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Angelica Leslie's Parents Arrested
May 25, 2008 permalink
Police have arrested two unnamed people for abandoning Angelica Leslie. The Children's Aid Society of Waterloo has struck it rich, getting three other children of the couple. Some comments:
Children tied to abandonment case in limbo
Angelica-Leslie, three kids taken from accused pair face an uncertain future, psychological side effects
May 24, 2008, Nick Kyonka, Staff Reporter
While the parents charged with abandoning her sit in jail, the future remains uncertain for baby Angelica-Leslie and three other young children who were taken from the couple's home this week.
Child care experts agree the removal of a child from his or her family can sometimes cause devastating psychological effects. But a case like this raises additional questions:
- Can the abandoned baby girl be reunited with her siblings?
- Can the children see their parents again?
- What kind of long-term effects will the whole ordeal have on the four children, all under the age of 6?
Workers from the Children's Aid Society confirmed yesterday that three children had been removed from the Kitchener home of the accused couple at the time of their arrests and put in foster care.
Yesterday, the children underwent routine medical examinations – the first in a series of assessments to determine their physical and mental well-being, said Peter Ringrose, the executive director of Family and Children's Services of the Waterloo Region.
The test results likely won't be available until next week, he said.
In the meantime, Ringrose noted, the children are adapting well to their new environment.
"My impression is that the children seem fairly normal," he said.
Meanwhile, the baby at the centre of the ordeal is still in the Toronto-area foster home she had been living in before Wednesday's arrests. When – and if – the four children will be reunited, is still up in the air.
"It's too early to speculate on what will happen to these kids," said Melanie Persaud, of Toronto CAS, noting that whenever possible, they "try to keep the kids together."
Whether the children will ultimately end up together will likely be decided in family court. Next week the CAS will begin the process by serving the parents notice of their legal right to put forth a plan for the children's care.
It seems unlikely, however, that the children would be returned to their parents if they are found guilty of abandoning Angelica-Leslie, Persaud said."It's not impossible, but my goodness it's hard to imagine the circumstances."
If the children were not returned to their parents, and no suitable relatives could care for them, they may end up with adoptive parents.
But child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Diane Philipp says it may be difficult to find a family to take all four children and warns the children will likely be emotionally and psychologically tattered.
"Even if a child's in a fairly abusive situation, separating them from their parents is a fairly traumatic event and will have consequences," said Philipp, head of an infant and preschool assessment and treatment team at the Hincks-Dellcrest centre for children's mental health.
Should the children be adopted, their future parents will play a vital role in answering the children's questions and helping them understand the events of the last three months and subsequent turmoil.
"Of course it's going to have an impact ... but it really depends on the family care system that they're put into and how well they're looked after from that point onwards," Philipp said.
Source: The Toronto Star