An Adoption Horror Story That Shouldn't Have Happened

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Jorge Barahona
Jorge Barahona
The horrifying details in the case of Nubia and Victor Barahona pale only in light of the fact that the tragedy could have been prevented. It should have been prevented. Instead the 10-year-old girl is dead, and her twin brother's body is covered in burns from acid at the hands of their adoptive father, Jorge Barahona.

The girl's remains were found Monday stuffed in a bag in the back of a pickup truck parked along a Florida highway. Her twin brother and "father" were found in the same truck earlier in the day -- unconscious after what Barahona claims was a suicide attempt because he was so distraught over his daughter's death. The boy was doused with chemicals and convulsing when authorities got to him; he's currently in critical condition.

The twins were two of four children adopted by Barahona and his wife, Carmen, and there were plenty of bright red flags over the years that they shouldn't have been in the couple's care. As a CNN article states, "This story appears to magnify everything that could go wrong with a child protective system."

Several times since 2004 when the twins were placed with the couple, Florida's Department of Children and Families (DCF) investigated the family. Just last week a call to the child abuse hotline alerted the agency to the fact that the twins were being bound and kept in a bathtub as punishment. No one followed up on the case, and now a girl is dead. 

"How could we have gotten a call to a hotline on February 10 and a child died" a few days later, a judge asked at the hearing.

How indeed?

Even before the children were adopted by the Barahonas, a guardian ad litem, who was on the children's case for four years, said it was a bad idea. But still they were adopted.

Family members also voiced concern. There were biological relatives that wanted to adopt them.

Why didn't anyone listen? How is it possible that so many grave mistakes were made regarding the lives of these children?

Jorge is being held on a $1 million bond and has been charged with aggravated child abuse. Carmen hasn't been charged with anything, though her complete innocence or lack of knowledge as to what was going on is unlikely.

There will be no sufficient answers to how such an atrocity could be allowed to happen, but someone needs to try and provide them so that it doesn't happen again.

How do you think something like this happens?


Image via Mel B./Flickr

crime, in the news, family

42 Comments

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medic... medicwife

How heartbreaking and why is it always in Florida...

Julie... Julieryanevans

medicwife -- i know, and I live here. I thought it just seemed that way to me :)

nonmember avatar nancybee

How this happens is you had two people who got together and created two babies who should not be allowed to raise anything much less a child. Do you want to know how my mother would have allowed her children to end up in foster care or allow someone to abuse her children? She would have had to be dead! Some men and women are genetically defective and are incapable of being a parent. The Florida foster care program is obviously totally broken. A sickening case!

bgbg1147 bgbg1147

This is just a SAD story :'(

KTMOM KTMOM

This is so terrible, the system fails so many children on a daily basis,  it is heartbreaking. :(

popta... poptart0325

I live in Florida and just read about it in my local newspaper. When the child protective investigator was asked by the judgewhy nothing was done, she replied by saying because it was 9 PM on a Friday night. So? It doesn't matter if it's 2 AM or 3PM, that's your job to check on these children and make sure that they're safe! It shouldn't matter what time it is. It pisses me off! And my heart breaks for those children. It just tears me up inside seeing all of these child abuse by parents cases lately! So sick.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Because the system fails kids daily. Thank god there are decent care givers out there. This is to sad for words.

-AJ -AJ

No f'ing way should things like this happen. This is terrible..absolutely horrific.

nonmember avatar Belle

"How this happens is you had two people who got together and created two babies who should not be allowed to raise anything much less a child." - nancybee

Did you read the same story I read? I have to ask, because it wasn't the birth parents of the children that did this, but the ADOPTIVE parents. You know, people that should have been checked out thoroughly and been mentally stable enough to raise two children not their own.
You would think that you can't adopt a child easier than adopting a dog, but it would seem in this case, that's exactly what happened.
The whole system failed those children, first by ignoring their advocate who recommended the children not be adopted by those people, by denying the children's biological family the chance to adopt them, and then by not following up on reports given to DFS about concerns for the children.
We don't know why the children were adopted away from their family, what we do know is that they were adopted into a family of hell, and THOSE two people should have never been allowed to raise a weed, let alone two children, one of which is dead, and the other scarred for life, but mentally, and physically.

Jacque Brayman

this isn't just a case of Florida first of all...I am from Michigan...n trust me it happens everywhere! But I do agree the system is messed up...I could tell u a long story of mine n u would agree...but the judge asking how...yeah whatever he's/she's no saint! The judge places your children with whoever they want no matter the consequences till it's brought to a real story...then it's to late...go to Michigan and talk with my nieces n nephews that were placed with abusive adoptive parents...then placed back in the system when brought to light...now they have no one to care for them...what happens with them now?? No ONE CARES NOW...I do, I want justice for them! I want justice for me in cases with my children but because we have no money no one listens! Know anyone that can help me I'd love to hear from u!

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