A disproportionate number of cases of severe abuse and neglect involve children who are adopted. In some cases, adoptive homeschooling parents come to dislike their adopted children and single them out for abuse, whether verbal, physical, or both. Sometimes an adopted child is homeschooled and abused while their siblings are sent to school and treated well. In some cases, adopted children may be treated as servants and expected to do childcare and housecleaning rather than completing homeschool lessons.

Sometimes, adopted children who face abuse at the hands of their homeschooling parents were brought from overseas. These children’s backgrounds are often especially traumatic, involving war or long-term stays in orphanages. Adopted children, and most especially adopted children from overseas, may need special treatment and adjustment that their adoptive parents may not be properly prepared for. Some fundamentalist Christian leaders have encouraged overseas adoption as part of families’ Christian mission to the extent that they have created what might be called “orphan crazes” among their followers. Some of these families may be unprepared for or unaware of the challenges of international adoption, and some of these adoptions have ended up failing while others have ended in abuse.

Adoption was involved in each of the following cases in the HIC database: