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The horror that is Judith Leekin & the NY child welfare adoption subsidies disaster

Judith Leekin, photo by Port St. Lucie (FL) Police Department


I’ve tried to write this. All week I’ve tried to write this.

Leekin has been the monster under the bed rattling around all week, and while I’ve somehow found the words to go ahead and write about Dmitry, when it comes to Leekin, I’m just off the edge of language.

I’ve gone through several drafts of trying to write about Leekin’s sentencing in New York. I can’t find the words to begin to express my two sided coin of despair and fury.

For now, I’ll just pass along several days worth of a few links, please, take the time to read at least some of them (I’d recommend the three NYT pieces for those of you who don’t have the time to delve deeper.)

I will be following her sentencing in FL closely as well.

I’ve only pulled to bits out of the one NYT article below, pertaining to the current status of Leekin’s one time adopted children.

Lawyers: Severely punish NY woman who abused kids, AP, July 14th, ’08

Judge Hints at Harsh Sentence in Adoption Fraud Case, New York Times, July 15th, ’08

Adoptive mom gets 11 years for fraud, awaits abuse hearing, Palm Beach Post, July 15th, ’08

Woman gets nearly 11 years for NY adoption fraud, AP July 15th, ’08

10-Year Sentence in Scheme to Bilk Adoption System, New York Times, July 16th, 08

A severely handicapped boy disappeared from Ms. Leekin’s home in 2000, prosecutors have written to the judge, and the authorities have not been able to determine where he was taken, or find “any other clues about whether he is still alive.”

After court, Ms. Leekin’s lawyer, Diamond R. Litty, declined to comment when asked about the missing child.


As for the children, most of whom are now young adults, their futures are uncertain, Howard M. Talenfeld, a lawyer for the children, said in an interview after the hearing.

Some have shown a remarkable resilience, he said. “You’d be amazed,” he said, adding, “They still have an uphill battle.”

But for the ones who are highly disabled, he said: “Unfortunately, they’re in custodial care, in group homes. One is blind. And it’s one of the saddest, most pathetic things I’ve ever seen.”

Judith Leekin gets almost 11 years on New York child neglect charges TC Palm, July 16th, 08

All of which has led to a much broader investigation of adoption subsidies being misused as Leekin’s case was far from the only adoption related money grab scam taking place. Leekin is but one particular node of a broader system of adoption fraud;

Officials Accused of Taking Agency Money in Fake Adoptions New York Times, July 17th, 08

Undoubtedly, there will be more details forthcoming.

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