THE FOREVER FAMILY?
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PARENTS WANT TO RETURN THEIR ADOPTIVE CHILDREN,
CITING CONCERN FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY BECAUSE OF DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR,
AIRING ON "20/20," FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23 ON ABC
It was a story that made international headlines: an Arkansas state legislator "re-homed" two of his three adoptive daughters after fearing for his own biological children's safety. The scandal became the first time many had heard of the national concern of "re-homing," which in many states is putting adopted kids in a new home with little regulatory oversight. In this case, the girls were handed to a man who turned out to be a pedophile.
Justin and Marsha Harris of Arkansas seemed like perfect adopters - they were pillars of their community, ran a faith-based day care, and had three sons already. They fought to adopt three abused sisters. The state initially objected, fearing it unwise to place abused young girls in the home with three young boys. Plus, one of the girls had reactive attachment disorder (RAD). Yet the Harris' child development specialists thought they could handle any child-related issue. Unfortunately, they could not. They say their home erupted in chaos with the girls even making death threats to the family. The Harris' say there was nothing else they could have done and had good intentions.
Elizabeth Vargas' six-month investigation includes an exclusive interview with the former Arkansas Department of Human Services caseworker who shares surprising details on the story, plus interviews with the Harris family, the former foster parents of the two girls, and an interview with the babysitter.
Elizabeth Vargas' report airs on "20/20," FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir. David Sloan is senior executive producer.