Senator Golden To Propose Legislation Heightening Protection For Foster Children

Martin J. Golden

January 22, 2008


Following this weekend’s news reports of a former Queens woman who adopted 11 disabled children and proceeded to neglect them, Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) will introduce legislation that will verify that children from New York are being adequately cared for even if the legal guardian moves to another state or nation.

"I was horrified when I saw the recent reports that Judith Leekin moved to Florida with the children she adopted while living in New York, collected state subsidies for their care, only to keep those children from school, and starve and handcuff them. I am sickened by the fact that this woman was paid by the State of New York while she tortured children," Said Senator Golden.

Judith Leekin made national news recently when investigators linked her adoption of 11 disabled children to the abuse and neglect of them. In fact, she possibly could have killed one of the children several years ago, yet still continued to be paid by New York State. It is estimated that she received in excess of $1.25 million in the last decade for child care.

‘The fact that this woman may have selected vulnerable, disabled children because the State pays a higher subsidy, and the children would no communicate the abuse is an outrage. These sorts of things happened in Charles Dickens novels. They should not be happening in the United States in the 21st century," continued Senator Golden.

"According to the Administration for Children’s Services, once a child is adopted from foster care, the person can continue to receive public funds with no proof of the child’s well-being. These are children not objects. They should not be treated as a statistic. What needs to be understood is that what is a number to a bureaucrat in Children’s Services is a living being. The system is failing our children and costing lives. I am committed to helping fix that system," concluded Senator Golden.