Breaks my heart

From the Star Tribune

A Minneapolis high school teacher was charged with assaulting his
1-year-old son after doctors found bruising and fractures — new and

He said that he had been stressed at work, depressed and sick with the
flu, the complaint said, adding that he was frustrated that he had not
bonded with the boy, adopted from Colombia in August,
and that the boy
wouldn't stop crying that day.

You can read the story here.

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

6 thoughts

  1. J, is there any sort of psychological testing that is done when people are applying to adopt? Any sort of screening on family history of abuse, psych history (etc), to try and rule out potentially violent parents?

  2. Tatiana, I thought I’d jump in here as we are parents to three children whom we’ve adopted internationally. We had to undergo fingerprinting for the federal government as well as get state clearances from our police department and the department of Child Services. Only with a clean background were we able to progress with the adoption. In addition, doctors have to answer questions pertaining to your medical history which includes any psychological history if there is record of it. Of course, that said, this man may not have abused a child before if this is his first child and his first experience with the pressures of having to care for a child. It’s a very sad situation for the little boy.

  3. Amanda, thank you for the response. Since I know most abusers and predators have no official record of their propensities, I was more interested in whether the adoption process works to weed out such individuals. I’m guessing an initial start for this process would be through psychological evaluation and thorough interviewing. Police officers and other professionals have to go through these steps. Again, I was just curious.

  4. My husband and I recently went through the adoption process for Korea. We were asked for a doctor’s certification of our health, which didn’t specify any particular (mental or physical) conditions, but just asked if we were in good enough health to be parents. It would have been easy to avoid mentioning any background of psychological problems. We were also interviewed by our social worker. I’m sure she was looking for any signs of possible abusive behavior (among other things), but I don’t know how she would have evaluated this. Beyond the fingerprinting, I think a lot of this is on the honor system. While that clearly can be dicey, I’m not really sure how else it can be done. Are there psychological tests that have been proven to reveal potential abusive behavior? If so, I think those should be included in the process. But if not, I don’t really know what else agencies can do. Not to say that there isn’t anything–I’m just not sure what that would be.

  5. I honestly don’t see any mention of the man having PTSD. If he did, he should have gotten help and asked someone else to take care of the child if he could not help. He could also have disrupted the adoption with the child being so young. I really don’t understand how people can hurt an innocent child. The child was very young.

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