Gay Couple Left Infant to Die in Hot Car, and the Daily Mail Praised Them

News & Politics

Earlier this month, a baby girl tragically lost her life just two months after her adoption. Someone discovered her unresponsive body in an SUV parked outside her adoptive parents’ residence around 12:20 a.m. on June 13. Despite efforts to revive her, she succumbed to the heat after her parents left her unattended in the car for several hours.

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The Daily Mail had the exclusive story, and what they wrote is sickening — not just because of the preventable tragedy but because of the way the outlet turned the story into a puff piece praising the girl’s adoptive parents — a gay couple.

Romer and Jayson De Los Santos brought the girl home on April 11. They also have a two-year-old son they previously adopted.

It’s hard to imagine a circumstance where anyone would forget a baby in a car, yet a relative — not even her adoptive parents — found her after midnight. Yet the Daily Mail fluffed up their story with smarmy details, and you know the reason why.

Adorable photos showed them cradling the infant and introducing her to their two-year-old son, who was also adopted, and Diana at home in her crib.

‘I haven’t slept in days,’ Romer wrote next to one of them. 

The couple posted a link to an adoption site profile on social media in November, seeking a second child.

‘Our hearts and home are open to providing more love to another amazing child,’ they wrote on the profile.

‘We want our children to grow up full of memories of playing on the beach, building sandcastles, making friends, biking to the park, going on Hawaiian cruises and learning how to raise foster kittens.’

Romer, a senior consultant at Jama Software, and Jayson, a stay-at-home dad since they adopted their son, have been together for more than 20 years.

They tied the knot in 2008 during the few months when same-sex marriage was legal in California before they were again banned by Proposition 8 until 2013.

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The article details their adoption profile, including how they live in a lively three-bedroom house that is “basically a zoo” because it is full of numerous animals, including cats, dogs, chickens, fish, and parakeets. 

“They include a Samoyed named Hero that their son often sleeps on, a west highland white terrier, cats named Shego, Selina, and Puffy, and various foster animals,” the report details. It continues to share all the idyllic details of their home and family life.

Authorities from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. As of now, authorities haven’t filed charges, and I’m wondering whether they will. The article quoted local police, and it doesn’t sound like they’re treating it like they would other cases.

“Never leave your child alone in a car even for a second to dash into a store or to run a quick errand,” police told the Daily Mail. “Summer routines can shift unexpectedly. Even the best parents can forget a quiet or sleeping child is in the backseat of a car.”

“Even the best parents.”

The paper continues to make excuses for the couple forgetting their newly adopted daughter in the car for hours.

Police can also level various charges from neglect to manslaughter depending on what harm comes to the child.

However, parents who mistakenly believe their children were not in the car are often not charged as the pain of losing a child is considered punishment enough.

Some prosecutors still charge parents with manslaughter and many have gone to jail.

As difficult as it is to imagine forgetting your child in a car, experts explain that parents often function on autopilot and lose awareness that a child is there.

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The excuses kept on coming. The article notes that before the 1990s, incidents were rare because that’s when authorities began instructing parents to place young children in the back seat due to the risk of airbags causing harm in accidents, “But this had the unintended consequence of making children strapped into car seats much easier to forget, and even more with rear-facing seats for infants.”

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