Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar may have bade their daughter Jinger farewell after she exchanged wedding vows with husband Jeremy Vuolo in November, but the couple welcomed another child to their clan.
Michelle’s niece Rachel Hutchins has an 8-year-old son, who was recently made an official member of the Duggar family, four months after moving in with them last July.
According to In Touch, an Arkansas judge granted the Duggar couple’s request to be recognized as the official guardians of their grand-nephew since November, saying in his decision that it was in the child’s “best interest.”
Jim Bob and Michelle decided to take in the boy after considering the situation of his “unemployed and homeless” mother, who had difficulties raising and caring for him.
“Jim Bob and Michelle have made the child feel right at home. They treat him like their own and he looks up to them as parents,” an insider revealed to the magazine, saying that the boy's mother is also given the right to have supervised visits with her son at the Duggar's house.
Hutchins is reportedly on probation for three years following her arrest last April due to felony charges for breaking and entering.
'She's a good person, but she's made some bad decisions,' an insider previously said to InTouch.
In August 2015, Hutchins gave up custody of her son to Michelle’s sister Carolyn, months prior to her arrest. Consequently, the Duggars requested to take custody of the boy after Carolyn suffered a stroke in July.
The news of Jim Bob and Michelle being granted their request to have custody over the boy comes a little over a year after their son Josh’s molestation scandal made the headlines. Their eldest child had molested four of his younger sisters during his teenage years, but Jim Bob did not file a formal report about his son’s offenses to the authorities.
In July, TLC officially announced the cancellation of the Duggar family's show ‘19 Kids and Counting,’ but eventually featuring two of Jim Bob and Michelle’s daughters, Jessa and Jill, in a special episode on sexual abuse.
Although Josh was present at his sister Jinger’s wedding, he was not featured in the family’s reality TV series ‘Counting On’ wedding special on TLC. Daily Mail pointed out that, following his molestation scandal, the father-of-four was reportedly banned from appearing on his family’s show.
Nonetheless, Josh was reunited with the Duggar clan during the Thanksgiving celebrations in the Ozark Mountains. The family also took to Facebook to share their message of gratitude and forgiveness.
"As I look around the room, I am so deeply touched by God’s love, His forgiveness, His kindness, His provision, His mercies and His tenderness toward each of us,” Michelle wrote. “God’s willingness to redeem us through Christ, in spite of all our failures and imperfections, is so humbling and fills my heart with tremendous gratitude.”