Senator evokes Barahona case in appreciation for kids’ guardian ad litemby Dara Kam | March 8th, 2011
State Sen. Ronda Storms paid homage on the Senate floor to a guardian ad litem whose advice was ignored in the adoption of two children, one now dead and the other facing years of rehab.
orge and Carmen Barahona have been charged with the murder of 10-year-old Nubia, found dead in a plastic bag in the bag of her father’s truck in West Palm Beach. Her twin brother Victor is recovering from chemical burns.
The children’s court-appointed lawyer Paul Neumann expressed reservations when the Barahona’s adopted the twins, Storms said without naming the attorney as she introduced a resolution honoring the state’s guardians ad litem, lawyers who work for free to represent abused and neglected children.
Storms began by recalling reports of the grim discovery of Nubia Barahona’s body.
“Maybe you looked away. Maybe you said, ‘Oh no don’t tell me. I don’t want to hear it. I can’t hear it.’ Maybe you can’t hear it and it hurts your heart more than we can stand,” said Storms, R-Valrico, chairwoman of the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.
“The guardian ad litem in that case, that stood for those little children, and although the guardian ad litem was not heard in that case, although the recommendations were not followed, that guardian ad litem was a watchman on the wall,” she said.
“All of these volunteers, these watch people on the wall, to say for these little people, these little bruised and broken and hurt people, they stand there. And they do what you and I can’t do. Because when we see it on the news, we can’t finish our supper. We can’t listen to it. We can’t read about it. But they do,” Storms said.
The resolution (SB 1134) was approved unanimously.