RICHMOND, Texas (FOX 26) -
Paula Sinclair and her husband were licensed by the state to be foster parents for kids with special needs. With the blessing of Child Protective services, the couple adopted eight special needs children in 2003 and 2004.
“Once the adoption is consummated once it’s legal legally they are the parents,” said CPS spokesperson Tiffani Butler.
And CPS says it has nothing more to do with the family.
Now 54-year-old Paula Sinclair and 75-year-old Allen Richardson are accused of forcing the special needs teens to live in a small bug-infested room. They would be locked in there so long the teens would soil themselves, authorities say. Deputies discovered the kids were beaten barely fed and never spent a single day in school.
CPS says it did revisit the family in 2011 after one of their adopted children a 7-year-old boy with special needs died.
“Abuse or neglect was not suspected, so the case was closed,” Butler said. “The children were never removed.”
Just this past April, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department contacted CPS after one of the teens told a deputy they were being mistreated.
“But at the time there was not enough evidence to warrant an investigation,” said Butler.
So how did things allegedly get so bad in just 7 months?
“That’s what we’re looking at right now,” Butler said.
What investigators say these special needs kids had to endure has child advocates demanding action. They say CPS should monitor adoptions, especially when the children involved can’t fend for themselves.
“We don’t go back and check,” Butler said. “That would be like going into anybody’s home checking on a family we don’t have the legal right to go and check on a family.”
Sinclair and Richardson remain jailed charged with aggravated kidnapping and injury to a child. No criminal charges have been filed against Sinclair’s husband.