Friday, November 28 ABC’s 20/20 aired an hour special concerning challenges for families who have adopted foreign born children with Reactive Attachment Disorders (RAD). This Portland family includes four foreign-born adopted children struggling with the same issues outlined by 20/20. Now they have additional challenges from government and public organizations which are designed to help children and their family. When a family adopts an older child with a background of child abuse from a foreign orphanage, the adopting family is at great risk of government intrusion by being falsely accused of child abuse. The Apples believe that their troubled child’s future is at even greater risk due to the discovery and investigation procedures of Child Protective Services under Oregon's Department of Human Services. When a child is thrust into a legal world in which checks and balances are obscure and operate poorly, an initial mistake is at least as likely to be perpetuated as to correct it.
Ken and Sharon Apple adopted six children beginning with their first, Jonathan – 1980 and David – 1981, from the States of Illinois and Kansas. Since then they have added four others to their family including three older children they adopted from Kazakhstan in 2001. Like most families Ken and Sharon have had their challenges with four children who are now adults. The older boys are married – one with two children. The Apples were approved to adopt children by Oregon adoption procedures and agencies. However, to their knowledge none of this was considered as they were being investigated for challenges they were having with their own foreign born children. They also believe that their local child protection agency has not sufficiently considered the extensive history and medical diagnosis of one of their children who supposedly has accused Mr. Apple of child abuse. The Apples state that they have been inappropriately accused, investigated, and re-investigated by case workers who have intruded on their family and civil rights – to the very detriment of their youngest child that both they and the public agencies are all trying to help.
Here is what happens all over the country when a troubled juvenile makes an allegation of abuse (FAST - False Allegations Solutions Team - www.false-allegations-team.com and Kidjacked.com). The child service agencies have a hard and fast policy, "They always believe the child." Never mind, as the ABC 20/20 Investigation revealed, if the child is an antisocial juvenile with a history of lying, a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder or foreign born with abandonment issues. Never mind if the child has already made other false allegations. Never mind if a vindictive ex-spouse or other adult is leading the little child. Add a RAD foreign born child with an intrusive government agency and you have a recipe for disaster not only for the child, but the entire family. The Apples believe that well-meaning public agencies designed to help families can and do greatly hinder families' efforts and abilities to heal their children.