Being a foster or adoptive parent is a special responsibility that takes kindness and care.

The vast majority of parents who take in foster children want to make a difference in their lives and welcome them into their family. Unfortunately, there are always cruel people who take advantage of the system and wind up hurting children in the process.

In Richmond, Texas, the Ford Bend County Sheriff’s department has removed seven special needs children from a home where they were being malnourished, locked in a closet, and beaten regularly. Originally foster children, they were adopted between 2003 and 2004 by Paula Sinclair and Allen Richardson, who had been abusing them for more than a decade.

Paula Sinclair also adopted an eighth child, a seven-year-old special needs boy, in 2011. He died shortly thereafter, but investigations revealed he died of natural causes.

Child Protective Services does not regularly keep in touch with adoptive families unless there has been an allegation of abuse. Sinclair received up to $540 in monthly subsidies for each special needs child.

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The children were locked in a room with a deadbolt, often put in a locked closet, urinated and defecated on themselves, and were only fed rice and beans. They were also regularly beaten with a wooden paddle.

One teen with Down syndrome was found wearing a dirty diaper. All seven teens range in age from 14 to 16.

“I cannot think of a more deplorable situation than what we have learned in this case,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls said. “These people are taking advantage of a lousy situation at the expense of children who cannot fend for themselves. It is absolutely heartbreaking.”

All seven children were removed from the home by Child Protective Services on November 23 and are now recovering in the hospital. See more of their story in the video below.


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The cruelty of these so-called parents is absolutely unthinkable. Sinclair and Richardson now face several felony charges, and hopefully justice will be served. Share if you think all special needs children deserve a home where they are loved and cherished.