Couple Makes $4256.00 Per Month for Adopting Eleven Speical Needs Kids

Child Collecting Foster Adopters Sentenced To Prison
February 16, 2007 11:43 AM EST (Updated: February 16, 2007 12:24 PM EST)
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Some might think a couple who adopted eleven children out of foster care were philanthropists, but when you realize they got adoption subsidy payments of $4256 per month, it is hard to see mere kindness as a motive. And with so many children, a Norwalk, Ohio couple apparently didn’t know what to do, like the old lady in the shoe. So they kept some of the kids in cages made of wire and wood.

Last March a judge decided to terminate their rights to all eleven children, ages 2 to 15, after he determined that at least eight of them had been abused in the Gravelle home.

According to an Associated Press article dated February 15, 2007, Michael Gravelle said, “What do you do with these kids?” He said he prayed for an answer and built cages at the suggestion of social workers. His wife, Susan Gravelle, said the children were never confined as punishment. She claimed the cages were there to protect them. She said one of the children wanted to jump from a second-story window.

Two of the eleven children wrote statements that were read in court. A boy wrote about how grateful he was for his new fosterers. “Because of them I don’t have to steal food,” he said. “I can use the bathroom whenever I want. Never again will I have to sleep in a box.”

A girl’s statement read, “Mom, you walked around like you were God, then whenever you did go places you were Mother Teresa taking in the poor black kids that no one wanted.” She also said that the Gravelles “are grown adults who know the difference between right and wrong. So I ask that they get as much time in jail for as long as my siblings had to be in cages.”

A social worker and others testifying for the Gravelles said the children’s behavior improved because of the cages, which were painted bright red and blue, but the sheriff said the cages were urine stained and lacked pillows and mattresses. One boy claimed to have lived confined to a bathroom for 81 days, and an expert for the defense claimed this imprisonment helped the child.

In any case, the decision has been made as of February 15, 2007. The Gravelles have been sentenced to two years in prison because they adopted so many “special needs” children, that even with $4256 in adoption subsidy payments every month, they didn’t know what to do. Michael Gravelle said when they got into foster-adopting they felt “led by the Lord”. Perhaps if they hadn’t adopted so many kids, it wouldn’t have led to this.

About yvonnemason

Background:  The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.  Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia. Education:  After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006. Awards:  Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major. Affiliations:  Beta Sigma Phi Sorority  Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County The Dream:  Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006. The Inspiration:  Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up The Author: Yvonne is currently the author of several novels, including:  Stan’s Story- the true story of her brother’s accomplishments, it has been compared to the style of Capote, and is currently being rewritten with new information for re-release.  Tangled Minds - a riveting story about a young girl’s bad decision and how it taints everyone’s life around her yet still manages to show that hope is always possible. This novel has been compared to the writing of Steinbeck and is currently being written as a screenplay. This novel will be re-released by Kerlak Publishing in 2009  Brilliant Insanity – released by Kerlak Publishing October 2008  Silent Scream – Released by October 2008- Slated to be made into a movie Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life - “Pay it Forward”: “In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple
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