I am sure by now that everyone has read about Stephanie and Evelyn Bennett. I feel that I must say more. It must be understood that the adoption industry has to be reformed. We as a community living adoption must take them on. They have very powerful lobbyists to push their agenda. We need to be more powerful that they are. Since we are living adoption, we need to put forth the truths of adoption, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Only in adoption can a minor make a life changing decision to put a child up for adoption without the consent of her parents. Only in adoption is the first mother and the adoptive parents represented by the same attorney. Only in adoption are all living in adoption denied their rights. There is absolutely no regulation in the adoption industry. Only in adoption do adoption agencies, adoption attorneys, and their lobbyists see only dollar signs when it comes to OUR lives.
The State Department of the United States issued a warning to potential adoptive parents about Guatamala. They said to not adopt from Guatamala because of very unethical practices occurring in that country. Adoption agencies, adoption attorneys, and the National Council for Adoption decried this. This is a source of income for them. The National Council for Adoption represents Gladney Center for Adoption, Bethany adoption agencies, and the LDS adoption services across this country. These agencies are known for violating the rights of parents, both adoptive and first and their children. These agencies are against full disclosure to all involved in adoption.
Here is an example of Bethany at work:
Here is an example of Gladney at work:
Here is an example of LDS at work:
These are the very agencies that are keeping records sealed. They do this to protect themselves. They don't protect any of us living adoption.
Here you have a young woman. She is 17 years of age. She gets pregnant and has a baby. The father has been threatening her during her pregnancy and after she delivers. He threatened to kill her, the baby, and her family on numerous occasions. This young woman gets into an argument with her family. Its the typical parent~teen thing. This is where the DARK SIDE OF ADOPTION comes in. This young woman and her child take off to friends in another county. Her parents contact the police about this situation. After the police don't show a real interest in pursuing this, they contact the Sheriff's department. They notify both departments where they think their daughter and granddaughter are heading.
At this point, Stephanie is very stressed and fearful. She goes and talks with her guidance counselor, Thomas Saltsman. She initially went in there to discuss her class schedule. She begins discussing her fears about her child and very possible other issues. This man chose to ignore this young woman's basic needs. Instead this man hands her an adoption agency pamphlet. There are rumors that this pamphlet had preferential treatment because one of the school's superintendents had financial interests in the adoption agency. The assistant superintendent did resign after all of this came out. He does not discuss with Stephanie possible alternatives. He then makes a call to the adoption agency. They send an adoption recruiter the next morning. Adoption recruiter just sounds nasty just like a snake farm. I know how military recruiters are. So now my imagination can and does go very wild with this image. If you don't read and double check your military contract, they will sneak something past you and you will be stuck with what you signed for. This guidance counselor did not once contact her parents. This adoption agency, A Child's Waiting, advised this young woman to run away so that her parents have no say in the signing of the adoption paperwork. Thomas Saltsman does not discuss at any time Stephanie's needs with her. I have to wonder if this man is getting a piece of the adoption pie.
The adoption agency recruiter met with Stephanie once. There was no counseling. There was no real representation of her needs. There was no one to sit and listen to her needs. No one explained to this young woman the consequences of her actions. This guidance counselor should be an adoption facilitator. It is inviting the wolves to the chickenhouse. The adoption attorney represented both the adoptive parents and Stephanie. That in itself is a complicated conflict of interests. Only in adoption is this kind of representation allowed. Stephanie a few hours later realizes that this adoption is not what she wanted to do.
By this time her parents have realized what has happened in absolute horror. They too have entered the DARKSIDE OF ADOPTION. When the adoption agency is contacted by the police, they lie to them. They inform the police that they had spoken with a young woman but told her that they could not deal with her because she is a minor. Here is the bold face lie. They knew where Stephanie and Evelyn were at this point. The following is the time line from the blog of http://ungratefullittlebastard.blogspot.com/2007/04/too-many-questions-for-me-to-comprehend.html
11/05/06 – Stephanie found that she is pregnant and hid it from her parents until 3 weeks prior to delivery. She is tall, this is a first pregnancy and the popular baggy clothes worn by young people made that possible.
4/17/06 – Stephanie delivered Baby Evelyn Joann Bennett and named her for her Great Grandmother and her Grandmother and her Mother. The plan is that, with her family’s support, Stephanie will raise the baby.
Stephanie’s parents are not wealthy people and Stephanie and Evelyn go on Medicaid
4/06 - Stephanie told her parents that the father was a school friend, with whom she had never had sex. She was desperately trying to protect her family. She lied to her parents because she was afraid of the real father who had been making serious and repeated threats against her family. Stephanie attempted to protect them from him and what he would do to her family, to her and to Baby Evelyn.
9/07/06 – After 5 months of repeated and serious threats to her family’s health and safety and emotional abuse from the putative father of her child, Stephanie approached Thomas Saltsman, Counselor, at Glenoak High School. Stephanie originally went to discuss a schedule change, but mentioned adoption. As soon as Stephanie mentioned adoption, Mr. Saltsman turned, got a brochure from his desk for A Child’s Waiting Adoption Agency and arranged a meeting for the next day in his office.
9/8/06 – Stephanie signed the initial paperwork that began the process. Mr. Saltsman signed as witness, in his office, at the high school, this was the ONLY meeting between Stephanie and the agency people, until the agency worker came to take Baby Evelyn on 9/12/06. There was no counseling nor protection offered to Stephanie. An attorney was present, as Stephanie’s “independent counsel”, but she also handled adoptions for A Child’s Waiting Adoption Agency on a regular basis.
9/12/07 - As a policy, Medicaid demands the name of a father, or they require DNA testing on any possible ones. The young man that Stephanie claimed was the father in order to protect her family’s safety from the real father went to have his DNA tested. Stephanie was to bring Evelyn in for her test to see if they matched, but Stephanie never came. She had already run away, as directed by the agency rep in the school guidance counselor’s office, to avoid the DNA testing. The involvement of a father in the proceedings would complicate things for the agency. Proven fathers have rights that require protection. DNA evidence is proof of paternity. No proof and there are only putative fathers, who legally need not be consulted. Evelyn was not tested, as she had already been taken from her mother by the agency.
9/12/06 – Stephanie and Evelyn ran away (at the agency’s suggestion, in the Guidance Counselor’s office, to Carrol County where Stephanie’s parents could not interfere). Also the last time Stephanie saw baby Evelyn. The agency rep came to this place and picked up baby Evelyn.
10/2/06 – Judy and Ranza Bennett got temporary custody of Baby Evelyn; went to the agency in Copley Township in Summit County accompanied by Copley Police. Agency told the police that they had spoken to the 17-year-old but told her that they could not do business with her while she was a minor and that neither child was at the agency.
10/16/06 - Judy and Ranza notified by Canton police that they were to appear in court on 10/17/06. Not informed as to why.
10/17/06 – Went to court, still no information as to reason. Stephanie appeared accompanied by A Child’s Waiting. Court placed Stephanie into a Respite Home due to allegations of abuse made against Judy and Ranza Bennett by the putative father who had been making the threats against Stephanie and her family, which stated that there was neglect and abuse against both Evelyn and Stephanie. A case worker came to their home to investigate the charges of abuse.
10/18/06 – Stephanie ran away from the Respite Home and called a friend, who called the caseworker who advises him to take Stephanie to Family Court. While in court, Stephanie tells the judge that she wants to return home to her parents and her sister. The Lawyer for Child Protection told the Judge that there was no sign of neglect or abuse in the home. Evelyn’s pediatrician stated that he had no concern about Evelyn being in the home.
10/18/06 - Stephanie then told her parents who the father actually was (there is no more information about the father available beyond this as yet, as charges are pending and any information leaked could jeopardize their case).
Attempted to find an attorney who could handle the case and would work for payments that could come later, for Stephanie and the baby.
Dec. 31, 2006 – Rick Armon’s article appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal. His original article is no longer available on the website.
Early January, 2007 - Sandy Young called the Bennett family to offer help. They said that they could use it.
Jan of 07-. Hired Paul Reiners to defend Stephanie. He agreed to work on a pro bono basis, unless they won the case. In that event, they would owe him standard fees.
1-19-07 - The first time Stephanie went to court in Summit Co. with Mr.Reiners, and was not allowed in the court room. Paul Reiners came out of the court room and told Stephanie that the Magistrate, Diana Stevenson, had put a gag order on all parties involved in the case.
2/2/07 – Judge in Stark Co. ruled that the custody order of Ranza and Judy Bennett was no longer in effect; That another court had precedence.
02/03/07 Canton grandparents' adoption motion denied
2-21-07 - Stephanie went back to court in Summit Co, where she is still fighting for the return of her daughter Evelyn. This date was to determine if the Surrender could be overturned. The judge was to rule on this matter on March 27, 2007. The briefs were to have been turned in on the 23rd and she would rule several days later. Paul Reiners had said that he would have several witnesses subpoenaed including the putative father. He also had indicated that he would depose Joe Soll to testify to the effects of the coercion, the loss of her daughter, the psychological impact of the threats and the emotional abuse that Stephanie had been subjected to. He did none of the above.
March of 07 – Fired Paul Reiners
March of 07 - hired Jennifer Lowry, who obtained a continuance on the ruling by the judge and obtained the court transcripts. She could find no evidence of any gag order on any party to the case. She still prefers to have Stephanie remain silent, as a matter of choice, and to protect her, but her parents and the attorney are not so bound.
April 07 – Obtained copies of the complaint filed against the agency in the matter of Stephanie Bennett by her mother. The agency was found to be not in compliance in numerous areas. A copy of the findings is attached. So far, no actions have been taken against the agency by the state, despite being out of compliance.
April 9, 2007 – Meeting with Jennifer Lowry. She was excited about the Bennetts having a copy of the complaint. Also has started to plan a reunification.
There are too many discreptancies in this case. How can an adoption bold face lie to police? How can an adoption agency purposely defy a judge? How can a guidance counselor be allowed to lead a young girl astray and forcibly change her life without once consulting her parents? How can this adoption agency tell the adoptive parents to hide Evelyn and hold tight? How can these adoptive parents continue to hide Evelyn from her family? With adoption agencies like Building Blocks and A Child's Waiting continue to operate without any reprecussions? How can anyone say that adoption is "a good thing?" How can anyone deny that there is a need to reform adoption?
ITS TIME TO PUT OUR MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTHS ARE. ITS TIME TO MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD. ITS TIME TO MAKE A STAND AND TAKE DOWN THESE BULL HEADED, CLOSE MINDED PEOPLE. IT IS UP TO US TO MAKE CHANGES. LETS MAKE THEM.
Here are links to help Stephanie and Evelyn Bennett:
You can make donation to: Send Evelyn Home at
123 N. Reed St
Malvern, Oh. 44644
or you can make payment through paypal
You can read the many bloggers listed on my link list to understand more that this kind of action affects us all ~ adoptees, first parents and adoptive parents. We all support the return of Evelyn to her family.
Here are links to the Axis of Evil in this country:
TWO OTHER STORIES THAT MUST BE HEARD AND READ ABOUT.
GLADNEY IS FIGHTING THE ADOPTEE ACCESS BILLS IN TEXAS.
Edna Gladney’s Name Tarnished
(This document is to be handed out on 4-29-07)
A bill under consideration by the Texas legislature, HB525/SB221, would allow adopted persons to have a copy of their original birth certificate unless a request for privacy has been filed by their birth parent. The bill grants adult adopted persons rights that are equal to those enjoyed by all other citizens of Texas. This bill would have been supported by Edna Gladney, if she were still alive. After her death, adult adoptees lost the right to their own birth records. This bill would restore those rights to what they were during the time of Gladney.
But the Edna Gladney Center was the only adoption agency in Texas to sponsor a paid staff person to appear and testify against HB525/SB221. This opposition directly conflicts with the principles and legacy of Edna Gladney. The founder and benefactor of the Center fought two important legislative battles on behalf of adopted children. In 1936, she was responsible for a bill that legally removed the stigma of illegitimacy from birth records. Then in 1951, she fought so that adopted children would receive the same inheritance rights as biological children and that they should be legally adopted rather than placed in long-term guardianship.
Edna Gladney recognized the lifelong needs of vulnerable children growing up adopted to receive the same rights and privileges as children born into a family. Adopted persons are the only American citizens denied their original birth certificate, withholding from them valuable medical history that puts them at risk to be victim to over 4000 diseases that a transmitted by a single defective gene. Few adoptive parents realize that through the current outdated system, they are promoting a lifelong health risk for their adopted children. Edna Gladney would have insisted that this be remedied.
The bill allows birth parents to record their desire regarding future contact with the children they relinquished. Should they request confidentiality, this request will be honored. In the states that have enacted similar legislation, no family disruptions, declines in adoptions or other adverse effects have been reported. Not one case can be shown of harm done to birthmothers in any state that has enacted access reform. Edna Gladney, as evidenced by her support of young, unwed mothers-to-be, would have championed this portion of the bill.
Please insist that The Gladney Adoption Center reexamine its stance on an important bill that would have been actively championed by the founder, Edna Gladney.
ANOTHER HEART BREAKING STORY OF A WOMAN BEING COERCED INTO ADOPTION
Here is another story of a woman being stripped of her rights. She was coerced into adoption by the agency and the adoptive parents.
Here is her story: Http://www.fightforadrian.com/
Here is the letter that she wrote to the judge in her case.
Judge William Wylie
Dorchester Family Court
PO Box 1885
Summerville, Sc 29484
Dear Judge Wylie:
I am writing this letter in the matter of the adoption hearing set for March 2, 2007 involving Sven and Ingelore Kroner. I am the mother of the child that is being adopted.
My name is Jonelle Fulton. My reason for writing this letter is to inform you of my wishes to not allow this adoption to be finalized. I would like to revoke my consent. Let me start of by saying I love my son and only want what is best for him and his future. Being with me is the best thing for me and my child. Even though he has been with the family for the past two months, he and I share an unbreakable bond. I know my child better than they can ever know him because I was with him for every second of his existence in this world. The things that the family tells me that he does now I already know because he did those same things while he was in my womb. The way he moves his hands and feet, I felt all of those movements and I could tell you exactly what every kick and flip and turn meant and when he was going to do it. The way he likes to eat now, I know that because he would bounce in my stomach every time he wanted me to eat. There is no way you can say this family has a stronger bond then my son and I. He was a part of me for nine months and three days in the hospital. He has spent more than half of his life as a part of me. His life began in me. There is no greater bond than that of mother and child. At three months old he is still learning the world. He has yet to fully attach himself to anyone. He knows my scent and he knows my voice because it is the only sound and smell he was exposed to for nine months. He needs to be with the woman who gave him life. The woman who would give her life and give up everything just to have him in her arms again.
I understand I did sign the consent forms allowing him to be adopted. However, those forms were signed while I was under an intense amount of emotional stress. I was weak and I was not of sound mind when I signed those papers. The original family that was to adopt backed out at the last minute. They were the source of some of my stress. They had been harassing me about my medical files and sending them pictures of the child’s father to see what he looked like. They even went so far as to accuse me of lying to them about knowing his contact information, which I honestly did not know. I was grateful for them backing out because I thought then I could take my baby home. Unfortunately, that was not the case. After telling my parents I wanted to take him home and I didn’t want to meet another family, they convinced me to meet with Sven and Ingelore. After meeting with them for about 30 minutes they left and about an hour later the lawyer’s office called and told me I had to make a decision that day because they were closing at 5 and they couldn’t do anything on the weekend. I felt like I was being brainwashed by my parents and the social workers and lawyers involved in the adoption. Every time I told someone I didn’t feel right about it all they would say is it will get better it’s the right thing to do. No one once thought about how I was feeling inside. The social worker even tried to compare my hurt to that of her leaving her son 4 hours away when he went to college. This is hardly the same situation. I was having a breakdown at the time of the signing and even then my parents still continued to coax me into signing the papers. I even stepped out of the room to call the social worker handling the case to see if she could help me. I got no answer. I don’t think that was by accident.
During my pregnancy, I was working a job that caused me to be under immense pressure and stress. I wanted to alleviate that stress and find another job closer to where my parents lived so I would at least have them by my side. They of course told me no, I could not quit my job and I couldn’t look for a new job because no one would hire me being pregnant. I turned down job offers that would have allowed me to be in a better mind set and actually think about what I was doing. Because I trusted my parents I turned them all down. I’m really trying to relay to you the things that were forced into my head during my pregnancy. There is no way I was voluntarily putting my signature on those papers. I was never in a clear conscious state about the adoption, throughout the whole nine months. I never wanted to give my child up. I truly felt forced. I was tricked into believing it was best for my child and that I would be on welfare and would never get off it and I’d end up on the streets with my son. This was said to me by my own father. I did not nor do I need my parent’s or anyone’s help financially or otherwise to properly raise my son. There was no real reason he should have been adopted. I was not on drugs, I was not mentally incapable, I was not poor or broke, I did not have other children, and I was not a threat to my child. There was absolutely 120% no reason my son should have been adopted. I was just not strong enough mentally to realize all of this at the time. My parents put the notion in my head that because, at the time, I was interested in medical school I could not attend school and take care of my son at the same time. I expressed to them several times before, during and after the adoption that I did not wish to go to medical school and that I did not want to adopt my child.
I understand that according to the law I am a consenting adult, but please understand that up until recently I still depended on my parents. I was a sheltered child and they kept me away from a lot of things. I depended on their expertise because I felt I could trust their judgment when it came to my life. I just graduated from college in December of 2005. Last year was my first year living completely on my own paying my own bills and making my own decisions. When I told my parents about my pregnancy I thought they would be supportive and convince me to keep the baby and not try to taint my mind into thinking there was not way I could take care of my child on my own. If I had known how they were going to react I would have never asked for their opinion. I was literally forced by my parents to sign those papers. They didn’t even allow me to tell my best friend about my pregnancy because they didn’t want her parents to find out. They kept me away from my family in Maryland when I went to visit them in DC because they didn’t want them to see me pregnant. They made me lie to my uncle so he wouldn’t come out there to see us. I was kept in seclusion from everyone except for a few people who had seen me. Most of my friends and family don’t even know to this day that I had a child.
Not only did I feel force from my parents, I feel I was lied to and being taken advantage of by the lawyers involved. There was never a time throughout the adoption process that my rights or lack of rights were ever discussed with me. The content of what I was to sign was NEVER discussed with me until the day I signed. There is no way after going through the emotional trauma I went through during my pregnancy and giving birth to my son ALONE, by C-section, I was able to fully understand the content of what I was signing. I was never told that after I sign the papers there would be no way I could reverse my decision. I was mis-lead into believing I had ninety days to reverse my consent. I was told specifically, and I remember this word for word, if I decided to contest the adoption the courts would either give him back to me, not give him back, or he could be placed in foster care. Your honor, I specifically remember those words being said to me at the time of the signing. If this is not true, according to the law, then I was misrepresented and was lied to. I was never told that I would be signing away my rights to appear at the court hearing until that day. I didn’t understand the consequences of signing that document. I didn’t know that was a way of making sure I had no way of contacting you or the courts to revoke my consent. This was they lawyers way of silencing my voice and my rights. I never wanted to sign those papers, NEVER.
Your honor, please hear and understand my pleas to you. I know you are a very busy man but this is my last hope for justice. I’ve called practically every lawyer in the Charleston area and no one is willing to listen to me or help me. This is the end of the road for me. I don’t know what else to do. I’m here all alone representing myself because the law is against me as well as my family and friends. I feel it is necessary to let you know that I am fully capable of caring for my son both financially and otherwise. I am a college graduate from a major university in Arizona. I am a very intelligent young woman. I do not smoke or do drugs nor have I ever done either of those. The only time I consume alcohol is when I go out with my friends and it is never to intoxicating levels. I’ve never been arrested and I have no criminal background. I currently live in Arizona working a full-time job, as a neuro-monitor. The job pays more than most in the area. I will also be up for a 10 - $12,000 raise within the next six months. I fully support myself in a two bedroom two bath townhouse. I work a job that will allow me time with my son. I do not have to work a full 5 day work week. I work about 20 -25 hours with full-time pay. As is evident by the health of my son at the time of his birth I am a fit mother and have nothing but his best interest at heart. Unfortunately I was mis-lead in my time of need which caused me to give up my son.
I don’t know what else to tell you, but the truth. Everything I’ve stated in this letter is the absolute truth. I love my son, more than I love myself. I’m dying without him and have been ever since I left the hospital without him. Your honor I’m begging you, please don’t keep my son from me, please allow me to have my son back with me, please allow me to revoke my consent. Please don’t keep the only good thing that has ever happened to me in my life away from me. I can not live without my son. He’s my life and without him I have nothing worth anything in my life. I made a mistake. I will never trust anyone but myself from now on. I know there are plenty of mothers out there who have done wrong in their life and are allowed to be with their children. Former drug addicts and negligent mothers have been allowed the right to their children back. If these women can be allowed to be a mother to their children again then I certainly should be allowed to have my son back. Please don’t let one mistake cost me my son. We need each other, I carried him for nine months alone, went through 24 hours of labor alone, and I delivered him by C-section alone. His whole life has been he and I and we’ve done beautifully together. Please, Your Honor, let us be a family again.