Tuesday, December 05, 2006

ABUSE IN ADOPTION PART 2 - BIRTH PARENT LAWSUITS

This second part is about birth parents suing adoption agencies. These women and men have fought back against some of the greediest, most corrupt adoption agencies in the country. Some of these agencies are finally getting the smack down.

In 1993, LDS services in Utah was sued by a birthmother. She was on thorazine when the agency attained her signature on the surrender, two days after the birth in1967. When she was discharged, she did not remember the surrender or being druged. she contacted the agency more than 30 times, expressing remorse and confusion over the loss of her son. The agency did not tell her about the drug nor did they tell her about her condition when she signed the surrender and she did not ask. The agency said that they could do nothing. In 1990, she and her son were reunited. The agency, through a clerical mistake, gave her a copy of her medical records. After two more years of letter writing with the agency and officials of the Mormon Church, she filed lawsuit. The Courts of Utah dismissed the case because the case was too late.

Recently a birthmother sued the adoptive parents for continued visitation with her adopted child. There was NO showing in any way that she was unfit or had acted inappropriately towards the child. It was one of the conditions upon her surrender. The judge ruled in her favor. She had maintained her relationship with her child until her efforts were frustrated by the department of social services and the adoptive mother.

The states have also intervened on the behalf of birth parents when out of state adoption agencies have preyed upon them while they were in vulnerable states. Ever heard of "Baby Tamia/" Well the birth mother in this got caught into the snare of Utah's adoption agencies. Utah has been called the "baby warehouse" capital recently. These cases were in 2005. Illinois stepped in on the behalf of the birth father, birth grandmother, and a birth mother. In the previously mentioned case, the birth mother saw the advertisement of A Cherished Child. She called them. The agency paid her $1,300 to fly her out to Utah. At the time of relinquishment, this birth mother was running a 102 degree fever and was suffering postpartum depression. The two witness required for a relinquishment were an agency representative and a hotel maid. In this family's lawsuit, they allege that the birth mother was suffering from the loss of her grandmother, postpartum depression and had a fever at the time of relinquishment. Adoption agencies that were interviewed in a news story about this woman - said that they must protect mothers who may be fleeing abusive and broken homes. Utah's leaders feel like the birth mother ought to have first choice in what should happen to their children. This adoption agency was busted a couple more times on this very issue. Illinois's Attorney General put out a press release stating that the courts in Illinois found in favor of these families and ordered the children returned. They felt that the children involved were stolen from their families. This particular agency has been banned from doing business in Illinois. The adoption agency tried to force the adoption through but the adoptive family in Baby Tamia's case was arrested for possession of drugs. Fortunately the Judge put a stop to it. Baby Tamia was returned to her home in 2005.

The Navajo Nation is also pursuing a lawsuit against LDS Family Services. The birth father in this case fought the adoption. This adoption agency failed to notify tribal officials and allow them to oversee the adoption proceedings as required under the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978. The lawsuit asks the federal court to put a hold on the adoption proceedings while it determines what the nation's rights are in the face of "the natural Indian parent's frustrated efforts to establish paternity under the lasw of the state of Utah." When I went to the website for the tribe, I found many other articles just like this one. Utah sure seems to like to circumvent the rights of all involved when it comes to adoption. Utah's state laws also like to dispose of the father's rights. Ignore them in fact. More often than not they don't even notify a birth father when his rights are being trampled on.

I have encountered cases just like these in many states. One in Michigan where the birth mother even admits to lying. Another in New Mexico again he was not even notified. Putative father registries are often used against a birth father to end his rights to his child than to actually help him retain his rights. Many of these adoption agencies lie in wait for a vulnerable woman to come along to violate her rights. They don't allow for a woman to change her mind. I read another article where the birth mother realized that she named the wrong birth father. She corrected things by giving the real birth father the right to claim his children. She is now being punished because the adoption agency is suing her for the little bit of money they gave her for her expenses.

One more case that I just found a few minutes ago. I am just going to copy the story from the place that I found it. A Missouri jury recently awarded a birthmother $3 million after finding that an attorney misrepresented her. When the birthmother changed her mind after choosing a family, the attorney did not try to stop the adoption and actually worked with the parents to complete it. The adoption was completed in 1995, and the birthmother has since been granted visiting rights.

As I read more and more, these types of agencies and attorneys need to be shut down. They are violating the rights of all involved. They yell, curse, and humiliate a woman if she changes her mind. Geez if that isn't coercion then I don't know what is.

2 comments:

HeatherRainbow said...

wow.....

Thanks Amy for posting this information.

I have copied it, and put it on my website, and gave reference to you. This is amazing stuff....

iris eyes said...

Utah is one of the worst offenders, although not the only offender. In 2003, the Colorado state legislature passed a prebirth surrender law.This bill was written by adoption agencies, some of which claimed to be "Christian." One of the reasons given for the law was that Colorado agencies were"losing business to Utah, where a mother could sign after only 24 hours."So apparently Colorado agencies felt they had to get the jump on Utah and get those signatures even before the birth.