Money And Politics Trumped 3 Little Girls’ Safety In This Sad Adoption Story”


When we read stories of adoption gone wrong, it is undeniably heart-breaking. No matter the circumstances behind it, children are being disrupted in a way that they don’t deserve. Sometimes, those handling the adoption do not have the children’s best interest at heart. To that end, there is a rather disturbing case unfolding in Arkansas involving State Representative Justin Harris and his wife, Marsha. They claim that the children they adopted, ages four and two, were possessed by demons and able to communicate telepathically and in the end, decided to “re-home” them. Yes, you read that right.

*A trigger warning — there is material regarding sexual abuse in this post and the original articles.

From the Arkansas Times via Jezebel, we have details of this incredibly sad tale. Apparently, Harris and his wife only wanted to adopt the four and two year old children but were pressured into adopting their six-year old sibling as well:

“Marsha and I always planned to have five children,” Harris told reporters. The couple already had three teenage sons. “We decided to adopt two girls. After initiating a private adoption, we were informed in a meeting with DHS, CASA, the attorney ad litem, and Ozark Guidance that we could not adopt the two children unless we also took their older sibling.”

As difficult as it must be to place older children with adoptive families, I do feel that siblings should be kept together whenever possible and I can see why these agencies asked the Harrises to take all three children. However, the foster family that had the children previously tried to warn the Harrises that these kids had suffered neglect and sexual abuse and that they probably weren’t up to the challenge of raising them. The adoption went forward anyway due to apparent political pressure from the head of DCFS.

As upsetting as that snippet of information is, that three children were placed with a family that the foster parents felt were likely unprepared to handle, the Harrises believed the four-year old, referred to as “Mary”, was possessed and could communicate telepathically. To that end, the Arkansas Times reporter claims that a babysitter working for the Harrises said the child was isolated from the rest of the family and confined to her room, monitored by a video camera. Holy shit:

The Harrises believed the girls were possessed by demons and could communicate telepathically, Goldsborough said. Harris and his wife once hired specialists to perform an “exorcism” on the two sisters while she waited outside the house with the boys, she said.

And this is why some people say religion can be dangerous. Instead of understanding and accepting that this child had been through severe trauma and any questionable behavior most certainly stems from that, they decide to perform an exorcism to rid her of “demons”. This is so completely unreal to me.

The babysitter claimed she was not allowed in Mary’s room but to give the child food and water. The Harrises claim that the exorcism did not happen as it was not a part of their religious beliefs, but what reason would this woman have to lie? Here is the most upsetting part of all, save for the sexual abuse:

The two-year-old and four-year-old were also allegedly prevented from being around each other because of the Harrises’ conviction that they were communicating telepathically. They were supposedly kept in separate rooms “outfitted with locks, alarms and video cameras,” according to Hardy’s sources.

These innocent babies have been through more trauma than many people will ever see in their lifetime and have always had each other and this couple decided to prevent them from being together? This has me in tears knowing how much my own kids have always depended on one another for comfort and companionship. Maybe there are “demons” involved here, and it is the Harrises. How completely cruel and unfeeling they would have to be to make this happen.

Initially, after deciding they could not raise these kids, the Harrises gave the younger two up to a man who had sexually abused one of them (the six-year old did not go with the younger siblings) before they were adopted by another family. The amount of times these children were wronged is just not to be believed. Luckily, this story has a somewhat bright ending as the young ones were adopted by a family who says that the Harrises misrepresented the girls as violent and “possessed.” They issued a statement:

These girls are happy, healthy children who have gone through things no child should ever have to endure. Since they have been home with us, they have adjusted beautifully and are thriving in our home with unconditional love and patience.

I am glad to hear the girls are with parents who will take good care of them, but this story is so upsetting for so many reasons. I have all the respect in the world for parents who foster and adopt because it can be so complicated and one would need a lot of strength to go through it, but having money or political power should not equal being handed children from the state. Obviously, the Harrises were not prepared to handle these kids and somewhere in the process, the children were failed. When politics and money are the decision makers, that means the best interests of those kids were not the top concern. The fact that this was allowed to happen should be very disturbing to us all. I hope these girls go on to lead happy and healthy lives — after all they’ve been through, they deserve it.


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