Child Advocates Thoroughly Screen Potential Parents - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/13/06 - East Texas

Child Advocates Thoroughly Screen Potential Parents

by Ramonica R. Jones

A case out of New Jersey is putting the focus on the adoption system. Monday, a mother was sentenced to seven years in prison for starving her adopted kids.

Twenty-one year-old Bruce Jackson confronted Vanessa Jackson for the first time in court. He weighed just 45 pounds when a neighbor found him looking for food in a garbage can in 2003. Vanessa Jackson adopted him and his three brothers 12 years ago.

Despite what happened in this case, child advocates said child abuse in adoptive families is uncommon.

Adela Jones, director of the Domestic Adoption Program for Buckner Baptist Benevolences, said, "We take people through what's called a home study, which is really an assessment of their readiness to parent. The State of Texas has a set of standards that tell us what needs to be included in that assessment and how to gather the materials to make it."

Vanessa Jackson was charged with 28 counts of child endangerment. She could be eligible for parole in two years.

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