Friday, May 30, 2008


Is society doing everything it can for children? Are we going in right or wrong direction? Some how I think we have forgotten the children. I think religion in adoption is just the wrong way to go. Adoption is a legal procedure and should reflect that.

The states have got financial initiatives to place as many foster care children as possible. There is financial motivation. I believe its five grand a child. That doesn't make good sound adoptions for children. This initiative put into place by Safe Children and Family Act signed by President Clinton. I believe the intentions were good but it doesn't work. So we all need to go back to the drawing board. We are hearing more and more cases of child abuse and neglect within adoptive families. We have to go for a higher standard.

Do any of you remember Sean's story? His natural grandfather is upset and is currently suing the agency who placed his grandson. I hope that he wins. Someone has to be accountable for this type of situation. I think it should be the agency. His adoptive mother smothered him to death. Here is the link and the story.

Children continue testimony

Lynn Paddock is charged with first-degree murder in the suffocation of her 4-year-old adopted son, Sean.
News & Obsever photo by Ted Richardson
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Smithfield — A judge will decide whether the jury can hear a recorded phone conversation from February. Tami called Lynn Paddock at the Johnston County jail to ask why Sean was dead.

Tami said she was drunk when she made the call. Lynn Paddock told her that it was an accident, Tami testified this morning after jurors left the room.

Earlier this morning, Tami Paddock, Lynn Paddock's oldest adopted child, told jurors that Sean turned into a zombie in the days before his death.

"He wasn't himself," Tami said. "He'd just sit there and stare off into space. He loved cars and you could put them in front of him and he wouldn't touch them. He acted like there was no life in him."

Paddock, 47, is on trial for first-degree murder in the death of Sean. He was bound so tightly in blankets one night in February 2006 that he suffocated.

The night before he died, Sean told Tami he needed to tell her something, she told jurors. He never got the chance. The two were interrupted, Tami said.

The next morning, Paddock's six oldest children woke up in a fright, Tami said. There was a sheriff's car outside. Lynn, Johnny and Sean weren't there.

Hours later, Tami told jurors that Lynn and Johnny came home and called a family meeting. Johnny told them that Sean had died.

"David started crying and she reached out and smacked him," Tami said. " She told him this wasn't the time to show out."

David, Sean and Hannah had arrived at the Paddocks not a year before.

Children's Home Society, a private adoption agency contracted by the state to place foster children, turned over six children to the Paddocks from 1996 to 2005. Lynn Paddock, 47, is on trial for the murder of her youngest adopted child, Sean. He suffocated to death after being bound so tightly in blankets that he couldn't breathe.

Tami, now 21, told jurors that when Children's Home Society delivered another batch of children — Sean and his sister Hannah and brother David — in 2005, Lynn Paddock seemed to loose it. Tami said she became mean and irritable all the time.

"She got almost like she couldn't stand children," Tami said. "I didn't understand why you'd want to adopt kids. She just seemed like we were always in her way. She could never do anything she wanted to do because she had kids."

A judge told jurors this morning that Tami has been granted immunity from prosecutors in exchange for their testimony. An attorney negotiated that deal for her soon after Sean's death because Tami was a legal adult at the time and feared she could be held responsible for the abuse of the minor children.

On Thursday, Ray Paddock told jurors that he had lied to deputies and social workers about what went on in his home because he feared his adoptive mother Lynn Paddock would beat him.

Ray, 17, said on the witness stand that he told deputies lies to cover for his mother after his 4-year-old brother, Sean, died.

"I didn't want to be the one, if she went home with us that night, to be the one who told on her," Ray told jurors. "I knew it wouldn't go well for the one who did."

Paddock, 47, is on trial for first-degree murder in the death of Sean. He was bound so tightly in blankets one night in February 2006 that he suffocated.

On Thursday morning, defense attorneys picked through each of the statements Ray made to authorities after Sean's death. They grilled him on when he told the truth and when he had fibbed. Ray said that he slowly felt comfortable confessing what happened after he was put into a foster home.

Ray said the children helped shield Paddock, even to a social worker from Children's Home Society, a private adoption agency that placed six children with the Paddocks since 1996.

Ray said they posed for pictures to send to the adoption agency to pretend that their family was normal. The photos were a ruse, Ray said, shot to convince social workers that the children led enriched lives with the Paddocks. "We went to Florida and Alabama, but those were rare trips," Ray said. "It was all put on to make it look like we were one big happy family."

Paddock's children have accused her of beating them with plastic plumbing pipe, forcing them to exercise for hours on end and taping their mouths shut to keep them quiet.

Four of Paddocks' children have offered their stories of abuse. The two oldest, Jessy and Tami, are expected to testify today.

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