I don’t know if Woody Allen sexually abused his daughter Dylan Farrow. What I do know is that he lost custody of his three children, Dylan, Ronan (Satchel) and Moses, in 1993. And not only did he lose custody, he was banned from seeing Dylan again without special approval from a psychotherapist. He was permitted visitation with Ronan but only under the supervision of a social worker. His oldest son Moses, 15 years old at the time, was allowed by the court to cut his father off completely.
How, then, was Woody allowed to adopt another child a few years later, in 1999, and a second in 2000? Nevermind that he was adopting, this time around, with Soon-Yi Previn — the adopted daughter of Allen’s ex, Mia Farrow — and all of the complication and controversy surrounding how their relationship came to be.
There are two hurdles to adoption that I wonder how Woody lept over:
1. He was “indicated.” According to Vanity Fair sources, Allen had an “indicated” New York State Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) case. An “indicated” case means probable cause of abuse had been found. While it’s not a legal finding, it is enough for ACS to have someone’s children taken away and put into foster care. It IS possible for someone to get their indicated ACS case expunged, which is not easy. The burden would be on Woody to prove that the abuse did not happen. Given Woody’s response to Dylan’s New York Times letter, I doubt he had his record expunged — that would have been a valuable public relations defense to point out.
2. The home study interviews. More interesting to me is how Woody’s home study interviews went. A home study is an interview, or series of interviews, conducted by a social worker in the home of the would-be adoptive parent(s). Surely the interview started off with something like “Tell me about the relationship you have with your other three children” and “How did you meet your wife?” I would LOVE to read that home study evaluation — I can’t even imagine.
As most know, adoption is a lengthy process by which would-be parents have to account for every major event and relationship in their past. Which adoption agency and which home study social worker put the stamp of approval on not one but two additional adoptions for Woody?
Right now, there are two teenage daughters who are most assuredly getting inundated with questions and opinions about whether or not their father is a child molester. It’s not their fault — and I hope they are strong girls who can get past this.