Justin Harris and his adoption mess is looking more shocking with revelations that he and his wife gave their daughters away to a child molester, according to the Arkansas Times. Harris gave his adopted 6-year-old and 3-year-old daughters to Eric Cameron Francis, a man who worked as a teacher at their Christian preschool and was fired after only three months on the job.
For reasons still unclear, the Harris’ gave the girls away, first to Francis and his wife, and then to another unnamed family. Bill Sadler, spokesman for the State Police, said this was not before Francis did the unthinkable:
“On the afternoon of March 28, 2014, the CID was asked by the commander of the Crimes Against Children Division to assist in determining where two minor age children might be, who had been adopted … By sometime late in the afternoon, CID had told CACD that the girls were accounted for — at the home of a family who appeared not to be the custodial parents of the girls.”
The girls were interviewed by a CACD agent. During this interview, the 6-year-old disclosed the abuse by Francis, which Francis later told police occurred sometime in January 2014, while his wife was out of state.
The Rep. Justin Harris adoption was quite clear. The children weren’t working out in the Harris home and they just gave them away, according to Jezebel. One of the surprises reporters Ben Harding and Leslie Peacock uncovered is that “rehoming” is far too common–and NOT illegal.
As the State Police investigation unfolded, one person kept apprised of its progress was then-Gov. Mike Beebe. Matt DeCample, Beebe’s former spokesperson, said the governor was surprised as anyone to hear about the incident.
“As we were briefed on the State Police investigation into Mr. Francis and the circumstances around that case, none of us in the office, including the governor, had ever dealt with the rehousing of children who had been adopted through DHS … It’s not something that had ever come up before, and, frankly, we didn’t know that it was something that could happen, or why it would ever happen.”
This Rep. Justin Harris adoption incident has brought change in the law that allows adoptive children to simply be given away without notification to the Department of Human Services. There is enough outrage around this particular case that it may bring about change sooner than later.
And wouldn’t you know that Rep. Justin Harris is still working as a state representative. And he’s still serving as the Vice Chair of the Committee on Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs, and Legislative Audit. Of all things.
With that being said, Harris couldn’t wait to release a statement.
“Rep. and Mrs. Harris have suffered a severe injustice. Due to threats of possible abandonment charges, they were unable to reach out to DHS for help with children who presented a serious risk of harm to other children in their home. Upon the advice of both a psychiatrist and a pediatrician, they were forced to move the children to the home of trusted friends, who had a lot of experience with children with reactive attachment disorder. Rep. and Mrs. Harris are devastated about the outcome of that decision, but faced with no good option, they did the best that they knew how.
Rep. Justin Harris’ adoption wasn’t right. Yes, they gave a 6-year-old girl, who’d previously been sexually abused, away to a man who’d been fired from their religious daycare service after only 3 months because he was so unreliable, notes Wonkette. Now the Harris family says THEY are the ones who’ve suffered injustice.