Child Abuse Trial…

20 Jul

In January of this year this post talked abuse in adoptive homes and how we needed to start talking about it.  Included in that post was a report from The Office of the Family and Children’s Ombudsman of the state of Washington.  On page 104 of that report the details about one of the cases closely mirror a horrific case in the news about the Trebilcock family.  I also linked news articles about the case in that post.

The Trebilcock trial is happening now and reports from it are breaking my heart.

Daughter in child abuse trial: ‘If we cried, they poured water on us’

The first girl told the court Tuesday that her adopted parents would make her and her siblings eat outside and wash their clothes with cold water in a bucket.

She said that, when punished, they would be hit with a board or slapped in the face.

“If we cried, they poured water on us,” she said.

The investigation began when Rebecca Trebilcock took her then-13-year-old son to a Longview clinic. The boy weighed only 49 pounds and stood 4’4″ tall. A dietician told the court that the Trebilcocks’ 13-year-old’s weight was what a healthy 6 year old should be. The prosecution said he wasn’t the only one starved.

“I got toothpaste,” the second girl testified today.

When asked why she took the toothpaste, she said, “Because, I was hungry.”

The Trebilcocks’ defense attorneys said the kids were fed three meals a day and the kids’ stories don’t match up, but both children who testified today said they didn’t like living in their adopted home.

That three meals a day comment certainly does not match with what the doctors say in this story.

Adopted son takes stand on Day 1 of Trebilcock trial

Smith said the boy was severely malnourished and near death when he was rushed to a Portland hospital last year, his body perilously cold and his heart beating so slowly one doctor was surprised he was conscious, according to Smith and witnesses who testified Monday.

The boy’s body was covered with sores from eczema, Smith said, and he had four broken ribs.

The boy, then 13, weighed only 50 pounds, half the normal weight for his age, when he and his four adopted sisters, ages 8 and 13, were placed in protective custody in March last year, according to authorities. All of the children rapidly gained weight and improved in health once they were away from the Trebilcocks, Smith said.

On Monday, Smith showed a photo of the boy sitting in his hospital bed last year, grinning awkwardly, his face sunken, a bony arm poking out from a hospital gown.

Perched on the boy’s nose were a pair of bent and taped bifocals which, Smith said, the boy was forced to wear even though he didn’t need them and they made his vision worse.

Doctors testified Monday that the boy had wasted away so badly that his condition was consistent with terminal cancer patients. Hospital staff had to give him only small portions of food at first so he wouldn’t go into shock and die from the extra calories, witnesses said.

Authorities have said the couple’s four biological children, most of them in their late teens, were well-fed.

I don’t know what the answer is but there has to be a solution – especially when it comes to children who have already suffered tremendous loss already.  It’s just not right and anyone looking at a 13-year-old boy who was only 49 pounds would raise questions that need to be answered.


Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents


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22 responses to “Child Abuse Trial…

  1. shadowtheadopteetheadoptee

    July 20, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    I’d tell you what I think, but I bet you already know. Anyone, who could do that to a cild,…


  2. momsomniac

    July 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm



  3. Dannie

    July 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    A special place in hell!


  4. sundayk

    July 20, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Somehow I have a feeling that the parents will use the RAD defense…don’t they always, because it is so easy. Abuse an adopted or foster kid, claim they have RAD and that you are the real victim, sickening!


  5. sundayk

    July 20, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    “We feed them 3 meals a day; they refused to eat them to make us look bad. Those RAD kids are master man manipulators.” URG! Sorry this stuff makes me SO angry!


    • TAO

      July 21, 2012 at 12:10 am

      Sunday – they have no excuse even if the kids had major problems (it does happen) which I haven’t seen mentioned seeing as they are still in care AND am pretty sure they had been foster parents before adoption so they should have been involved in getting counselling. I do think to many get labelled when they shouldn’t be. Like you say easy to then blame the child and you become the victim.

      Regardless – you don’t wait until you child at 13 years of age weighs what a healthy 6 year old weighs before going to a doctor.

      The motion sensor and locking away the food made me cry – you don’t do that to a child – especially a child who has lost so much already.


      • sundayk

        July 21, 2012 at 12:19 am

        So True!


  6. eagoodlife

    July 21, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Time for the public to take duty of care more seriously – someone must have noticed, why didn’t they report them?Time to have real home studies done by an independent body employing skilled, experienced assessors who have the ability and commitment to detect the vast majority of abusers, potential murderers and those out for the money.Shame on you America for allowing this to happen over and over again!


    • TAO

      July 21, 2012 at 12:12 am

      Von – at least the Gov of Washington has ordered a report into abuse of adopted children – it should have been submitted I believe in May. Hopefully it comes with as you say a better screening process or checks and balances. I do have faith in this Gov based on prior actions.


      • eagoodlife

        July 21, 2012 at 12:15 am

        I do hope so, it is long overdue.


        • sundayk

          July 21, 2012 at 12:23 am

          Yes i hope so too, isn’t this the same state that the unlicensed Ranch For Kids (for Adopted kids labeled as having RAD) is located?


          • TAO

            July 21, 2012 at 1:54 am

            The Ranch for Kids is Montana – this is Washington.


            • sundayk

              July 21, 2012 at 2:46 am

              Oops, your right, that one is stuck in my craw too!


  7. sundayk

    July 21, 2012 at 2:47 am

    *you’re right


    • TAO

      July 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      I saw that and it made me want to throw dishes or something – wtf is going on in peoples heads.


  8. veggiemom

    July 22, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Sadly, I think it’s pretty easy to hide this kind of stuff now with so many of these crazy families homeschooling. I’m not trying to knock those who homeschool and I don’t know if this family did or not. It’s just a good way for crazy families to keep kids off the radar. Definitely, there needs to be more post-placement follow-up and private interviews of the adopted children with information not given back to the APs. I’m not sure what else…but something definitely needs to change.


    • TAO

      July 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      Veggiemom – I do think homeschooling is appropriate in some cases but it can also become dangerous when you have other factors at work. I do think that if an family homeschools there needs to be some type of homechecks – what though I don’t know but when a homestudy agency is aware is there a duty to oversee due to concern post placement…don’t know the answer.

      These children were homeschooled.

      “Five adopted children seized by the state after their parents were accused of starving them haven’t attended school in nearly three months, state officials said Wednesday.

      The children, ages 8 to 13, were home-schooled before the state placed them in foster care in March, Assistant Attorney General Dana Gigler said during a civil hearing in Cowlitz County Juvenile Court. Gigler said the children’s upbringing has left them ill-equipped to attend classes.”

      Three of them were from Haiti but it does not say whether the Trebilocks adopted them from there or from foster care.

      “The Trebilcocks said the children, three of whom were from Haiti, were small for a number of reasons, including exposure to alcohol in the womb, spending time in “impoverished” Haitian orphanages and mental and physical disorders. They said they were not appraised of these conditions prior to the adoptions.”

      This is the most chilling of all the articles and describes the condition by the doctors and you have to read the entire article to really get a sense – why I am so upset.


      • Scooping it up

        July 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm

        this makes me so ill. i have no words.


        • TAO

          July 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm

          I know Scooping it up – this case is horrendous and I do my best not to write about a lot of them but this broke my heart – Hana Williams was from Washington too and was also starved. No Reason To Ever Do This To A Child…



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