As promised I am providing more to this sad story. I am going to have an opportunity to speak with Rashad's family later on today. This is what I have gotten from another website since his father has now help with his voice and making it heard. Also is enclosed in an email is a letter from an attorney on the opposing side. She put her email out there. Lets write her and tell her she is doing a shoddy job of protecting the birth father in this situation. As I have researched this subject extensively, I do know that adoption agencies and their attorneys lie to make that God Almighty dollar.
Geoff, Pam, and Rashad's side of the story:
Let me shed some light on this story from someone who’s living it.Rashad objected to adoption from day 1. When he told his mother and I that he and his girlfriend were pregnant, we talked to Rashad and told him he had some real life decisions to make. He said that he wanted to be in his child’s life. He wanted his child to know he has a place in this world and that his father wants him. He said, “I made a mistake, but this child is not a mistake.” He was mature in the way he responded and his mother and I supported him. Shortly thereafter, we had a meeting with the girls’ family. They presented us with an adoption plan. Rashad objected. We offered to adopt the child, but the girls’ family refused, saying, it wouldn’t look good on our daughter for you to adopt the child. We continued to have some communications with the family, trying to come to a resolution, but it was unsuccessful. The final straw came when an adoption agency called me with a plan presented by the girls’ family and asked me if Rashad would give his consent. He refused. At that point, communications between the two families broke off. Rashad was able to stay in touch with his girlfriend through instant messaging, but she was not allowed to talk with him. They had to sneak to talk to each other. Rashad began working 2 jobs in anticipation of his child’s arrival. He offered money, but was not allowed to give it to her. He wanted to go on doctors visits and offered to pay for them, but was not allowed. He continued to work 2 jobs, and kept his commitment to his high school football team all summer long. He acted like a responsible adult. When the time came for football camp in July, he called his girlfriend’s father and asked how she was doing, and asked his opinion on if he should go to the 2 day football camp that was required by his coaches. The father said yes, you should go. Rashad then asked, “Would you please call me if she goes into labor?” The father agreed, but we would find out later that he wouldn’t be true to his word. When he returned from camp, he was concerned because his girlfriend did not sign on line. The next day, Rashad became very concerned because he still hadn’t heard from her. He didn’t dare call her, because he was not allowed to call. Something had to give, so he called the father, and the father told him that she delivered the child. Rashad rushed to his girlfriend’s house, only to find out that she wasn’t there. His girlfriend’s father told him not to come back or he’ll be arrested. In a panic, we went to several hospitals in the area, but couldn’t find the baby or the mother. Later, we found out that the baby was given to a family in Florida, and the mother of that family was at the hospital when the baby was born. You see, the girlfriend’s family proceeded with the adoption plan, even though Rashad objected to it. Rashad immediately filed for legitimization. The family in Florida countered by asking the court, and was given permission to intervene. The judge granted a 6 month discovery period. We are now approaching the point of returning to court to hear how the judge will rule on this.This whole thing has been a nightmare for us. While we’re waiting, the baby is getting older and my son is missing out on some precious moments with his son. He’s done everything right, only to be put through this. The attorneys for his girlfriend have found a loophole that allows them to string this thing along much longer than it should. We have discovered that the father of the family in Florida is a retired NFL football player, and they have the money to keep this tied up in court. However, we will not go away. We’ll support our son to the very end. My hope is this will be resolved sooner than later, and the child can come home to his biological parent. Rashad’s girlfriend has relinquished her rights as a mother, or so we were told by her attorney’s. However, Rashad never relinquished his rights, and never will. Hopefully, this sheds some light on this case. I pray to God that this is resolved soon. God Bless.On a side note, the “family in Florida” have said they are pulling out of this now that they know all the facts. Nothing has been sent to the Head’s attorney confirming this as of this morning.
Don't believe everything you hear in the media and don't be soquick to condemn people whose story and motives you do not know orunderstand. A Chosen Child's "involvement" in this case was actuallyquite limited, but the family that sought to adopt this baby did sobecause they wanted to give a child the opportunity to have a stableloving family if his parents could not do so. The baby was returned tothe teenage birthmother because the family did not want to be involvedin the dispute between these two families despite the fact that therewere, and continue to be, some very real questions about thebirthfather's motives and treatment of the birthmother. Thebirthfather's family and their attorney knew that the baby was beingreturned to Georgia when they orchestrated the media event designed toslander the adoptive parents. The birthfather's family has attempted tohire an attorney to sue the adoptive parents for significant sums ofmoney, so one must question who is motivated by the "God AlmightyDollar" here. The attorneys trying to handle what began as anuncontested adoption were paid very little, the birthmother receivedlittle more than the payment of her medical expenses, the birthfatherhad a pro bono attorney who demanded substantial sums of money be paidto her before she would even "agree" to the baby being returned. It isworth noting that the adoptive parents refused to pay her any money andreturned the baby anyway. Now, we'll see how the birthfather responds inhandling his responsibilities, which by the way he refused to handleduring the pregnancy. Although it appears that you have some bitter feelings aboutyour own adoption, and I have no way of knowing what your birthmother'smotivation was in placing you for adoption. But even if her motives wereas you say, you must realize that most birthmother's agonize deeply overthis decision, and sacrifice emotionally to give their babies the kindof life that they do not feel they can give. It is exceedingly rare thata birthmother is motivated by revenge on a birthfather, but fairlycommon that a birthfather fails to provide emotional and financialsupport causing the birthmother to feel trapped and overwhelmed. Believeit or not, this was the situation in this case you are referring to, andrevenge was not part of her motives. Since the law provides a clearmechanism for the birthfather to seek his rights, and he has beenavailing himself of that procedure with a free attorney, perhaps youshould ask why he felt it was necessary to take this private familymatter to the media. Could it be because the adoptive parents are highprofile people and someone saw an opportunity to create a case forfinancial compensation against them? And before you conclude that thebaby was returned because the family knew that they were going to lose,I should tell you that the attorneys handling the case in Georgiabelieve strongly that the case against this birthfather would have beenwon because of his treatment of the birthmother during the pregnancy.The media has a way of sensationalizing stories that is at a minimum adistortion, and sometimes an outright misrepresentation of the facts.The attorneys involved in this case representing the birthmother and theadoptive parents are all ethical people of extremely high integrity, andthe adoptive parents are kind, devoted people who wanted only to givelove and a future to a child that needed them. Please don't be so quickto pass judgment on us.
Have a blessed day,
Patricia L. Strowbridge, Esq.
1516 East Colonial Drive Suite 202
Orlando, FL 32803