Saturday, December 02, 2006

ABUSE IN ADOPTION PART 1

It seems to be rampid. Its funny when international adoption agencies start screwing over prospective adoptive parents, the government steps in. Its the major reason why the United States signed the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. Adoptive parents are now to go through a very thorough screening process. Adoptive parents also want a complete and accurate medical and background documentation. I understand that one - heck I want it for myself. I can't get it, though, because Indiana law prohibits birth fathers and their families from signing up on the registry. I read that on the St. Elizabeth Coleman website. Mary Hinds does allow it hoping the law will change to allow birth fathers the opportunity to find their lost children.

One agency, Gladney, was sued twice for "wrongful adoption." Gladney fought giving the adoptive parents medical information. Gladney just drizzled the information out. When open records legislation initially came out in Texas. President Bush (then governor of Texas) said that he would veto it. It was the only time that he actually came to sit on a bill being voted on while he was governor. By the way he, his wife, and his mother are honorary members of their executive board. Gladney was one of those here in Texas that fought even giving out non identifying information out. They also fought any and all laws concerning that information. Gladney is also one of the founding members of the National Council for Adoption. Gladney drug its feet giving this family vital information concerning their child. They and another family had to sue them in order to get vital information that should have been given them before the adoption even occurred.

Louise Wise has also been sued for wrongful adoption, by Martin and Phyllis Juman. The agency failed to geive all the proper information. The agency had told that the birth mother had difficulties over the loss of her fiance. The Jumans began their requests for information in 1983. Their son had begun to show sings of schizophrenia and depression. In 1983 New York law required that adoptive parents be given medical and mental histories of their child. This couple's son was treated in two different state hospitals. In 1989, Michael, their son, contacted the agency repeatedly. He was rebuffed on all occasions. He did eventually find his birth family. It was then that the family found out that there was a history of schizophrenia. That his mother had spent many years in a mental institution. His mother probably had the relationship with another patient. At this point, Michael asked his parents to sue the adoption agency. His adoptive mother balked at the idea but Michael asked his father to keep the promise to follow through. In 1994 his parents began the process. The agency balked at giving such information because they felt that the Jumans lacked good cause to receive the information. In 1999 the courts decide that the lawsuit would go forward five years after Michael's death. It was the first of its kind in New York.

In West Virgina, another case also came to my attention. The Wolfords v. The Children's Home Society of West Virginia. In December 1991, the Wolfords adopted Jordan. The Wolfards began to notice facial abnormalities and asked the adoption agency about it. They wanted to know if there was any connection to fetal alcohol syndrome. They wanted to know if the birth mother drank during her pregnancy. The child was being checked out by Shawnee Hills for such a thing. The adoption agency denied all of it. The adoption was finalized in June 1993. The medical problems persisted in Jordan. The agency continued to deny any connection to fetal alcohol syndrome. It wasn't until September 1995 when the Wolfords received records from Shanee Hills that they realized that the adoption agency lied to them. The court case did find in favor of the adoptive parents.

With Gladney having two cases and the many many more that I found, agencies do not want records opened. They would be sued for the lies that they have perpetrated in order to get the all mighty buck. Here is a list of fourteen other cases that I found:

In 1985 in West Virginia, James G. v. Caserta
In 1986 in Ohio, Burr v. Board of County Commissioners
In 1988 in California, Michael J. v. County of Los Angeles
In 1989 in Wisconsin, Meracle v. Children's Service Society
In 1990 in Iowa, Engstrom v. State
In 1990 in Mississippi, Foster v. Bass
In 1992 in Illinois, Roe v. Catholic Charities
In 1994 in Pennsylvania, Gibbs v. Ernst
In 1995 in Massachusetts, Mohr v. Commonwealth
In 1995 in Rhode Island, Mallette v. Children's Friend and Services
In Minnesota, M.H. and J.L.H. v. Caretas Family Services
In 1998 in Montana, Jackson v. State
In 1998 in Washington, Mckinney v. State
In 2003 in Texas, Gladney and two families.

If this doesn't say something about adoption then I don't know what does. Adoptive families want the records for their children's sake. Adoptees want their records for themselves. Birth parents want their children to have their records. In one of these cases, the adoption agency actually argued that exposing adoption agencies to tort or contrct liability would violate public policy by burdening the agencies with the unrealistic requirement of guaranteeing the future and happiness of adopted children. Public Policy cannot extend to condone concealment or intentional misrepresentation. They should be at least responsible to the parents to be as honest as possible. They should not cover everything up.

Part 2 Birthparent lawsuits against adoption agencies.

The state governments owe to us. They owe us our rights. They need to realize that its us that is affected by their laws. They should be asking us on how to make the laws right. Adoption agencies has victimized all of us in the triad. Its time we hold them accountable.

2 comments:

iris eyes said...

Amy, from what I understood , the Louise Wise case of "wrongful adoption" was based on the claim of the adopters that they "would not have adopted the child had they known of the schizophrenia of the mother."So this was not a case of their desire to help raise the child better...they openly admitted they wouldn't have wanted him. And he knew this. The "family" was on "60 minutes" many years ago.The son said he "didn't blame " his adoptive parents for feeling the way they did about him. Shortly after that, he killed himself.How tragic.

One of the Gladney cases involved an adoption that just didn't work out..adopters and the "daughter" didn't get along. They sued Gladney for medical information. Gladney provided it, including the fact that the nmother had had 2 abortions(this is confidential medical information) before the pregnancy that produced the surrendered child.This was published in a daily Texas newspaper, along with other family medical history that was not hereditary.
I agree that families should share hereditary medical history, but there are adopters who are suing because they don't like what they got.
I have a relative(cousin) who is schizophrenic.Her parents(biological)always loved her and did everything they could for her. The causes of that disease are not clear and ..one wonders...Should my aunt and uncle have tried to sue someone? If so, whom?The hereditary causes of disease/conditions are often unclear and or/not known, nor can anyone know for sure what information is even known in a family.

These wrongful adoption cases commodify children even more,making them into a product with 'defects" and 'warrantees".Giving birth is always a risk and so is adoption.Children are not cars, washing machines, or tv sets.They are not created on an assembly line with interchangeable parts.And they do not come with a guarantee.

Anonymous said...

Great work, keep writing and keep pushing for the truth.

I am an adoptee whose legal (adopting) parents may or may not have chosen to return me if they had been given a safety measure of returning me. Instead, I made due just as so many birth children do. Except in my case, I was told over and over to be grateful to the people that were taking their frustrations out on me. In birth families children are told that parents make mistakes and that abuse they suffer is not thier fault. In adoptive families, the children are told to be grateful for the great favor thier "parents" have done for them, and when they complain are shusshed and berated for being ungrateful for the "family they have".

There should be open records available. And, as an adoptee, I can state that I would WELCOME the chance to go back and be placed into the system by my adoptive parents -- I would have been given a chance at a normal life, with grants for college, etc rather than being a second class member of a middle class family.

Adoption agencies should guarantee the happiness and well being of children they place. Perhaps the threat of lawsuits would activate self interest enough to follow up since the welfare of the families is not important enough motivator for agencies to follow up.

In my experience, the only people opposed to the truth are those who have something to hide.