
He started meeting with Petersen in December, when he had been in foster care for more than a year. One of the goals of those sessions was to address behavioral problems his foster parents reported, including tantrums and opposition.
Petersen said the boy fit the diagnostic criteria for acute PTSD based in part on his nightmares about being physically harmed and the fact he was constantly afraid of making mistakes or expressing himself lest he be “punished.” His behavior problems would come up when his PTSD was triggered, she said.
He said multiple times in therapy sessions he felt like he wasn’t supposed to talk about what happened in the Williams home, but that he didn’t want to go back there, Petersen said.
“The issue of safety came up a lot,” Petersen said through a sign-language interpreter. She noted she tried to let him know he would be “protected in what he told me.”
Discipline the boy experienced in the Williams home, plus seeing Hana in pain and dying, is traumatic enough to lead to PTSD, Petersen said. The boy’s experiences in Ethiopia and in foster care do not appear to be the reason for it, she said.
Defense attorney Rachel Forde, who represents Larry Williams, questioned that conclusion.
“Hypothetically speaking, (your patient) being abandoned by his parents and left in a field, rescued by police and dropped off in an orphanage — in a hypothetical where those things are true, it’s your belief that those just made (him) sad?” she asked Petersen.
The boy never said he was abandoned or expressed anxiety or fear over that experience — just sadness and grief, Petersen said.
Forde also asked whether Petersen’s diagnosis would change if the therapist learned some of the boy’s symptoms began when he arrived at the Williams home. The therapist resisted drawing conclusions based on hypotheticals and said she would need to speak to the child, know the context and look at the “big picture.”
Records from Seattle Children’s Hospital show the Williamses brought their adopted son there in 2008, but did not return for the recommended annual follow-up visits.
Also at issue Wednesday was whether two of the biological Williams children will testify. Both plan to assert their Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions on the stand.
Their adopted brother said Monday one of the older boys took part in some of the beatings he described getting in the Williams home. This testimony made that biological son even more wary of speaking in court, his attorney said.
Judge Susan K. Cook has not yet ruled as to whether the biological sons will have to testify. She asked the attorneys for both sides to review case law on the matter and get back to her.
Ethiopia a land of 5 million orphans. Where is mother Ethiopia? “Child body trafficking is a mainstay in the African capital Addis Ababa ” Prof. Muse Tegegne
Ethiopia the land of Queen of Sheba, it was left bankrupt by years of civil war, drought, floods, famine, and disease have pushed many over 5 millions of Ethiopian children are today motherless because their parents are either no longer living or are unable to care for them.
A number of U.S.-based adoption agencies have been authorized by the Government of Ethiopia to provide adoption services, and several others pending accreditation. The government office responsible for adoptions in Ethiopia is the Adoption Team in the Children and Youth Affairs Office (CYAO), which is under the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA). Symbolically the fostering families are required to submit post-placement reports until the child turns 18, very few are respecting them once the got the child.
Adoption from Ethiopia is open to any body while a country like thiland are banning due to chile abuse. Adoptions to both the U.S. and Canada have increased notably. In the U.S. the numbers were 1,725 in 2008, vs. 1,255 in 2007.
According to US/ Canadian agencies “135 Ethiopian children adopted into Canada in 2007 (latest year available) represented 74 more than the year before, an increase of 121%. A Sept. 13, 2008 Toronto Star article “Doors closing on foreign adoptions” stated, “Some estimate that, because of AIDS and catastrophic drought, there may be 5 million Ethiopian orphans by 2010.”
“The children are beautiful. Children waiting for placement are male and female, infant to 15 years old, healthy as well as special needs. Single birth and sibling groups are available. Many children have resided in a local orphanage, community care or in the hospital of birth prior to being matched with a family. The children are tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis and Venereal Disease prior to being placed.”
Today the adoptions and foster service providers in Ethiopia has greatly increased. Fews agencies comprehend the existing laws and inconsistent policies among various agencies has caused confusion leading to unprecedented corruption leading to child trafficking.
Recent servant proved anomaly in the adoption policy and its program in Ethiopia. The government nominaly put the follwing non functionla policy to sell the childern of Ethiopia as a market comedity to the world:-
• Heterosexual couples (with or without children) who have been
married at least 3 years
• Those who have good medical insurance that will immediately
cover your child once he/she is adopted
• Families who have sufficient income
• Couples with a strong marriage and low divorce history
• Not more than 45 years older than the youngest child you adopt
• No history of criminal activity or incidence of child abuse
Adoption Advocates International
All God’s Children International
America World Adoption Association
Bethany Christian Services
Celebrate Children, Intl
Children’s Home Society and Family Services
Children’s Hope International
Children’s House International
Wide Horizons for Children
Today many foster familes are complaing the price an Ethiopian child high in the market .
A organizations are set to help these familes to cover the offical price . The worst is the corrupted officals and middle men who makes on every child. Many kids are there on the under ground child traficing markets . Some are even sold in black market for body part trafficking . Apart from abandoned children, there is also a steady increase in the number of Ethiopian children becoming orphans because of Aids.
There are nearly 40 agencies in Addis Ababa handling adoptions.
While we cannot change the fact that adopting internationally is expensive without any kind of adoption financial aid, we are concerned that the expenses often make adopting prohibitive for wonderful families desiring to love a child.”
In 2008, U.S. citizens adopted approximately 1,725 children from Ethiopia. Children of all ages are available for adoption including infants, sibling groups, multiples (twins and even triplets), older and special needs children, both boys and girls. These children reside in orphanages.
Children six months to 14 years of age.
Both boys and girls are available for adoption. First time parents should be flexible in regards to gender selection.
Children are generally healthy, but may have parasites and other treatable conditions caused due to living conditions. Children are tested – at minimum — for HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis and several other conditions. Special needs children are available.
Many older sibling groups are available.
Ethiopian kids arriving to the US
Fiscal Year Number of Immigrant Visas Issued
Most of the parents are from abroad. The adoption of Ethiopian children by foreigners has increased sharply in the past few years, with thousands of parents from various parts of the Western world adopting children from this impoverished country.
Kids Care Orphanage is just one of the numerous orphanages and child care centres in the Ethiopian capital.
Mostly abandoned children and mutilated child bodies are found in the dark alleys of the African capital . You will be surprised at times even in toilets a cry of a motherless child.
Some are licensed by the Ethiopian authorities, who claim Ethiopian orphans have a right to be adopted, but they practiced daily sending hundreds abroad knowing it must be a last resort since it is preferable for child to be brought up in their own culture. There are many who are engaged in child traficing and body marketing too.
Very few are orphans who merit a well publicized adoptions, movie star Angelina Jolie adopted an Ethiopian child with the help of a well known agency ” Wide Horizons for Children”.
Today many local agencies are are highly corrupted working cladestaily with child traficaing mafias as a million dollar business.
Officially the process of adopting children from Ethiopia is much simpler than many other country today due to this wicked corruption.
In one of the most well-publicised adoptions, movie star Angelina Jolie adopted an Ethiopian child with the help of an agency called Wide Horizons for Children.
The adoptive parents are asked come personally and collect the child. This the moment they will go to a lot of unprecedented corruption methods and red tapes. The government has put it mandatory the foster the parents to stay at least two weeks in Ethiopia to study the culture. They will in the contrary have the necessary time to learn something about Ethiopia’s corrupted adoption and child trafficking system. Adoption in Ethiopia has not been without international controversy. It has been well described as being a center of child trafficking and body marketing flown out directely to the international Kideny and other body banks. It is a million dollar business. Many preferred silence not to be a spot light on media and loss a lot of dollars fro the extradition of the motherless child. Our investigation as proved that most of the adopted one have one or two of their parents. The true orphans are lingushing in the orphanage waiting for adoption if they do not fail in the hands of body or child trafficking mafias those with connection or some relatives in Europe or America end up to be adopted as orphans.
Ethiopian Child: U.S. Adoption Agency Bought Me
CBS News Investigates Serious Questions about the Legitimacy of Some Ethiopian Adoptions
(CBS) Videotapes showing poor orphans from third world countries melt the hearts of prospective parents every day in this country.
Three children, sisters from Ethiopia are shown in a video – ages, you are told, 7, 4 and 6. Their mother is dead, their father dying of AIDS. A life of prostitution is all but assured – if not adopted – saved – by a loving American family.
It was just such a pitch that spoke to Katie and Calvin Bradshaw, reports CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian. They adopted all three girls through a U.S. agency, Christian World Adoption.
“Aside from the gender of the children, everything else proved to be a complete lie,” said Katie.
In truth, the three sisters, Journee, Maree and Meya – were actually much older: 13, 6 and 11.
While their mother was dead, their father was healthy and very much alive. He was living, by local standards, a middle-class life – an extended family able to take care of the girls as middle sister Meya showed us first hand.
“My godmothers, my aunt, those are my mom’s friends, my uncles, my dad, my dad’s friends, that’s my brother,” she said.
In the last year adoptions from Ethiopia to the U.S. have skyrocketed – growing faster than any other country in the world. They have risen from 731 in 2006 to more than 2,200 last year. That’s nearly six children per day.
Now a CBS News investigation has discovered that growth has turned Ethiopia into fertile ground for child trafficking – a country in which some American agencies and their staff engage in highly questionable conduct.
Adoptive families allege that many children brought to the U.S. are not even orphans, that prospective parents are misled about a child’s health and background, that local families are recruited – and sometimes even paid – to give up their kids.
Which the Bradshaw sisters say is exactly what happened to them.
Christian World Adoption is one of 70 agencies licensed to operate in Ethiopia. Beyond the alleged payment to their father, the Bradshaw sisters say they were told by local employees of Christian World they were only coming to America for an education; that they could return home when school was out. Not true. In fact it’s virtually impossible to reverse an adoption in Ethiopia.
“I thought I was going to be kind of like an exchange student,” Journee said. “Honestly, I never knew that I’m going to be here forever.”
“We have watched our kids grieve and cry and scream and melt down from the bottom of their souls over the loss of their country and their family,” Katie Bradshaw said.
A 2007 video shows Christian World representatives entering an Ethopian village and appearing to recruit children from poor villagers – an unethical practice against Ethopian law.
“If you want your child to be adopted by a family in America you may stay,” said Michelle Gardner. She spoke those words on a tape produced by Christian World for American parents seeking to adopt in Ethiopia. And now says she deeply regrets it.
“I was aware of a number of times when things were problematic,” she said. “And several families where children came over and the children didn’t understand that the adoption was permanent.”
Christian World was founded back in 1991 by Bob and Tomilee Harding. In 2008, records show, the non-profit agency took in nearly $6 million dollars – charging a fee of about $15,000 per child.
Citing ongoing litigation, the Hardings declined to speak with CBS News at their offices in Charleston, South Carolina.
One such case, filed last month, includes charges of “wrongful adoption,” “fraud” and “intentional misrepresentation.”
“How do you respond to charges that CWA knowingly deceived or misled adoptive parents through the adoption process in Ethopia?” Keteyian asked.
“Those allegations are completely unfounded,” said Curtis Bostic, attorney for CWA. He told CBS News he was prohibited by law from discussing specific adoption cases.
“I’m talking to parents who are really upset,” Keteyian said. “Who are devastated with their dealings with CWA.”
“Sometimes, people are upset when they just simply misunderstand things,” Bostic said. “I believe that’s exactly what you’re hearing. There have been thousands and thousands of adoptions conducted by CWA all over the world. Is there going to be a handful of folks who misunderstand, who – or who aren’t happy with their adoption? There’s going to be, and we regret that.”
The Bradshaw family lives with its own set of regrets. Parents who trusted and believed they were doing the right thing. The three young girls are learning to adopt a life far from the country they still call home.