MOTIVATED MOM: In her time seeking children on the Internet, Nicole Eason has referred to herself as Big Momma and Momma Bear. KIEL, Wisconsin – Todd and Melissa Puchalla struggled for more than two years to raise Quita, the troubled teenager they'd adopted from Liberia.
Nicole and Calvin Eason, an Illinois couple in their 30s, saw the ad and a picture of the smiling 16-year-old. On Quita's first night with the Easons, her new guardians told her to join them in their bed, Quita says today.
Within a few days, the Easons stopped responding to Melissa Puchalla's attempts to check on Quita, Puchalla says.
The Puchallas had rescued Quita from an orphanage in Liberia, brought her to America and then signed her over to a couple they barely knew.
When she arrived in the United States, Quita says, she "was happy … coming to a nicer place, a safer place.
The teenager had been tossed into America's underground market for adopted children, a loose Internet network where desperate parents seek new homes for kids they regret adopting.
Through Yahoo and Facebook groups, parents and others advertise the unwanted children and then pass them to strangers with little or no government scrutiny, sometimes illegally, a Reuters investigation has found. The practice is called "private re-homing," a term typically used by owners seeking new homes for their pets. A woman who said she is from Nebraska offered an 11-year-old boy she had adopted from Guatemala.
Reuters analyzed 5,029 posts from a five-year period on one Internet message board, a Yahoo group. The Reuters investigation found that some children who were adopted and later re-homed have endured severe abuse. The compact has been adopted by every state and is codified in various statutes that give it the force of law.
No authority tracks what happens after a child is brought to America, so no one knows how often international adoptions fail. But many states say they are unable to keep track of the cases because their computer systems are antiquated.
The failure to keep track of what happens after children are brought to America troubles some foreign governments. The recent obstacles to bringing new kids to America could make the Internet child exchange even more appealing. Other participants wrote about openly defying government efforts, foreign and domestic, to keep track of children from failed adoptions (also sometimes called "disrupted" adoptions). NEW PARENTS: On the day her adoptive parents dropped her at the Eason trailer in Illinois, they snapped this picture inside the couple's kitchen. The official who sent the memo, Stephen Pennypacker, says he issued the warning after a child welfare worker in one state noticed cases of kids being sent to new parents without the approval of authorities. In the alert, Pennypacker asked that such cases be documented and reported to the national non-profit organization that oversees the ICPC.
Some participants in that group both offered and sought children for re-homing, sometimes simultaneously. The story of the Easons and the girls and boys they have taken through re-homing illustrates the many ways in which the U.S. The night before leaving Quita with the Easons, Melissa Puchalla showed her daughter a picture of the couple.
Today, Melissa Puchalla says, "Maybe a red light should've went off – too good to be true. Not only were the Easons willing to take Quita, but they would gladly do so through the simple device of a power of attorney document, about 400 words long. In the days that followed, two puppies scampered through the trailer, gifts from the Easons to Quita. The sleeping arrangements Quita describes are consistent with the experience of another child the Easons took in.
Within days, the Easons had stopped answering Melissa Puchalla's calls or returning her emails, Puchalla says. When Melissa Puchalla called the school Quita was supposed to attend, she talked with an administrator who then contacted state child protection officials. LIBERIAN ORPHAN: In this picture, Quita went by the name Quita Davis and lived in a Liberian orphanage.
As authorities searched for Quita, they discovered information that could have precluded the Easons from taking custody of the teenager, if the proper officials had been involved, adoption experts say. Illinois authorities determined that the Easons had fabricated a document they provided to the Puchallas called a "home study." It purported to be from a social worker who had visited their home and done background checks of the couple.
Illinois officials did share their findings with the local sheriff's office and with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Taking Quita from the Easons and returning her to the Puchallas was the extent of the response by authorities. New York State Police concluded that the Easons had committed no crimes in their jurisdiction. Hundreds of other adoptive parents were seeking new homes for their unwanted children through Internet message boards like those that had featured Quita. Created in September 2007, a Yahoo group called Adopting-from-Disruption was a place where struggling parents sought support from one another. For an investigation into how parents use the Internet to offload adopted children, Reuters analyzed more than 5,000 messages posted on the forum over a five-year period, September 2007 to September 2012. After Reuters shared its findings with Yahoo, the company acted quickly to shut down the group.
Even so, the information in the posts provides a clear indication of the expanse of the Internet child exchange and many particulars about the children offered on it.
The operable panels will be hinged on either jamb and can swing either to the exterior or interior (not both). When they decided to give her up, they found new parents to take her in less than two days – by posting an ad on the Internet.

They were eager to take Quita, even though the ad warned that she had been diagnosed with severe health and behavioral problems.
The Puchallas simply signed a notarized statement declaring these virtual strangers to be Quita's guardians.
When she called the school that Quita was supposed to attend, an administrator told Puchalla that the teenager had never shown up.
The Easons had packed up their purple Chevy truck and driven off with her, leaving behind a pile of trash, a pair of blue mattresses and two puppies chained in their yard, authorities later found. Like Quita, now 21, these children are often the casualties of international adoptions gone sour.
Based on solicitations posted on one of eight similar online bulletin boards, the parallels are striking. Within hours, it began shutting down Adopting-from-Disruption, the six-year-old bulletin board. Speaking publicly about her experience for the first time, one girl adopted from China and later sent to a second home said she was made to dig her own grave.
Legal adoptions must be handled through the courts, and prospective parents must be vetted.
It allows parents experiencing hard times to send their kids to stay with a trusted relative, for instance. Even so, these laws are seldom enforced, in part because the compact remains largely unknown to law enforcement authorities. At least 70 percent of the children offered on the Yahoo bulletin board, Adopting-from-Disruption, were advertised as foreign-born.
And the State Department won't disclose the number of failed international adoptions that are reported by adoption agencies.
Residential treatment centers can be expensive, and some parents say social services won't help them; if they do contact authorities, they fear being investigated for abuse or neglect. On the bulletin boards, parents talk of children becoming abusive and violent, terrorizing them and other kids in the household.
Reporters examined ads for children and emails between parents, and also identified eight Internet groups in which members discussed, facilitated or engaged in re-homing.
Quita was unpredictable and violent, Melissa says, and her siblings had grown frightened of her. But she remembers vividly when her adoptive father, Todd Puchalla, stopped in front of a mobile home with an overgrown lawn.
She calls the decision "the hardest thing we've ever done in our lives." Quita still can't reconcile it. The dogs lifted the teenager's spirits, but they weren't housebroken and no one cleaned up after them. They attached a makeshift camper to the truck bed of their purple Chevy S-10, packed most of their belongings and left the state. Although Puchalla had signed over custody of Quita, she says she felt obligated to ensure Quita was safe. A neighbor told a child welfare official that before the Easons left, Quita had told the neighbor's daughter that the Easons would be heading to upstate New York to visit Nicole's mother. She says she still cannot reconcile why the parents who adopted her from Liberia gave her away. Authorities then contacted the New York State Police, who located the Easons' truck in Stephentown, New York. The custody transfer took place in a hotel parking lot just off the highway, and the man who went with her to get the 10-year-old boy would later be sentenced to federal prison. During that time, the group was one of the most accessible Internet forums for adoptive parents seeking new homes for their children. Reuters identified more than 500 members who particpated at least once during the five-year time period. Some advertisements for children contained limited information – for example, the age or sex of the child is missing. The handoff took place at the Country Aire Mobile Home Park, where the Easons lived in a trailer. Often, the children are treated as chattel, and the needs of parents are put ahead of the welfare of the orphans they brought to America. Most of the children ranged in age from 6 to 14 and had been adopted from abroad – from countries such as Russia and China, Ethiopia and Ukraine. A spokeswoman said the activity in the group violated the company's terms-of-service agreement. Another re-homed child, a Russian girl, recounted how a boy in one house urinated on her after the two had sex; she was 13 at the time and was re-homed three times in six months. But with the rise of the Internet, parents are increasingly able to find complete strangers willing to take in unwanted children. Each state is also left to decide how to punish those who give or take children in violations of the compact's provisions.
Often cited is the case of the Tennessee woman who returned a 7-year-old boy she adopted from a Russian orphanage.
As a result, the number of foreign-born children adopted into the United States has declined from a peak of almost 23,000 in 2004 to fewer than 10,000 a year today. In a nationwide alert to state child welfare authorities, an administrator for the ICPC warned that adoptive parents were sending children to live with people they met on the Internet. Reporters then analyzed thousands of posts from the group that Yahoo subsequently shut down, Adopting-from-Disruption.
It shows how virtually anyone determined to get a child can do so with ease, and how children brought to America can be abruptly discarded and recycled. But what first caught the Puchallas' attention was the tube coming out of Calvin's neck a few inches beneath his chin.
Melissa also devised a code: Quita would say "I love asparagus" over the phone if she felt in danger. The man convicted of armed robbery who had traveled with the Easons to New York wasn't there.

Awning, hopper, projected window a€” a window consisting of one or more sash hinged at the top or bottom which project outward or inward from the plane of the frame.
The company subsequently took down five other groups that Reuters brought to its attention.
Children can be sent to new families quickly through a basic "power of attorney" document – a notarized statement declaring the child to be in the care of another adult. By obtaining a power of attorney, the new guardians are able to enroll a child in school or secure government benefits – actions that can effectively mask changes of custody that take place illegally outside the purview of child welfare authorities. The agreement requires that if a child is to be transferred outside of the family to a new home in a different state, parents notify authorities in both states.
It isn't unusual for the children they bring home to have undisclosed physical, emotional or behavioral problems. Some experts say the percentage could be higher given the lack of support for those parents. In addition, adoption agencies are supposed to report to the department certain types of failed international adoptions that come to their attention.
The woman had cared for him only six months when she put the boy on a flight to Moscow in April 2010. A 10-year-old boy from the Philippines and a 13-year-old boy from Brazil each were advertised three times. In fact, taking a child may enable the new family to claim a tax deduction and draw government benefits. She was heading back to Wisconsin, by herself, to the parents who had given her up not three weeks before. The Easons view re-homing as a way around a prying government, and a way to take a child inexpensively. Such agreements fail to satisfy the ICPC when custody of the child is exchanged across state lines and authorities in both states aren't involved.
Curtain wall employs deep rectilinear framing profiles (approximately 150 mm [6 in] or greater), which are often made available in "stock lengthsa€?. Curtain wall vertical framing members run past the face of floor slabs, and provision for anchorage is typically made at vertical framing members only. In contrast to combination assemblies and composite units, non-residential curtain wall systems often need to meet additional performance requirements for interstory differential movement, seismic drift, dynamic water infiltration, etc. Other common terms are muntin, true divided lite (TDL), simulated divided lite (SDL), grill, grid, or bar-in-glass.Door a€” a means of access for the purpose of ingress and egress. The top surface is known as the atmosphere side or air side.Folding door system a€” a door system that has, at a minimum, a hinge or pivot attachment of any type between two leaves and three vertical axes about which the leaves rotate. The frame has vertical and horizontal members that are joined at the intersections that fully encompass the operating and inactive leaves in a closed position.
Unlike SSPs and multiple glazing panels, interior accessory windows are intended for use by trained custodial personnel only and are fitted with limited-access custodial locks to hinge or lift out for periodic cleaning of the non-hermetically sealed air space created. Performance Grade (PG) is achieved only on successful completion of all applicable tests specified Pivot a€” an axis or the hardware about which a window, sash, panel, or leaf rotates.Pivoted window a€” a window consisting of a sash which pivots about an axis within the frame. The pivoting action of the window allows for easy access to clean the outside surfaces of the window. A secondary storm product can be attached to the internal or external frame or sash of the primary product. These systems include, at a minimum, a single operating leaf, surrounding frame, and components. It is used primarily for cleaning or emergency escape and rescue purposes, but not for ventilation other than in the case of emergency. The gateway test size is larger than for casement windows, but otherwise the same requirements are met.
See also Hinged rescue window and Top-hinged window.Side lite a€” an operable or non-operable product that is designed to be a companion product installed on one or both sides of an operable door or a fixed door. Storefront employs shallow rectilinear framing profiles (approximately 150 mm [6 in] or less), which are often made available in "stock lengthsa€?.
Vertical framing members run between the top of the floor slab and structure above, with provision for anchorage at all perimeter conditions.
The basic unit generally consists of an exterior glazed weathering surface, a light-transmitting tube with a reflective inner surface, and an interior closure glazing in a retainer frame.
Receptor systems can be designed as a part of drainage and movement accommodation provisions.The Language of WindowsBelow are some additional terms which have been used to describe windows or doors or their component parts. These definitions are not included in current industry standards.Anchor strip a€” board around a window frame nailed to house framing.
Usually attic windows built into the top molding of the house, the units sometimes are called "lie-on-your-stomach" windows or slave windows. It also serves as a cushion and insulator.Gothic-head window a€” window topped with a pointed arch. It is not as tall and narrow as the pure Gothic Lancet window.Guillotine window a€” the first double-sash window, with only one movable sash and no counterweights or balancing system. A peg was inserted through a hole in the movable sash and into a corresponding hole in the frame.
The glass may be clear, colored, or stained.Lintel a€” horizontal member (wood, steel, or stone) over a window opening to support the weight of the wall above.
A header.Loop window (also Balistraria) a€” a long and narrow vertical opening, usually widening inward, cut in a medieval wall, parapet, or fortification for use by archers. Unlike a bay window, the projection of an oriel does not extend all the way to the ground.Panel window a€” a form of picture window consisting of several sash or fixed glazings, separated by crossbars or mullions--or both.
A medieval term for small panes of glass set diagonally in Gothic windows.Queen Anne window a€” a window with small glass windows or lights arranged in various forms, usually only on the upper sash.

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