Two children—E., a 6-year-old boy, and R., a 1-year-old girl—were starved, beaten, and emotionally abused by their adoptive parents, Kristen and Douglas Barbour. The Barbours’ two biological children, ages 2 and 4, were not abused. E. was homeschooled.
E. and R. were adopted from Ethiopia in March 2012. The Barbours were active in their local church and Douglas Barbour was a former deputy attorney general, but they were not prepared for parenting two internationally adopted children. When E. had incontinence issues, they forced him to stand in a dark bathroom as punishment. He was told that his body was unsafe for other people and limited in which bathrooms he could use and which food he could eat. He was also thrown to the ground and hit his head. R. was also abused, although it is unknown what exactly the Barbours did to her.
The abuse came to light in October 2012 when child welfare officials at the hospital noticed that E. had lost 10 pounds since his adoption and that R. had multiple head fractures in various stages of healing. When they were removed from the Barbours’ home, E. had “lesions from being kept in urine-soaked clothing for long periods of time” and R. had permanent brain damage. The Barbours pleaded no contest to child endangerment and Kristen Barbour was sentenced to 6 to 12 months in prison. Douglas Barbour was sentenced to probation and they were allowed to keep custody of their biological children.
Date: October 4, 2012
Location: Franklin Park, Pennsylvania Continue reading