Adoption abuse case’s $17.5 million settlement

Another awful, stomach-turning story ends “well.” And again makes me ask how does anything like this happen and continue without anybody noticing and doing anything about it for so damn long? Eight in Adoption Abuse Case Agree to $17.5 Million Settlement With Foster Agencies – NYTimes.com.

Here’s a poisonous taste of this case:

Eight young adults with disabilities who were fraudulently adopted by a Queens woman and subjected to years of abuse have agreed to a $17.5 million settlement of their lawsuit against three private New York foster care agencies that had placed them with the woman, a new court filing shows.

The woman, Judith Leekin, 69, who adopted the children in the 1980s and ’90s, was arrested in 2007 in Florida, where she had moved with them. She was later convicted of fraud and abuse charges and is serving a lengthy prison sentence.

The case has long been seen as a horrific breakdown in the city’s foster care system.

The judge said Ms. Leekin had routinely denied the children access to food and a toilet; handcuffed and restrained them for hours; trapped them in cribs that were held shut with boards and heavy objects; beat them with a belt, a nightstick and other objects; forced them to stand for hours, sometimes with their hands above their heads; failed to protect them from sexual abuse; and repeatedly threatened them with a gun or with being beaten to death.

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