A couple in Clearwater, Florida thought taking in a Teenage Boy from the foster system was the right thing to do. Following the adoption of the teenage boy in 2013, the couple added a little girl and her brother to their growing family in 2016. However, some important information that was not disclosed at the boy's adoption in 2013 led to the lawsuit from the couple. This concerned the sexual assault of two young girls.

Private systems

The state of Florida has privatized Child Welfare programs that are funded by the state. The incentive for most of these programs is to get the children living in foster care out of the cycle and into well-established homes. However, under Florida law, information on the children in the foster system is recorded in the Florida Safe Families Network. This includes physical attributes of the child and the information about any biological Parents and psychological development.

If a child has psychological problems stemming from abuse, then those triggers should be disclosed to the potential adoptive parents before the proceedings take place.

The boy sexually assaulted two girls aged 7 and 8 over a period of four months. The allegations came to light once the girls told their adopters of what was going on in their household. The parents were outraged that this information was not disclosed numerous times before. Had they known about his problems with younger children, they would not have added the boy to their home.

Failure to disclose

The first disclosure failure happened when the couple was fostering the oldest girl in 2013 when they wanted to adopt the teenage boy. The second failure happened when they went through formal adoption proceedings for the young teenage boy and were only given the boy's background information and not his record of sexual misconduct around younger children.

Florida law states that all paperwork on the child living in foster care includes the child's biological parents and why they were removed from their care, medical history, educational status and psychological profile before an adoption should be considered and then proceeded.

Any safety plans where a prospective child has any sexual aggression towards older or younger children should also be included in the preliminary stature of the adoption before the child is placed in the home.

In March 2016, the teenage boy was removed from the home. There are no updates on if he has been charged for a crime as a juvenile or an adult.

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