Deputy Attorney General in Pennsylvania Charged With Abuse of Two Children Adopted From Ethiopia

It really does not get worse that this in terms of allegations of misconduct. Pennsylvania deputy attorney general Douglas B. Barbour, 33, and his wife, Kristen B. Barbour, 30, have been charged with child endangerment and assault of two children they adopted from Ethiopia just this year. There is also an aggravated assault charge against them both for the abuse of the 18-month-old daughter. The other child is a six-year-old boy.

The daughter experienced abusive head trauma but Mr. Barbour insisted that she has a history of banging her head. However, the hospital found no support for their alleged history. The doctors found evidence of extended abuse of the boy including lesions that they believe resulted from contact with urine. Notably, while he was underweight, the boy gained weight quickly at the hospital.

Doctors say that the girl may have suffered a stroke from the alleged abuse and showed five different bone fractures and the injuries. She may now be permanently blind as a result.

Given the age of the children, much of the case may be circumstantial as to the cause and age of injuries. Since the kids were adopted this year, there may be claims of preexisting injuries.

A review of Barbour shows that he is mainly listed in prisoner cases representing the state.

Source: Post Gazette

32 thoughts on “Deputy Attorney General in Pennsylvania Charged With Abuse of Two Children Adopted From Ethiopia”

  1. Nick S, couldn’t agree with you more. I also believe you have the percentages right. It takes some being around and getting around to know things about percentages without reading the damn lie statistics.

  2. Wootsy, Superb point. I know couples who were uninformed and then overwhelmed. That was often the case w/ Russian adoptions. I also know couples who were scammed in private adoptions, a young woman taking money from several couples, telling all but one couple the baby died @ birth. Infertile couples are so vulnerable. We did our homework, knew the score and risks. I am a personal responsibility person. However, my herart does bleed for those who get blindsided. The scene has changed for the better since the mid 80’s when we went through it. But, there are still blindsides and always will be.

  3. Being the cynical realist I am, I have no doubt that some sociopathic predators adopt kids as slaves, sexual or otherwise, and the practical time for them to do that is as pre-rational infants so they can be raised without knowing any different.

    As always, laws are needed to stop the 3% from doing what the 97% find (almost) literally unbelievable.

  4. nick spinelli
    1, October 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm
    when I was researching adoption I saw a lot of stories about couples who went through the process, were basically ‘sold’ a fluffy cotton candy version of what to expect, and then later found that their child had severe learning or physical disabilities….and they were not prepared for that nor did those channels offer any support. I do hope that scene has changed…..not that it is an excuse for abuse but anytime people are left in a situation they can’t handle…well that is a real invitation to abuse ….

  5. Malisha, We agree. However, that’s often people who spit out kids for reasons other than righteous. The point I’m trying to make is some people F@ck, have kids, and then are horrible parents. Then they F@ck and have more kids anyway. They never think about it. Then there’s the part of the black culture where men believe it’s cool to father as many kids w/ as many women as possible..those kids hardly have a chance. The point I’m trying to make is couples who adopt are a very high % of infertile couples. They have tried for years to have kids, often paid 5 and 6 figures to docs trying to get pregnant. So, when they go through the ordeal of adoption their motivation is pretty pure. We were in an infertility support group and adoption support group. Of the 15 or so couples in our infertility group, 12 went through adoption. In our adoption support group, ~90% were infertile couples. As stated previously, the gauntlet of adoption weeds out a high % of couples that aren’t committed. Obviously not all.

  6. Nick S, only if you CARE about your kids are their problems serious to you, as your kids’ problems obviously are. If, on the other hand, you’re having or adopting kids strictly for your own benefit/pleasure/interest, you won’t much care what challenges they face; you will exert whatever control you want to exert (that’s usually possible) and devil take the hindmost. Then when they’re grown, you’re done with them. It does happen.

  7. There was a small blip here in MN this past spring. The Bachmann family has fostered a couple of dozen kids over the years. A couple of the older girls (now independent adults) claimed that Marcus & Michelle treated them as servants. That they did the cooking and cleaning while the Bachmann children studied and played. Additionally they were sent to public schools while the biological kids were not.

    I have no idea if the stories are true but its odd that nothing has been said about them since they first appeared. I can’t imagine people acting this way but then I can’t imagine someone lying about it either so its just a mystery.

  8. Malisha, The reason for almost all parents who adopt is infertility. If parents do their research you learn foreign adoptions pose many problems. We have no medical history for our son. We learned after a few years he suffers from attachment disorder, which is a mofo! Many of the children adopted from Russia have fetal alcohol syndrome, another mofo. The process is so difficult and expensive it weeds out virtually all the less than noble reasons for adoption. Here’s a more likely scenario, but just an educated guess. Kristen Barbour wanted to adopt, Douglas went through reluctantly. He’s the abuser, and she is the enabler. With so little facts it’s tough to analyze, but that’s my take.

  9. Darren Smith, I agree with everything you said except calling these two “depraved animals.” Animals are generally very good to their young and protective of the young from the rest of their species, too. Even hens, who are not even mammals, will adopt chicks who have lost their mothers. There are even examples of animals adopting babies from other species, and in general (with the exception of bizarre circumstances and some male walruses) animals are good to their young. So it’s not fair — ❗

  10. If the allegations are true, what a bunch of depraved animals. Talk about vulnerable and defenseless, Abusing a child into blindness? Words cannot describe how craven and cowardly these two are, evil is a close one.

    I agree with Nick, makes it more difficult for human beings to adopt children from abroad. 50 years in prison would be insufficient for these two.

  11. Dredd, unfortunately, some people adopt for the reasons that some people want to acquire things. They want to own children — and they cannot produce their own for some reason. Now that is not to say that most adoptive parents, just like most biological parents, are abuive — quite the opposite is true. MOST parents are NOT abusive and most adoptive parents are very good parents. But you cannot assume that the motivations are always honorable for either adoptive or biological parents.

    Remember, Jerry Sandusky adopted six kids. It wasn’t just as a false front; it was to procure him a supply of victims.

  12. That is terrible news.

    I wonder if some folks adopt as a coverup of some sort … a false front?

    At any rate, they have their right to a fair trial.

  13. Having a foreign adopted son, this angers me just a bit more. Unless you’ve gone through the maze of a foreign adoption, dealing w/ other countries legal systems[makes you appreciate ours], it’s hard to know how much of a grind it is. Colombia was actually one of the better countries which is one reason we chose it. What we learned through the process was that politics play a part in what countries are more friendly to US adoptions. In 1987 Colombia was dependent on us to help fight Pablo Escobar so they welcomed American adoptions. However, no matter the country or politics, there is always the undercurrent of rich Americans coming to adopt our kids. The reality is these countries are just too poor to take care of these abandoned children, but pride is a double edged sword. Horrible stories like this make it very tough for folks who are already in the pipeline to adopt from Ethiopia. Collateral damage as it were.

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