Archive for Sunday, March 30, 2003

House bill would open foster care records for deaths, near-deaths

March 30, 2003


— The records of children in foster care who die or nearly die would be opened under legislation the Kansas House approved Friday.

The measure, which was approved 112-10, was prompted by the death last year of 9-year-old Brian Edgar. An autopsy showed Brian had been bound and gagged before his lifeless body was taken to a hospital Dec. 30.

Brian's adoptive parents, Neil Edgar Sr., 47, and Christy Edgar, 46 -- who were the leaders of a Kansas City, Kan., storefront church -- and baby sitter Chasity Boyd, 19, are charged with first-degree murder in his death.

Seven members of the couple's God's Creation Outreach Ministry also have been charged in Wyandotte County with abusing the Edgars' three adopted children, including Brian, and a 12-year-old boy who knew the family.

Members of the church disciplined the children for disrespecting adults and not paying attention at church by hogtying them and leaving them in that position overnight, Wyandotte County Dist. Atty. Nick A. Tomasic has said.

State authorities have said state laws prohibit them from releasing records from Brian's foster-care assignments or his state-assisted adoption.

A similar measure was passed earlier in the Senate. Differences between the House and Senate version will be worked out in a negotiating committee.

Sen. David Adkins, a Leawood Republican, introduced the bill. He had wanted to include the records of adoptions and foster care.

The House, however, removed the adoption records provisions. Several House members said they feared that opening adoption records would reveal the names of birth parents.

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