Mother Who Gave Methadone to Baby had a History of Abuse and Neglect

The Oregon Department of Human Services may be found culpable for failing to protect two children from the same family: a teenage girl who died in 2016 and a baby who was injured this past November. The children’s mother, 34-year-old Magan McDermott, is also accused of playing a contributing role in both tragedies.

McDermott’s five-month old baby was injured and may have suffered life-altering injuries after his mother gave him methadone to try to get him to sleep. McDermott lost custody of her son when he was only seven weeks old and was found to have ingested narcotics.

After that incident the baby’s father, Francisco Yvanez Diaz Jr., was given custody of the child. He took the baby to McDermott’s sister’s house, and was with both women at the time of the incident. Diaz is on probation after being convicted of assault against McDermott in 2017. The fact that he was granted custody of the baby despite his criminal record has raised questions from the attorney representing the baby’s interests.

After McDermott gave the baby the drug he lost consciousness, had trouble breathing, and had an irregular heartbeat. Paramedics were called to the scene and gave the baby naloxone (Narcan) to revive him. He then spent two nights recovering in the hospital, and may face long-term health complications due to oxygen deprivation to his brain. He’s currently in foster care.

McDermott was arrested and is currently in the Benton County Jail after filing a not guilty plea. In addition to the criminal charges she faces a $900,000 lawsuit filed on behalf of her son.

In 2016 another of McDermott’s children, 15-year-old Gloria Joya, died while in foster care due to gastrointestinal issues that may have been at least partially caused by stress from her upbringing. The Oregon Department of Human Services removed her from McDermott’s care in 2015 after years of reported abuse and neglect.

The estate representing Gloria filed a 9.5 million dollar lawsuit against the state of Oregon alleging negligence in failing to recognize the severity of the girl’s condition. The Oregon Department of Human Serviced has also been criticized for the decision to place the baby in his father’s care given the father’s criminal history. The incident is still under investigation.