Normally I would say there's no difference between biological parents and parents who adopt. Parents are parents, period. But the story of the Minnesota couple accused of starving their adopted 8-year-old son nearly to death and making him endure unspeakable abuses draws a line between the two. Mona and Russell Hauer were blessed with the opportunity to adopt a little boy, and if police allegations prove true, they took that blessing and destroyed it in the most heinous way possible.
The Hauers, who also have a biological child and adopted their 8-year-old son's two siblings, are accused of some six felonies for actions that are far from parent-like. Their son is 8, but when doctors examined him, he was the size of a 4-year-old, and his brain had atrophied due to malnutrition.
The accusations against the Hauers for what they allegedly did to their son are unthinkable for any parent, whether the child is tied to them by blood or adoption. But I can't help but think of what would have happened if someone else had adopted this little boy, someone who would have truly cared for him, one of the thousands of Americans who would give their eyeteeth to have a child to love and care for.
As wonderful as it is to give birth to your own children, it's not always perfect. Some people aren't ready for kids when a pregnancy happens. But with adoption, the parents are ready, willing able. That's the whole point of choosing adoption after all.
Talk to someone involved in the process, and they'll tell you it's one of the most rewarding jobs on earth. You get to pair children with parents who are ready and willing to shower them with love and affection.
At least, that's the way it's supposed to be. It isn't supposed to turn out like the Hauers.
Mona Hauer, who actually brought the boy to Mayo Clinic Health Systems-Mankato last month for vomiting blood, claims that the boy had "eating issues" and he would often regurgitate his food. But the child told police he would regurgitate only because his cravings for food were so bad that the wanted to taste something ... and he didn't know when he'd get to eat again.
As it was, the boy told police he was forced to sleep on a sled in the basement, he was often beaten, and he was often given only a liquid diet while the rest of the family ate real food in the same room.
If any of this is true -- and we do have medical practitioners who are attesting to this little guy's condition -- I have to wonder, why did the Hauers adopt at all? Why couldn't they let people who would actually care for this child the way he deserved become his mom and dad?
What do you think of cases when an adopted child is being abused?
Image via Tar Sands Blockade/Flickr