A Franklin Park couple accused of abusing their two adopted children can be reunited with their two biological children.
A family court judge ruled in December that Douglas and Kristen Barbour should have custody of their 5- and 2-year-old children, but as a condition of the couple's bond, a criminal court judge said the parents were not to have unsupervised contact with them.
Deputy District Attorney Laura Ditka told Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey A. Manning she had concerns about the older child being returned to her parents because the girl may be a witness against the Barbours in the abuse case.
To resolve the issue, Judge Manning ordered that the girl's testimony be provided within the next week and be recorded. Once that is accomplished, he said she can be returned to her parents.
The younger child is permitted to be returned now.
Defense attorney Charles Porter, who represents Douglas Barbour, a Pennsylvania deputy attorney general, said it is likely they will wait to return both children at the same time so as not to split them up. They are currently in the custody of their paternal grandparents.
The Barbours will still have oversight by Allegheny County Children, Youth and Families.
They adopted two children from Ethiopia last year and are accused of withholding food from the boy, who was then 6 years old. The girl, who was 19 months, suffered head trauma.
The adopted children are now in foster care.
A trial date is set for July 9.
Paula Reed Ward: email@example.com or 412-263-2620. First Published April 18, 2013 12:00 AM