Update on Kristen Barbour and Carri Williams

Update on Kristen Barbour:

Kristen Barbour was sentenced to 6 to 12 months in jail for pleading no contest to the felony charge of endangering the 2 Ethiopian children she and her husband had adopted. Kristen’s petition to serve the sentence in an alternative housing situation was denied last week, and she will be sent to the Mercer County (PA) jail. However, she will be allowed out five days a week to be in her home with her 2 biological children while her husband, Douglas Barbour, works at the family gardening/nursery business. Her petition to allow time served before sentencing to decrease her time of 6 to 12 months in jail was also denied. Kristen will not be allowed to take the children outside the home, with the exception of doctor visits (or similar) for which she must get advance permission. You can read the Post-Gazette article, which includes remarks from the jail warden, here.

The Pattersons, the family that has adopted the 2 Ethiopian children, attended the court session on Kristen’s petitions. The Pattersons asked for help in reminding everyone that all children’s lives matter, all adopted children’s lives matter, and black people’s lives matter. While much has been made of Kristen’s Biblical/Christian motivation for both adoption and for discipline, the Pattersons ask people of faith to denounce any practices that endanger the lives of children. Information on how the children are doing now is available here.

A news video from the local Pittsburgh CBS station is available here. It includes Kristen’s attorney Robert Stewart commenting that he has been surprised at the amount of media coverage this case has had, given that he’s seen far worse cases of abuse.

The adoption community has really come together in speaking out for the rights of adopted children. Let’s keep talking about the safety of vulnerable children, the need for better pre- and post-adoption services, and the experiences and insights of adult adoptees.

Update on Carri Williams:

About a year ago, Carri and Larry Williams were convicted for the murder of Hana Williams and for the abuse of Immanuel Williams; Hana and Immanuel had been adopted from Ethiopia. Carri and Larry are currently serving lengthy prison sentences in Washington state. Both had indicated that they would appeal the conviction, and Carri Williams recently filed her appeal. Her case is being handled through the Washington Appellate Project, a nonprofit providing legal assistance to indigent clients.

Carri Williiams’ appeals brief is some 59 pages; the appeals process can be lengthy. Let’s continue to keep Hana and Immanuel in mind, and to hope that justice is served.


4 thoughts on “Update on Kristen Barbour and Carri Williams

  1. Pingback: Carri Williams Appeals | Why Not Train A Child?

  2. I simply do not understand why:
    1) both Barbours got such light sentences for horrifically abusing their adopted children
    2) their parental rights to their biological children were NOT terminated. (Surely it’s abusive to make your kids watch as you beat their sister until her skull fractures? And abusive to make them watch as you STARVE their brother too?).

    Adoption done wrong is often fatal — or nearly fatal. What these kids (both ex-Barbour kids, 1 Williams kid) barely survived or didn’t (RIP Hanna) is unspeakable and should never, ever have happened in the first place.

    Reform is necessary and overdue:
    1) national standards for homestudies (real standards, that prevent PAPs from “homestudy shopping” if one social worker turns them down)
    2) laws to prohibit high-risk adoptions — along the lines of what the Province of Ontario, Canada has. Ontario prohibits PAPs from:
    – being on more than 1 “adoption waiting list” at a time, ie PAPs on a domestic adoption waiting list aren’t allowed on any other waiting list, PAPs on a China waiting list aren’t allowed to be on any other waiting list.
    – adopting more than 1 unrelated child at a time
    – “artificial twinning”, adopted & biokids must be at least 18 mos apart
    – no out of birth order adoptions
    – PAPs with a child (bio or adopted) can’t start the process to adopt until the biokid is 18 mos old / adopted kid has been home 18 mos, no exceptions.
    (These are the rules is you’re adopting an unknown kids — and don’t apply to kinship adoptions, adopting godchildren, etc)
    3) Banning all adoption fundraising and some sort of law requiring PAPs to put 110% of the estimated cost of the adoption into an escrow account as a prerequisite to homestudy approval, eg $1500 for an adoption from foster care (in NYC, that’s the out of pocket cost for a HS), $25,000 for an Ethiopian adoption, etc.

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