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Sherin Mathews: Story of an adoption gone wrong
In what must be the saddest news for those in Richardson, North Texas, and people in India who have been following the case, the Richardson police announced on Sunday that the body of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews may have been found.

Her body was recovered from a culvert close to her home. Sherin went missing from her home in the wee hours of October 7, 2017. Her adoptive father, Wesley Mathews claimed that he had sent her out at 3 am to stand under a tree near their house as she refused to drink her milk. And when he went out 15 minutes later, she was gone. Instead of going to the police at once, Wesley said that he did the laundry thinking that she would return on her own. But she didn't. Soon after, Mathews went to the police at sunrise the next day to report the missing child. He was arrested for abandonment and endangerment of a child and was later released on bail.

The body of the child is yet to be identified as that of Sherin. The cause of death will be revealed only after an autopsy. The biological daughter of the Mathews couple, who are natives of Kerala, is now in foster care. Sherin Mathews was adopted in 2016 from Bihar. Abandoned by her parents, she suffered from 'developmental issues and limited verbal communication skills'.

Assuming that the body recovered is that of Sherin, several disturbing questions arise from the strange behaviour of Wesley Mathews. America, unlike India, is a country which stringently upholds the rights of children and parents can get arrested even for spanking their kids. Under the circumstances, Mathews' choice of punishment is rather bizarre. No sane person would send a 3-year-old child to stand outside the house at 3 am simply because she refused to drink her milk. His reaction to her disappearance is no less bizarre. Instead of informing the cops, he did his laundry and waited for her to return home! All this is highly suspicious and suggests that a crime may have been committed, to cover up which, a cock and bull story has been concocted. The Mathews' home was searched by detectives and the FBI and it was also announced that someone in the house had taken the car and gone out for an hour at around 4 am.

There are questions that need to be probed. Did Wesley Mathews assault the child when she refused to drink her milk? Or did something more sinister take place that night? Was the child abused? Was she killed when she resisted? No one knows yet.

The case reveals why adoption agencies in India have to be extremely careful when giving up children for adoption abroad. Once a child goes abroad, it is very difficult to keep track of the child's progress. But, generally, foreigners who adopt Indian children seem to treat them well. They have no qualms in adopting children with health problems whereas Indians mostly prefer to adopt healthy children.

Poor Sherin did not deserve the cruel fate that destiny had in store for her. If she had not been adopted by the Mathews couple, at least she would have been alive. If found guilty, Wesley Mathews must be put away for life and barred from any contact even with his biological daughter. It is obvious that he is not fit to take on the duties and responsibilities of caring for a child, even if his own.

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