Her name was Faith. She died of a lethal head injury in December 2008 which was ruled a homicide. On Tuesday, her adoptive mother Violet Ray was sentenced to life in prison. The Rays have five other adopted children.
I was actually a little surprised that her adoptive mother was sentenced to life, because the mother appears to be white and Faith appears to be African American or maybe mixed race. There are only a few other adoptive mothers I can think of who were sentenced to life in prison for the death of an adopted child.* One was that woman who killed two of her adopted children and put the bodies in a freezer. The other was a woman of Chinese descent with a child from China. She received a life sentence. Her husband, a stay-at-home father, was charged with lesser crimes. An African American adoptive mother was sentenced to 15 to life for the death of her Chinese-born child.
Previous reports on Faith’s case indicate that the parents passed the homestudies with no apparent concerns. I tend to believe that it’s pretty hard to fail a homestudy and that privilege and the various -isms work together in the process.
*edited to add for clarity: There are dozens of adoptive parents who have been convicted of killing their children. Until the Ray case, I had only been aware of parents of color who received life sentences.
File photo from Ocala.com