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Did Alleged Abusive Baby-Hoarding Kansas Councilman Steal A Child From Lesbians? Probably
He seems terrible.
Remember Topeka Councilman Jonathan Schumm, and his sad wife, Allison, and how they were IN JAIL for felony child abuse of at least one of their 16 children? Thanks to excellent reporting by Buzzfeed, we have two new gross pieces of information: what exactly they did to one of their kids (ALLEGEDLY), and how they stole a baby from a lesbian couple, because Kansas.
[contextly_sidebar id="ay6OL8Lq9nkWAJamrUZhjo6ewwrEnFPR"]First, let's get this out of the way: what does the Law say the Schumms did to their 12-year-old son -- one of just 16 of their babies, 12 of whom are fostered or adopted by the couple, which SEEMS EXCESSIVE, KANSAS CHILD WELFARE WORKERS? This, and it's not precisely "giving them a swat on their bottoms," Internet commenters:
The district attorney alleges that between Oct. 7 and Oct. 11 this year, Jonathan took a 12-year-old child into a bedroom, forced him to lie on the ground, and whipped him with a leather and metal belt, lacerating the child’s eye. Schumm is then alleged to have strangled the child and threatened to kill him, according to the documents.
Let's move on, shall we, to the far more hilarious part of the story where Kansas officials are stealing babies from lesbians to give to the good, Christian, home-schooling, traditionally familied, not-lesbian Schumms, even though the Kansas officials themselves were like HMMMM MAYBE GIVING ANOTHER KID TO A COUPLE WITH 15 CHILDREN, A LIMITED INCOME, A TINY HOUSE, AND MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ES BAD IDEA, NO? That seems like a much funner part of the story, let's do that.
According to Buzzfeed, baby "Isabella" was removed by Kansas officials from a couple of married African-American social workers who had been fostering her since she was five days old and hoped to adopt her. There was just one problem with the married African-American social worker ladies, and that problem was that their sex parts matched each other's sex parts instead of being different sex parts that fit inside each other's sex parts like a nut and a bolt and other machine thingies that prove homosexuality is an abomination, QED. I'm sure you will agree that's a pretty good reason!
Baby Isabella's brothers and sisters had already been taken in by the Schumms, who wanted Isabella when she was born as well, but Kansas officials were like "maybe not a great plan, because of how you are stacking the children in your house like cordwood," until the Schumms said "well we will just adopt her instead of fostering her, and then your cordwood regulations will not apply," and Kansas, under the lead of DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore, said "groovy!"
Isabella, who was now just about a year old, was removed from her lesby parents because of a "neglect" report citing eczema, asthma, and thrush. (Eczema and asthma are both on the same gene; how Isabella's parents were charged with neglect for her having them remains unclear.) Weeks later, the neglect report was marked unsubstantiated, but Isabella had already been given to the Schumms, because reason.
Here is what Allison Schumm wrote on her blog before Kansas gave her eight more children, including Isabella:
Here is my Desperate. My need to breath. Shortly after Kyrsten was born, I started getting sicker. I had been sick most of my life, but doctors had never been able to tell me what was wrong. After she was born I kept getting sicker and sicker. I was suffering from depression, bipolar, IBS, numbness in my hands, complex migraines, regular migraines, insomnia and fatigue. Being a mom of 8 at the time, I couldn’t understand why God would give me 8 beautiful children and then allow me to be unable to care for them.
You can see why the state thought she and her Topeka councilman husband would be a better choice than some gay ladies.
Buzzfeed weaves proof of Kansas's antipathy to gay parents throughout its story; it also includes the "fun" fact that Jonathan Schumm's dad is Walter R. Schumm, an anti-gay professor of "family studies," whose work has been debunked by better people than I.
Here's the state's reasoning:
Saint Francis [a faith-based DCF contractor] Communications Director Vickee Spicer told BuzzFeed News, “Best practices would dictate that children are placed with family, which, in this case, was with the siblings the Schumms already had, and therefore, preference would most likely be given to the Schumms. We don’t want to deny children the opportunity to grow up with family and allow the siblings to bond and grow together.”
Not to play the race card, but mightn't a black baby's best interests be with a black couple, when ready and willing and who were her de facto parents for the first year of her life? And mightn't her best interests be to not be one of 16 kids (with more, reportedly, on the way!) fighting for attention -- and even schooling! -- from an overwhelmed parent with mental health issues? We are just spitballin'; we're sure the answer is no. At least, according to Kansas.