OLYMPIA — The state House on Tuesday passed unanimously a bill that would change the state’s adoption process.
Rep. Mary Helen Roberts, Lynnwood Democrat and prime sponsor of the House Bill 1675, said it would help fill gaps in the regulation of Washington adoptions that were exposed after a Sedro-Woolley couple’s neglect led to the death of an adopted 13-year-old Ethiopian girl.
Larry and Carri Williams, convicted in September, left adopted daughter Hana outside for an extended period of time to punish her for “being rebellious,” according to a September 2012 report by the state Office of Family and Children’s Ombudsman. Hana died of malnutrition and hypothermia.
The report on the severe abuse of adopted children included the Williams case in issuing recommendations for improvement to the state’s adoption process.
Following those recommendations, the bill calls for an investigation, before and after adoption, into the adoptive parents’ planned approach to child discipline.
It also calls on the Department of Social and Health Services to put in place processes to better oversee adoptions in the state.
The bill now moves onto state Senate.