Poisonous Parenting on Parade

It's happened again. Another mom drowned her kids in the bathtub.


City prosecutors filed two counts of aggravated murder against Amber Hill, 22, after a coroner ruled the deaths of the girls, ages 4 and 2, were homicides.

Hill had no documented history of neglecting the girls, but had herself been the victim of abuse by their father, Jamie Cintron, according to authorities and court records.

“We never had a call of any maltreatment of the children,” said Jim McCafferty, director of the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services. “The kids were clean and well cared for. It's just a sad situation.”

Cintron, 23, said Hill called him at work Monday and said their children “are at peace,” police Lt. Thomas Stacho said. He then went to the woman's apartment and pulled the girls from the water in the

I was actually watching a television show about Andrea Yates when I read this news. And I knew that I'd post about it, though I also knew that doing so would will probably draw some criticism about politicizing or exploiting what's clearly a tragedy no matter how you look at it. But every time I hear a store like this one, I can't help remembering that even though the only thing our son has ever gotten in the bathtub is a bath, we're still in the same category as parents who do all manner of violence to their children.

The series I didn't intend to be a series is becoming the series that just won't die. Now, to be fair, there's a good reason for that. There are, after all, more heterosexuals than homosexuals. That's the way it's always been and — despite the fear of various and sundry wingnuts that everyone's gonna up and go gay and stop reproducing if there's even slightly less discrimination against gays or anything approaching equal treatment — how it's always gonna be. Thousands upon thousands of years of human history and human culture, including many in which same-sex orientation was not only tolerated but an accepted part of some cultures, bear that out.

As a result, there are probably going to be more heterosexual parents than homosexual parents. Thus there are going to be more stories of disastrous heterosexual parenting than disastrous homosexual parenting. To be sure, the latter does exist. Some gay people can be bad parents, just like some heterosexuals can be bad parents. But, in the minds of some people the obvious opposite assumption, that some gay people can be good parents just like some heterosexuals can be good parents, doesn't apply because (as I pointed out before) you can't be gay and be a good parent.


The point is that there are people who put me and other gay parents in the same category as these parents. The point is that there are people who believe that being heterosexual makes someone an inherently better candidate for parenthood and that being gay makes one an inherently inferior parent, because gay parents are abusive and selfish by definition. It doesn't matter what you do or don't do to your kids. Being heterosexual doesn't automatically make you a good parent, but you can't be a good parent and be gay, according to their logic.

It's the logical extension of assumption that you can't be gay and be a good person.


It comes down to a basic question: Can you be gay and be a good person? Can you be good person and be gay? Can you be gay and good? Good and gay? From religious conservatives, there seem to be two answers: Maybe. And no.

We're even, really,  less than parents and even less than citizens according to the Maryland Court of Appeals, because we didn't conceive and deliver the son we've loved and cared for for nearly five years, and whom we'll love and care for any many ways for the rest of our lives. Amber Hill, on the other hand, is clearly heterosexual and clearly made babies with her (abusive) husband, and is thus more of a parent and more of citizen than we are.


The family of Amber Hill offered an explanation Tuesday for why she would drown her two toddler daughters in a bathtub: years of domestic violence finally caused the 22-year-old mother to snap.

But the children's 23-year-old father, Jaime Cintron, was committed to working through their rocky relationship, including learning to control his temper, so that he could be a good father to their children, his family said.

They said he took anger-management classes and both he and Hill took parenting classes.

  “Bottom line, he is not the one who did the crime,” said Vivian Cintron, the mother of Jaime Cintron.

The two views play out in a double slaying that has made national headlines.

So is Wendy Cook, the multi-tasking Saratoga mom I read about via DaddyTypes, who — between turning tricks — snorted cocaine off her eight-week-old's stomach. While breast feeding.


Wendy Cook, a 37-year-old from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was one of five women caught early Monday morning in Schenectady, N.Y., in an undercover sex sting operation.

Through interviews with others who had interacted with Cook near the time of her arrest, Kilcullen said investigators determined that she had performed oral sex on a pair of customers while her two children, an 8-week-old son and a 5-year-old daughter, were awake in the back seat of her car.

Authorities also allege that Cook used drugs in the car with the children, including smoking crack cocaine and using her son as a tool to ingest cocaine.

“We learned throughout our investigation that while breast-feeding, she snorted cocaine off the stomach of the infant,” Kilcullen said.

But Wendy's clearly heterosexual, or at least has heterosexual tendencies. She likes boys well enough, and she's made babies. So, if she can just stop sucking off strangers while her kids are in the car (or at least make sure they're asleep first), and stop snorting coke off her son's stomach, she'll be well on her way to being a good parent and citizen. She's already met the first two most important criteria.

So do the parents I read about over at Parents Behaving Badly, all of whom make Britney — who just turned her boys over to Daddy Federline — look almost like Mary Poppins.

I mean parents like Drenda Patrick and Reginald Carr.


Officers found the boy lying in his own feces and dried blood on the linoleum floor of an apartment unit Thursday. He had a fractured skull, broken nose and burns on his arm, which had been broken. Police arrested his mother and her live-in boyfriend.

“I knew something was wrong,” said Cook. “But I didn't think it would be this bad.”

Police say the boy was burned and beaten by his mother's boyfriend, with the mother's complicity. Reginald Carr, 42, broke the boy's arm and bashed him in the head with an aerosol can, cracking his skull, police said.

When the boy refused to wash his hands with soap and water, Carr held the boy's arm on top of a coiled hot top burner for four seconds, according to police.

…In addition to brutalizing the boy, Carr and Patrick also kept him locked in a room with no furniture except for a plastic bucket to be used as a toilet, police said. Carr whipped him with an extension cord and beat him regularly with his fists, the boy told police

Hey, at least they made sure he had the right reading material.


For about a month last year, the boy was enrolled in Skyview Elementary, Hayworth said. His teachers told police the boy was friendly and engaged in his studies, but his mother and Carr eventually withdrew him, saying they were going to homeschool him. School officials say they didn't notice any abuse at the time.

The boy was recovering at a hospital Friday, and officials will determine where to place him after his release.

Hayworth said the boy received little education. As he sat in a locked room, he had only one book: the Bible.

And Alysha Green (another Texas mom whose husband apparently ignored her mental illness).


Ariania Green, a 3-year-old critically burned Saturday in a fire that police say was set by her mother, died Tuesday afternoon after being taken off life support at a Dallas hospital.

She had suffered burns over 90 percent of her body.

Her two older sisters, who also were doused with gasoline and set on fire at their Haltom City home, remained at the hospital with severe burns.

Alysha Green, 29, now faces a charge of capital murder in addition to two counts of injury to a child with serious bodily harm, Haltom City police spokeswoman Sgt. Terry Stayer said in a news release late Tuesday.

…Alysha Green is accused of herding the girls into a closet, dousing herself and her daughters with gasoline and then setting them on fire. Neighbors pulled the two older girls from the house as Alysha Green knocked on another neighbor's door to get help. She then returned to get Ariania.

The girls' father, Adam Green, arrived a short time after his daughters were pulled out, a neighbor has said.

And finally, there's Oklahoma mom Rae Dawn Smith.


Jurors in July found Smith guilty of allowing her then-second husband to abuse Kelsey. They chose the punishment of 27 years.

Kelsey, 2, died on Oct. 11, 2005, at her home near Meeker. Doctors determined she died from abuse. Jurors heard testimony that Kelsey had been abused for months, suffering broken bones, bruises, a sexual assault and other injuries.

(Based on the pic, it looks like she's pregnant again.)

I could go on and on, and never get this posted.

Amber. Wendy. Dendra. Raye. All apparently heterosexual and all proven procreators.

I guess that answers the question I always ask in these posts: What have these parents got that we don't?


Somehow that they're heterosexual puts them ahead of me in the realm of parenting, as a gay dad with two un-baked kids. And, because they made those babies with their own reproductive organs, thus proving their reproductive capabilities – no matter how well they parented them once they got them out of the delivery room – they meet the Maryland Court of Appeals minimum requirement to be deemed worthy of the rights and protections of marriage, for themselves, their spouses and their children.

Not so for my family.

Asked and answered.

Of course, that doesn't mean I'm going to stop asking.

Crossposted from the Republic of T.

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