Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Baby" Jessica in the News Again

In a very recent post - December 20 - I mentioned the "Baby" Lenore Scarpeta/DeMartino case that was so pivotal in my post-adoption journey.

Ironically, another major adoption battle headline making battle is back news:

'She has never left my heart' DeBoer hopes to hear from Jessica, now Anna, who will be 18

Tuesday, January 06, 2009
The Ann Arbor News

Jan DeBoer is starting over.
The adoptive father of the child who became nationally known as Baby Jessica returned home to his Pittsfield Township apartment on Monday morning - the first time since a New Year's Day fire caused an estimated $550,000 in damage to eight apartments, including his.
DeBoer, 55, was in Florida caring for his parents when he learned about the fire. He flew back Monday, worried about what he would find.
His small one-bedroom apartment in the Greenway Park complex off Golfside Road was home to his few belongings - two guitars, his grandparents' Delft vases, his citizenship papers, a couch, a chair and a bed.
It also had his most-prized possession: An original painting of Jessica by a woman who was touched by the DeBoers' story and their battle to keep their adoptive child.
In 1991, DeBoer and his former wife, Roberta, began a lengthy custody battle that gained national attention after they adopted a newborn girl they named Jessica. The birth father didn't sign the adoption papers, and the two couples waged a court battle that reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993. Jessica was returned to her birth parents when she was 2-1/2 and was renamed Anna Schmidt.
The DeBoers later adopted a son, Casey, who is now nearly 15. Their marriage didn't survive the stress of losing Jessica, and although they remarried, they divorced again.
And so Jan lost his daughter, his marriage and his home.
He even lost the ability to play his beloved guitars in a Christian rock band after he mangled his thumb in a press at work in Printing Services at the University of Michigan.
After last week's fire, Roberta DeBoer placed the portrait of Jessica in the apartment complex office for safekeeping before Jan arrived Monday. But he was still nervous about what he would find.
The hallway walls were black. Insulation hung from the ceilings. The air was still acrid, four days after the fire.
When DeBoer saw the portrait, he was relieved.
"I look at it every day,'' he said of the painting of the big-eyed, curly-haired toddler. "She has never left my heart, and she never will. She will always be my little girl.''
Anna Schmidt turns 18 on Feb. 8, DeBoer said.
He hopes that milestone could prompt her to call, although he has no reason to expect it. He last saw photos and television news coverage of her about six years ago.
DeBoer said he's getting tired of starting over, but he's also thankful.
"I've got a good job, and people who love me are coming out of the woodwork to help me,'' he said. "There are more important things in life than stuff. I'm lucky Casey wasn't here, and we weren't sleeping.
"And I didn't have to jump off a balcony,'' he said, referring to tenants who were injured escaping the blaze.
Greenway Park is accepting donations of goods and money to help tenants. Donations may be dropped off at the office, 2756 Golfside Drive, south of Washtenaw Avenue.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, fire officials said Monday afternoon.
Susan Oppat can be reached at or at 734-994-6679.

After all these years, how little has changed: The press still misreports stories of contested adoptions, calling this man the "adoptive father." He was a prospective adopter; recipient of a child not properly relinquished for adoption but who who, together with his wife fought to keep a child from her mother and father who wanted her and loved her.

Why is such a person painted with compassion and sympathy for his loss?

UPDATE: Anna is doing great. She's a high school senior, is actively involved in band (pep, marching, jazz, concert), loves photography, has good grades (3.0+), and has plans to attend college next year. She lives (in a middle class home) with her mother, Cara....step-father Lyal....and sister Chloe....and is very close to all. She has no contact with Dan Schmidt, her natural father, and hasn't had for 2-3 yrs now, for reasons you could probably guess. She also has no memory of the DeBoer's, nor does she ever plan to contact them. She felt it was "creepy" when she saw the recent article that said Jan DeBoer looked at her picture daily. She has led a full and normal life, and doesn't care to be in the public eye.


maryanne said...

Poor, poor Mr. Deboer....NOT! Last I heard Anna was fine with where she was; she should have been given back at two weeks or so when the adoption was contested. And you are right, the DeBoers never did adopt her. Plus, could it be they had other marital problems than "the stress of losing Jessica"? Could it be they would have divorced anyhow had they kept her? Divorced and remarried twice is not a great track record.

Deboer and wife created their own misery by hanging on to a baby whose natural parents wanted her back, and whose adoption was not handled properly so it was not valid.

Too bad he can't play in his "Christian rock band" anymore....maybe God didn't like his music?

Lorraine said...

Thanks for bringing this story to light. Since I'm from Michigan--and not far from Ann Arbor--this story always had particular resonance to me. The press coverage back then was so stilted in the Deboer's favor! I see that very little has changed. Has anybody seen an update on what Anna Schmidt is up to these days?

crocodyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AdoptAuthor said...


THANK YOU, thank you,thank you!

That is excellent news!

Perhaps when she is ready she might consider allowing me to interview her to help get support to stop these insane long, drawn out battles when an adoption is revoked.

mkbalsamo said...

I hope everyone realizes Jessica now Anna Schmidt was deeply loved by the Deboers. They raised her as their baby for 2 1/2 years. Understand had they returned her in the beginning stages she would have gone directly to foster care not to her biological parents. It could have been a lengthy process and held up in court. The Deboers couldn't bear to give her up to foster care. Until you have a child you will not know how strong the bond can be once you have a baby in your arms, especially after 2 and 1/2 years. Please have some sympathy for the Deboers. They gave Jessica a strong foundation in life.

Anonymous said...

Yes, word around the adoptionland online is that Anna has gotten away from the trainwreck called the Deboers~ and continues to run as fast as she can to keep a safe distance from them and their (alleged)crimes against nature.
Their HMV group went under about a year ago due to (alleged) corruption and now has a new (alleged)flakey group in it's place called A Childs Best Interest run by some of the ex HMV (alleged)criminals.

Alison Greer Psychologist PHD said...

Thank you MKBALSAMO! You are so correct. The DeBoers intentions did indeed save "baby Jesse" from the foster care system. Their deep love and devoted parenting gave Anna the strong foundation needed to lead a healthy child hood despite the trauma of permanent separation from the only parents she knew at the time. Anna "bonded" well to the DeBoers in the first 2 1/2 years of her young life. Studies have proven that a strong "bonding" from birth to the age of about two years will assure that a young child will be able to "re-bond" in a healthy manner to another individual. Foster care, on the other hand, could have gone on for a long time. We all know that many children suffer abuse, don't bond and are often bounced around from home to home in the "system" causing long term psychological damage and suffering for the child. Although Anna has grown into a basically a healthy young woman, she may at some point experience a deep sense of lose as trauma is often buried in the back of ones memory. Also, most likely, it is her original bond to the DeBoers that gave her the strong constitution in weathering the storms of her life with Dan and Cara Schmidt who, like many families, have had serious problems of their own while raising Anna. Do not forget that Anna has probably been "brain washed" against the DeBoers over the years ( anger and resentment on the Schmidts part and mostly influenced by their bias) . I am almost certain that at some point in the near future Anna will mature emotionally, gain a deeper insight into her "life story" and re-unite her self with the DeBoers. She will come to recognize that the DeBoers early love and devotion have significantly impacted who she is as a person...........and maybe even feel blessed to have had two sets of parents who have so much love for her.

Anonymous said...

I worked in adoption and quit because the system is very wrong and unfeeling and cruel toward the birth moms! It's a system of finding moms all alone in a mess then paying fees and giving childless couples babies! If Cara had received her own lawyer and a trained help outside of the bias of all the adoption people and childless couple! someone that would have given her parenting options or even just human support then Cara could have felt safe enough and not pressured to tell who the real father was or to parent Anna without fear or guilt. No woman after giving birth can at 40 hours or 72 hours be capable of making a choice without regret to sign a paper losing her child forever! hormones and depression on top of the trama on the body from the birth makes any woman not in her correct mind or able to have long term judgements! pile many other people brainwashing you into how selfish you are to parent your own baby! how they will do a better job! I have seen it happen 50+ adoptions a month and thousands of dollars later a baby! Sadly the birthmom is disgarded and now labeled trash who gave her child to strangers! and the adopted parents are saints from god for taking in her disgarded child! I have seen birthmoms never receive a photo or visit as promised after the adoption is final! yes,we had a few birthmoms later on kill themself or go on a pattern of self hate behaviors! I wasn't shocked the Deboers wouldn't give her back! That's very typical mind set of people that take a baby from it's real mom after birth and run with it! with no regard to the mother like she was a breeding dog and they bought the pup! she will have others!

Anonymous said...

Anna can read data and count up dates from the time she was born to see the time lines. Anna can read between the lines and research who said what about who and come to a adult conclusion on who had wrong motives and who didn't in regards to her best interest as a toddler. Anna isn't a 2 year old child anymore she is a grown young woman. Guilt of loss or pain over this case shouldn't be used on (either side) to still gain control over what Anna will do with her life or go or speak to! as it was once used in Anna's past to hold on to her and then take her away.Both sides need to chill out ad let this young woman live guilt free and stop the tug of war!!

Anonymous said...

Anna would not have been put in foster care if the DeBoers did the right thing and returned her to her mother at 2 weekes old. That is simply not true. If for some reason, her biological mom was not permitted to have her, another biological relative could have kept her if there were legalities to deal with.

How terrible that this couple blames the stress of what happened with Anna on their divorce. They were lucky enough to be able to raise a son together. Poor guy, needed them to be strong. How mean.

I could tell they had a mean streak back in 1991 when I was a new, young mother of my daughter, who was a surprise to me at the end of college. My heart went out to the baby (Anna Jacqueline Schmidt) and her parents, the Schmidts.

I still feel that Anna should have been returned immediately and I am now a mother of five biological and one Internationally adopted child.

Anonymous said...

I think you felt like many people did back in the 90's that the DeBoers had a very big selfish streak in them to keep a newborn that's mother wrote letters of her pain and asked for her back after only 6 days of it being home with the DeBoers! Then the father appeared after 7 days wanting the baby he never knew was his child or given away! I know for a fact Robby never even answered Cara's letters with not even a simple "thank you" for Jessica and didn't even try to meet or reach out to Cara while in Iowa when Robby was told Cara was missing and depressed over losing Jessica as a newborn.The DeBoers took the baby and ran! They got what they paid for and came to get..a infant..and I guess in the DeBoers a deal was a deal regardless of others legal or moral rights to their blood off spring or even the laws!! They couldn't have a child so they stole one that wasn't up for adoption but loved and wanted by both her parents! Glad Anna got back home and now is a student in Iowa State!!

Anonymous said...

It's very sad when people can't have their own blood child. I feel bad when I see blind people or people in wheel chairs or hear of those waiting on a long list for many years for a needed organ to save their life! but it's not even a thought for anyone to be forced to remove or give away their own eyes or legs or beating heart to add to another persons life! Dan never gave up his blood child for adoption and he regardless of his past should not have to be forced to give up his own child to benefit a childless couple out of social pity! A newborn is unaware and not old enough to be really bonded with any one person strong enough to cause any tramua if moved to another caregiver. Anna was a mere newborn when this started not a toddler and the Deboers did hold on to her to be able to pull the bonded card,thou it was a very risky legal move that back fired on them over time and time of appeals but poor Anna was made to carry that tramua as a little girl which the court system should have not allowed all those appeals dragging it out for years.

The Deboer adopted another child that very next summer after Anna was returned which seemed very cold and selfish of the Deboers knowing Anna was out there missing and wanting them as parents and was in mourning to just focus on another newborn less then a year later? but hanging on to Anna was also a total selfish move of the Deboers,how could you raise a child for almost 3 years training her to call you mommy and daddy KNOWING she would be returned by all legal advise and lost appeals to her real parents and tell her that she is now leaving her home with only a 7 day notice when you lose? Adption is for children that need a good home not for children to fill the need of a childless couple that want a healthy newborn to raise. Anna was legally kidnapped by the Deboers who never adopted her but used the court system of appeals each time they lost and received a order to return Anna to her real family.The court system should have protected Anna as a small infant and the Deboers should have been arrested if they didn't follow the judges orders and give her to her real parents.

Anonymous said...

I think that given the circumstances, any person who knowingly gives up their child should have to abide by their decision simply based on the understanding that a child isn't a "thing" that you can give away and take back as you "feel" about it. Cara was apparently not in a stable situation and should have probably had some evaluations done. Anna, unfortunately, has probably been brainwashed by the anger of her biological father and may never realize that the DeBoers really loved her and wanted to care for her as their own child. I remember clearly her tears when they took her from the "parents" that she knew. It was horrible...maybe she will come to appreciate the fact that she loved them once.

AdoptAuthor said...

You are so right. Children are not "things" yet they are bought for between $20-$40,000.

And though far more precious, when you buy a "thing" like a car - you get a 30 day grace period on the contract you signed. not so when making the most major decision in one's life - that you should not have a second though about??

Fathers rights should be disregarded totally in MANY cases?

I think not.

Anonymous said...

Everyone on here seems to be concerned about the biological parents vs. the adoptive parents. Have you given any thought to the child? When Jessica was taken away from her adoptive parents she was not aware that they were anything except her "real" parents. I have a daughter the same age and I remember thinking at the time how horrible it would have been for my daughter if she would have been taken away from every constant in her life. They even changed her name! But it was OK, because she was only three and doesn't remember! That is just wrong! From the child's point of view she lost everything, parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles cousins, playmates, view outside the window, her bed, her home, even her own identity. Maybe someone should have thought about what that did to her at the time, not wait for years and say "oh, she's fine, she doesn't remember." I think that someday when Anna Schmidt has a child of her own that she has bonded with she will understand the cruelty of what was done to her.

AdoptAuthor said...

The rights of children should always come first. Unfortunately, that is seldom the case. EVERY adoption takes children from their parents, extended family and identity! Children illegally abducted by their own parents (biological or otherwise) or strangers must always be returned. We do not leave kids with kidnappers or abductors.

Think your child the same age Jessica was - and then imagine her being abducted! Tell me you wouldn't fight till your death to get her back no how loving her abductor cared for her!

Jessica was being held ILLEGALLY! It is the abductors who cause the harm.

crocodyle said...

Had she been given back when the courts first told them to give her back, she wouldn't have been almost 3 yrs old.....

AdoptAuthor said...

EXACTLY!~ and it is always done in these contested cases with the hope that time will grant the abductors a victory. Same-o, same-o was just done to Sean Goldman.

Anonymous said...

I believe once Ana has a child of her own she will come to appreciate the love and devotion her "adoptive" parents gave to her. It wasnt right of them to hang on to keeping her...but getting up in the middle of the night and caring for a child is very intense and when she realizes all their effots and energy spent loving and caring for her regardless of the circumstances, I believe a call would be appropriate to her old family, with a simple, "thank you for all you did"...what could it hurt? Time will tell, but I bet she will WANT to contact them in the future.

AdoptAuthor said...

That will be her choice.

If she becomes a mother, she may also realize why her real parents could not just let her go...why they fought for her.

She just may resent people who kept her from her parents for nearly 3 years, knowing all the while that her father never agreed to her adoption and wanted her back. It will be up to her if she wants to thank for being criminals and doing what they did to her and her family, in violation of the law and her and her parent's rights.

Anonymous said...

But her mother did let her go and her father had two children prior that he had no contact with and did not support. Now he has no contact with her, what did he really want, what was best for the daughter... or to be in the spotlight as the poor biological father fighting for his rights? The courts should have done something from day one, not wait for nearly three years, but they didn't and from the child's point of view, she was abducted by her biological parents. If both sets of parents would have really done what was best for her at that point, the courts should have given her time and opportunity to bond with her biological parents before they took her away from everything she new up to that point in her life. What was best for Jessica/Anna would have been to stay with who she knew as her parents and visted and bonded with her biological parents. If you truly wanted what was best for your child, would you have put them through that much pain?

Anonymous said...

Wow. There seems to be an over abundance of adoption haters on this blog. As an adopted child (placed at two weeks old with my adoptive parents, and now 39 years old) I feel blessed that God put me with my "parents". Thank God for them. If I can be half the mom to my daughters that my "mom" was and is to me then I'll be doing great.

I have no desire to find the people who had me, because they are not my family, nor are they my life. I have no ill will toward them, they simply are not part of my reality.

As for the baby Jessica very easy it is to sit and judge in hindsight. I wonder if she had stayed with the Deboers and had been well adjusted, as trust me, the majority of adopted children are, would we even be on this blog talking about her.

AdoptAuthor said...

Your life! Your choice!

I would just like to the point the irony of you saying that those who created your life are not part of your life or your reality. I hope and pray that you never need an organ or bone marrow transplant. reality might look very different.

You know, love does not have to be an either or. Parents love more than one child all the time. We love many grandparents and many - not just adoptees - love more than one mother ad one father. Love is a renewable resource!

No child should be put in a loyalty binds either because of adoption or the divorce of their parents.

Might want to read:

As for most adoptees being well adjusted, perhaps so. But Jessica's case was very Had she stayed, she'd know that her father never agreed to her adoption and that her parents always fought for her return and her adopters violated the law and their wishes and rights.

She might feel very loved by that - or she might feel betrayed and angry. Adopters who attempt such actions take that risk.

Anonymous said...

I know Anna and her sister Chloe! Anna loves her REAL natural mother Cara dearly and has many of her mom's gifts such as musical talents. Anna doesn't remember Robby or Jan or her life with them so to her the Deboers are mere strangers she has been told about in her past no more then if your mom told you about your babysitter when you were 2 years old. Anna has read the book and seen the movie and the footage of the day she left years ago and has said that if the Deboers would have returned her to her blood parents as a newborn as she WASN'T a unwanted baby up for adoption but had a ENTIRE family with parents and grandparents and cousins etc...wanting her home all that would have been avoided. Anna is now grown almost 19 years old with her own views and is aware the Deboers loved her but made bad choices in hanging on to her as a baby. Anna has said that if she had remained with the Deboers she would have wanted to seek out her blood family and when she found out that her natural father never signed her over and her natural mother fought to get her back at just a few weeks old that she would have felt RESENTMENT toward the Deboers for keeping her from her blood parents,full sister and family when she was NEVER a unwanted child put up for adoption. Anna says that any pain or adjustment she endured at 2 years old would never compare to the life time of pain wondering about her real mom and dad and feeling thrown away by her natural family and being given up for adoption! Anna is happy she was returned to her blood family has no bitter feelings toward the Deboers she doesn't even remember them at all as her parents. Anna has choose not to contact the Deboers not out of spite but to avoid anymore unwanted attention over the Baby Jessica label that is put on her when she is Anna. Anna also feels that that is over with and needs to be buried and forgotten in her past and to make contact with the Deboers would only stir up may PAINFUL events for her natural mother and her blood family that endured all the nasty bashing and name calling to get her returned to them.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that 17 years after a child's transfer people continue to engage in negative attacks on the Clausens and the Deboers. Both sets of parents have expressed regrets about past behaviors. Cara Clausen regreted giving up Jessica/Anna and not seeking counseling before making such a life altering decision. The Deboers have stated they should have requested mediation early and avoided the long court proceedings that caused so much pain.

I feel such empathy for Anna: having the most intimate details of her family's past made public and revisited over and over again.

AdoptAuthor said...

It's commendable - albeit far too late - of the DeBoers and no one here every said one negative things about Cara, noir would we. And I totally agree that everything that has happened to Anna is regrettable.

Anonymous said...

I read Robbie Deboer's book "Losing Jessica". It was as if she saw the child as an extension of herself and didn't understand how she (the baby) could exist without her. People blame the courts and say "Why did this take so long?" In fact the Deboers were told multiple times to return "Jessica" (Anna) to her parents but appealed every time. There was only one exception which was quickly reversed by a higher court. What happened in summer '93 was not that the courts finally made a decision but that the Deboers finally ran out of appeals.

Anonymous said...

The book Robby wrote really screams out the DEEP need that Robby had to have a child and was unable to do so! That desire really clouded the Deboers correct adult judgement when it came to returning a child at 4 weeks old that by all accounts was not going to even be able to adopt due to both parents wanting her back and the wrong father signed the adoption papers. Jessica should have never been held onto for all that time as that wasn't in her best interest to bond with the Deboers as her parents when her natural blood parents were winning in the courts the right to raise their own child. Anna was kidnapped by all means by the Deboers by using the legal system as the Deboers were never her ADOPTED parents and had no legal claims to even keep her much less raise her as their daughter knowing she would be going back to Iowa someday when appeals ran out along with time.

Anonymous said...

Cara lied on the adoption papers, so what were the DeBoers supposed to believe? It took several months for Dan's paternity to be verified. He also had 2 other kids that he wasn't involed with. No one would hand over an infant to such an unstable situation. When the courts hand down an unjust and ridiculous ruling, it need to be challenged and changed; people shouldn't just roll over and meekly comply. The DeBoers were certainly not 100% blameless, but everything started with Cara's deception. Again, no one with an infant would hand him/her over to people who were unstable in many ways. Anyone would protect that infant, challenging conventional wisdom if need be. The Deboers thought that Anna was worth it.

Anonymous said...

The Deboers truly loved that little girl from the bottom of their hearts, this case still leaves me heartbroken even today 17 years on.

Mirah Riben said...

Love does not excuse violating the law and kidnapping a child.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes people NEED to violate an arbitrary law. Then we can re-evaluate it and change it. That's how we make progress in this society.

Mirah Riben said...

Are you really attempting to put forth the preposterous proposition that the DeBoers were acting in civil disobedience and not just because they couldn't let go? Have any bridges to sell?

Furthermore - BAD laws need to be changed. Laws that protect children and their parents from KIDNAPPERS and those who violate custody order need to be protected, not changed!!

Sell your nonsense somewhere else, i'm not buying...

Anonymous said...

Cara, is that you?

Anonymous said...

Of course it was civil disobedience. I understand that according to you, Mirah, this was't a bad law. However, according to most others, it IS a bad law. And therefore, some people will work on changing it. No-one cares if you're "buying" or not. Arbitrary laws should not be meekly complied with and will be changed eventually.

Mirah Riben said...

What was bad in the law that needs to be changed? Mothers and fathers constitutional right to parent their child?

Roberta DeBoer, later wrote a book, "Losing Jessica," in 1994 about the case, hoping Anna would read the details of the case for herself when she was grown. She did and didn't care!

Roberta and Jan DeBoer established the DeBoper Fundationwhich later became "Hear My Voice." Called "a child advocacy group" it advocated for parents in contested adoptions as if their rights to an unrelated child superseded rights of children to be with their natural parents unless they are found unfit.

"Hear My Voice" no longer exists. Seems they lost their zeal as socially conscious do-gooders after finally obtaining someone else's child via adoption, a son, Casey, in June 1994....all the ever wanted.

"As of February 2003, Anna was living in Blairstown, Iowa, where she sang in a Lutheran church, reportedly made friends easily and was happy and well-adjusted... According to a television reporter, Anna "adored" her parents and her younger sister.

"Anna, then 12, had seen Roberta DeBoer's book and watched a television movie about the custody battle, but told a television reporter that she has no memory of the DeBoers or of the custody case."

I think that ends this discussion. it's Anna's choic enow as an adult! not yours or mine.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to have hit such a nerve. :P No, the discussion is not ended. If you don't want to continue, that's cool. Many others do and will continue to look out for children's rights. As another poster pointed out, no one would ever roll over and hand an infant to a sad, pathetic situation as Cara's. She lied at the beginning, so stripped herself of any credibility. Sorry that Dan had to deal with the fallout, but no one would let him get a hold of an innocent child either if they read up on his past parental failures. Of course, they poisoned Anna's mind against the DeBoers (not very Christ-like was it?). I cut Anna some slack because she's young and can only think in black and white. "My parents can do no wrong", etc. She'll mature and will be capable of seeing life in grey areas as most adults are capable of. I assume Cara did the Christian thing and apologized to the DeBoers for that lie, right? You don't have to discuss this any further if you don't want; many, many others will continue to do so and we will continue to make great progress.

Mirah Riben said...

My dear - you can rattle on all you want...I'll publish your comments or not...but it IS OVER as nothing either you or I say can change it!! Do you not get it?

A judge made a final decsion...not you! It's over. Get over it!! Anna has. She is no longer "Baby Jessica."

Anonymous said...

What a difficult issue! My heart sinks as I read all the stories of the families torn apart by this case. Years of bitterness over what should be a joy - a new person being born. It seems that there was plenty of blame to go around: The birth mother for her dishonesty, the birth father for his instability, the adoptive parents for not responding to the birth parents' plea for their child and for not respecting the child's right to her natural parents. The only person guiltless is the daughter. Perhaps the fact that the DeBoers held on for a while was good for Baby Jessica - notice that the natural parents didn't even get married until 1992, and obviously came together more as a result of the struggle. Then again, there are many children born to parents who are unmarried, fighting, divorced, separated, financially or emotionally unstable...and yet they still have the right to be parents. Their children often learn to adapt and grow stronger as a result of the challenges that the families have to overcome. Obviously Cara thought her own situation to be sad if she considered adoption in the first place, but being in a bad spot in a relationship is no crime. She was probably just scared and didn't know what else to do given the instability of the situation. Knowing that the biological father would fight for his daughter probably influenced her as well. I understand that the DeBoers may have felt lied to or manipulated by Cara, but the biological father made his standpoint clear and they could have just backed off before so much time went on. Whatever torture they have gone through they brought on themselves, because they put their desire to have a baby over the child's right to her parents. If the parents really didn't want her, the adoptive-parents-to-be could have been the heroes and gotten what they wanted as well. But since the situation was obviously not right for adoption, they were being selfish in pursuing a course of action which unwillingly separated a family.

Anonymous said...

Come on now, cheer up! It can't be fun going through life so angry. :(
Again, sorry I struck such a nerve, but this case has made it possible to affect change in other similar, unjust cases. Public opinion will continue to evolve into enlightened thinking about children's rights and there's nothing you can do to halt that. That's a painful thing to realize, I understand, but there it is. All thanks to this case. Cool, huh? :)

Anonymous said...

Marie Osmonds son that killed himself this year at 18 years old was said to have many problems dealing with being adopted and that his personal struggle of being given away lead him to drug abuse prior to jumping to his death! Marie Osmond herself said he didn't get along with his adopted father and had depression over being given up for adoption his entire life.He even changed his last name from his adopted name. Adoption is for the best interest of the childless couple but it's the poor child that grows up feeling rejected and knowing the REAL parnets as gone and these are NOT who they were born to be with and the feelings of LOSS is great.Anna is where she should have been and the Deboers are strangers that kidnapped her for almost 3 years in hopes of retaining a baby! which they got ANOTHER womans child less then a year later after Anna was taken??? okay??

Mirah Riben said...

Do you have a link to the source of those statements from Marie Osmond? Adoption is a known risk factor for suicide.

Anonymous said...

I think it is sad that everyone is so against the deboreas. lets not forget that Anna's mom chose to give her up. I have seen this hundreds of times and i feel that babies are better off with people who want them instead of people who dont even try. I am a mom and yes it hard but i would never dream of giving my child to the system no matter how hard life is, she laid down and got pregnant and needed to take care of the conscquencies of that. I think the saddest thing is noone really knows what either side has gone through yet here you are judgeing calling one side a train wreak and the other side something else, anna prob does think the adopteive parents are crazy cause her parents prob told her to. The biggest thing is that people only know what they are told on TV and the news and noone knows the truth so please stop being mean people and let all these people move on.

Mirah Riben said...

To assume that ANY adoptee was "unwanted" is prejudicial stereotyping of his or her mother and hurtful and causing of pain to all adoptees.

Mother relinquish children for adoption for many reasons, the primary being poverty and age. Many are too young and not allowed by their parents any other option. A great many are pressured, coerced or simply not helped or proved the resources they need to raise their child alone. None of this means they dod not want their child!

I am not judging. I have REPORTED facts and quotes.

Anonymous said...

The adoptive parents' behavior was clearly selfish. They wanted a baby so badly that they didn't care at what cost to the child's future. Whatever consequences they received were their fault. I'm involved in a similar contested adoption right now, and although I feel bad for the adoptive parents, the fact is that the father in this case never signed away his rights and the child should be with the natural father. The mother has changed her tune and is supportive of the father, especially since the adoption agency and it's representatives engaged in some pretty shady behavior. It's appalling how these people present themselves as champions of unwanted children, but really it's all about the money.

Diane said...

Oh my God people. Cara Schmidt was such a loose woman she didn't even know who Jessica's father was at first. The biological father was such a "stand up guy" he had two kids he never had anything to do with. Cara GAVE HER UP. The DeBoer family LOVED that child with all their hearts. I watched, holding my 2 year old, while they tore that poor child away from the only family that she had ever known. It was nothing but cruel. Sure Jessica has no memory of them - she was tiny, she has no photos to jog memories. To say she's been brainwashed against them her entire life by the Schmidt family would be an understatement of immense proportion. I'm sure she loves her family, just as she would have loved the DeBoers if she had remained with them. It's nothing short of shameful and cruel what the Schmidts did to her. Unlike the DeBoers who actively worked to keep Jessica, the Schmidts didn't know what the Hell they wanted. "Oh here take my kid, oh sorry I've changed my mind, oh her Dad's name is Scott, oh sorry her Dad's name is Dan." Please. They're shameful people who should just bury their heads in sand and disappear.

Mirah Riben said...

...and unlike the DeBoers, Jessica is the Schmidts' daughter - biologically and legally! Even if someone has a moment of weakness and confusions father childbirth, in the throws of post-partnum depression or whatever and says "take my child" or gives in to pressure and coercion after being badgered that she cannot give her child what she needs as a single mother...even if she yields and has that moment of weakness, and despite the father's past...they are STILL the child's biological and LEGAL parents. No one has a right to hold on that to child after the court says she must be returned because the adoption was ILLEGAL! That's just kidnapping, plain and simple.

Jaycee was returned to her rightful parents after knowing her kidnapper longer than she knew them! Time alone does not make one a parent by law or blood.

And, yes, the DeBoers tugged on the heartstrings of people like you. They launched a massive public appeals campaign to gain sympathy for their side. But they LOST in COURT. End of story. Jessica is with her true family.

Anonymous said...

Just because the law says one thing, it doesn't make it right. Many unjust laws that were on the books in the past have been changed, and this is the same thing. So what if Dan and Cara were her biological parents? Barnyard animals can copulate; that alone doesn't make anyone a fit parent. She willingly gave her away and LIED on the adoption documents. As an adult, she has full responsibility. People get depressed, but as adults, we still take ownership of our actions. We don't scurry around, trying to deflect the blame. So, we can safely assume that Cara, being such a good Christian, apologized to the Deboers and asked their forgiveness, as others forgave her for her horrible misbehavior? Oh, and Mirah, the seeds have been planted to overhaul the adoption process and to get the laws that you are so fond of changed. There's no going back! :D

Anonymous said...

Why such closed minded responses. Jessi/Anna lived a life of joy and was loved by all. If anyone thinks that it was easy for either family to give her up, they are not parents. Anyone who has children must realize how hard this was for both sets of adults. Mediation might have helped, but I believe the Schmidts wouldn't comply.

Mirah Riben said...

Only two people ever were her parents, legally or biologically. While the deBoers may have felt an attachment, they were foster care givers.

It is interesting you make the assumption that the Schmidts wouldn't comply when it was in fact the DeBoers who delayed and delayed in violation of the law.

Anonymous said...

Well, if I remember correctly, the Schmidts did not ask for mediation, they went right to litigation, out of the blue. Surely, you can imagine the Deboers heartache about all this. I can certainly understand the Schmidts feelings, but I do believe that whether or not anyone feels that the Deboers were merely "foster care givers," that had a legitimate attachment to the child. That must have been hard to ignore.

Mirah Riben said...

so is losing one's real life flesh and blood child. you'd litigate too if your kid was kidnapped. illegal adoption = kidnapping.

Anonymous said...

The Schmidts didn't "lose" Jessica...Cara willingly gave her to the DeBoers and then decided to create havoc with other lives because she wasn't mature enough to follow through. And then had the nerve to play the victim. Not very Christian behavior. It may not have mattered in a legal sense that she and Dan were beyond pathetic and not suitable to raise another human being, but this need to change. Bad laws need to be changed, not just accepted. And things are moving in the direction of the child's best interests at last! There's no turning back.

Mirah Riben said...

Let us be clear:

Adoption is intended to care for ORPHANS and children who have no parents willing and able to care for them. The courts determined that cara and dan WERE willing and able and that dan's rights were taken ILLEGALLY.

Understand that woman are ENCOURAGED to lie about the father for the ease of the adoption. Cara's lie did not undo Dan's parenting desires or wishes.

To everyone making a fuss over Cara's lie, you MUST READ:

Encouraging lies and taking children from loving caring parents is what is not Christian.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with couples adopting children/babies? If the birth parents agree, why shouldn't children be adopted?

I can only think that you have endured some trauma in your life that you can not move past. I find your views closed minded and immature. Why is your position so black and white?

Mirah Riben said...

You are extremely NAIVE. Adoption is a multi-billion dollar industry that coerces mothers and destroys fathers rights.

"If the birth parents agree, why shouldn't children be adopted?" But Dan dot AGREE to an adoption! That is the point that you seem to chose to miss entirely. What is wrong with YOU?

Did you read the article at the link I suggested you read about how agencies tell mothers to lie and say they don't know who the father is? Did you read the quotations under the masthead above?

As I said: Adoption is fine for children who need it!

if you think it's so great, why don't you give up one of your kids to adoption? HUH? What's wrong with a couple adopting YOUR kid???

Mirah Riben said...

I take that back Adoption SUCKS - even when it is necessary. It sucks to find out that you were "chosen" because someone else gace you awat, rejected you, abandoned you. It sucks to never be allowed by law to know the people who look like and share your genetics while everyone around you talks about inheriting their hair color or musical talent and can go on and find great-great grandparents and you can't even find your own mother.

And losing a kid sucks too. Big time. It IS traumatic and the pain never goes away, no matter how necessary anyone thought it was - and convinced you.

You never forget and are haunted for LIFe with pain and guilt and worry about that child...even if you are ever lucky enough to reunite decades later. GUILT for doing what everyone told you was a loving, caring thing to do and that you'd be selfish not to. Abd pain at being told any barnyard animal can give birth...even though most animals forget their young once they are weaned. Being told your own flesh and blood child is "better off" without you...and then finding our they were no better off than if you had raised them....just having the added pain of feeling rejected...

Anonymous said...

I am not sure which adoptees you are speaking for, but you certainly are making assumptions. I never said that Dan Schmidt gave up his rights, and I have read everything about the "Baby Jessica" case I can get my hands on. You, on the other hand seem to believe that all adoptions are wrong, which I don't understand. I was fortune to be able to have one child, born in 1991 and there was no reason for me to give him up for adoption. Your logic is not coming from fact. It is your opinion based on what I can only assume was extreme heartache in your life.

I would ask that you google "Bradley McGee" and read all the facts about his case.

Also, I am trying to find the interview Anna gave when she was 12, I believe. Do you happen to have a link to a website where this can be viewed?


Anonymous said...

Mirah, it must be hell for you, living with such anger. Cara is the self proclaimed Christian, so SHE needs to act accordingly, never mind anyone else. She was a grown-up when she willingly handed over her baby, so she's the one who has the full responsibility. That will never change, and deep down, you know it. You've just invested so much hatred and bitterness into this topic that it's understandable that you can't admit to being wrong. Just because you're passionate doesn't mean you're right. The general public will never again accept that the adults are the only ones who count in adoptions.

Mirah Riben said...

Before you try to psychoanalyze me, you might want to read either of my books are any of my articles. If you did, you'd know that I'm totally opposed to adoption putting the needs of any of the adults before the best interests of children.

As for anger, please see:

Anonymous said...

Mirah, do you have any links to interviews given by Dan, Cara, and Anna? I've been searching and cannot find any video footage.


Anonymous said...

I guess you are out of arguments (or should I say, opinions?)

Mirah Riben said...

This case been discussed for decades and nearly two years now on this particular blog. yes, i think all opinions have had their opportunity to be shared...Nothing any of us think will change the outcome of this case.

My greatest hope is that fathers' rights would be taken into account more seriously and mothers never encouraged to lie for expediency of an adoption.

I further hope that when a challenge of the legality of a relinquishment and adoption is called into question that the disputing parties get equal time with the child - giving neither side the edge and a reason to delay. I further hope that courts move VERY QUICKLY to conclude such conteted cases, however they often involve more than one state.

I hope we can all agree on these solutions for the future as being in the best interest of children and families.

I also hope you will read anew quote I added to my header. It came about as a result of a similar contested adoption case which similarly dragged on in order for the abductors to claim a bond of time with the child they were ordered to return.

Mirah Riben said...

PS I have no links to share. Don't know of any. The case predates YouTube.

Anonymous said...

And we revisit this again with Grayson Vaughn. I agree with Mirah Riben's last post about, except for the "abductors" comment. It should be all about the child. I personally know of highly successful open adoptions which I hope become more the norm. As an adopted person, and a "parent in waiting", I think the open process is generally the right one. It should be all about the best interests of the child. Both birth parents should participate willingly and knowingly and both parties receiving counseling. But once a decision is made, then it should be final.

Mirah - adoption may have "sucked" for you, but you don't speak for me.

Mirah Riben said...

"I personally know of highly successful open adoptions."

What is your crieria of "success"? Successful for ehom? How long into the adoption?

For more on open adoption, please see:

And FYI I am a researcher and have been researching adoption issues for more than 30 years. My writings are based on the issues and facts, not on my personal perspective.

Anonymous said...

To this little boy, adoption would not have "sucked." Please read....

His story begins over two decades ago. At the very tender age of just four months, Braddie was abandoned in a shopping mall (by his biological mother). Fortunately, an on-duty pretzel vendor took him to a local hospital where Braddie was quickly introduced to the “system” of governmental child supervision.

After living in a safe foster home for nearly two years, the “system” sent little Braddie back to his biological mother and stepfather. In merely 66 days after reintroduction into his original home, Bradley’s life tragically came to an end (by the hands of his parents). Did Bradley become the sorrowful product of a poorly constructed childcare system?

Bradley McGee, sadly, like many other abused and neglected children are often returned to their biological families only to find ill-fated tragedy awaiting them. In Bradley’s case, countless pleas fell on deaf ears prior to his horrific murder in 1989. A number of persons, especially Ms. Liles, made several attempts to have Bradley removed from his neglectful home, all to no avail.

Upon his return, little Bradley incurred insurmountable, and brutal physical abuse. Beating after beating, his abusers finally took his small, innocent life by dangling Bradley by his ankles and repeatedly plunging his head into a toilet bowl. When they finally retrieved the battered tot from the bathroom, they continued their torture by placing him in a cold shower to quiet his screams, and then beat him (with pillows) until his small body curled up into a fetal position. What was their reason for his fatal beating? He had soiled his pants. In the end, Bradley purportedly ended up on a life-support machine where he died alone.

Bradley’s mother (Sheryl Coe) had repeatedly mocked child welfare workers in the past by “hiding” when they (case workers) arrived at their mobile home to check on Bradley. [It is my personal opinion and review of said case, that logically, at some point, caseworkers should have made an effort to attain a warrant to enter the premises.] Psychologists who interviewed the Coes found that they were “immature and explosive.” How could a judge rule in favor of them (Sheryl and Thomas Coe) with this afore knowledge? The reason for the ruling was because psychological documents were never introduced into the hearing - a slight oversight?

Upon jury-trial commencement, Thomas Coe was sentenced to life in prison and Sheryl Coe was sentenced to 30 years; however, Ms. Coe was released after nine years of time served. To date, she is again in the clutches of yet another court battle to retrieve another biological son in foster care.

Mirah Riben said...

Yes, that happens.

But adoption did SUCK to DEATH for these children:

17 abused or murdered Russian adoptees:

These are just a minute listing of children adopted by people who did give birth by accident. They went out of their way to adopted children - to take a someone else's child and promised to care for them - and then HORRIBLY abused and in many cases murdered these innocent beings they were entrusted with.

Untold numbers of other children have suffered various levels of physical and sexual abuse from their adopters: burned, raped, starved, caged, tortured...

Others were "just" emotionally abused.

And, even thoe considered from the outside "successful" adoptions suffer idenity confusion and fings of abandonment - and are denied acces to their own birth certrificate, their medical history. Sre denied the right to know another human being who looks like them and are expected to be grateful for having been "saved" when in fact their mothers may have been pressured to relinquish them, or they had fathers who desperately wanted them and were denied their rights as happens very often.

Adoption sucks because...
“Regrettably, in many cases, the emphasis has changed from the desire to provide a needy child with a home, to that of providing a needy parent with a child. As a result, a whole industry has grown, generating millions of dollars of revenues each year . . .” United Nations, Commission on Human Rights, 2003.

Adoption sucks because it is unregulated and anyone who can pray the price gets a kids, including pedophiles such as William Peckenpaugh and Matthew Mancusco.

Mirah Riben said...


Ind. couple, natural father fight for 3-year-old


An Indiana couple is holding on to the son [NOT their "son"] they've tried to adopt for nearly three years even though a court has ordered them to surrender the child to his biological father in Ohio.

The Lucas County Juvenile Court this week ordered Jason and Christy Vaughn to hand over the nearly 3-year-old boy named Grayson to Benjamin Wyrembek, prompting their attorney to file a flurry of legal maneuvers to prevent the surrender.

"This isn't my fault and, quite frankly, it's not the birth father's fault. It's not the birth mom's fault. Everybody is doing what they think is right," Jason Vaughn told The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky.

Wyrembek's attorney, meanwhile, says courts have ruled in his client's favor and the case shouldn't be tried in the media.


Yet one MORE case of abductors refusing to follow the law and allow a son and his father be together AS GOD and the law intends them to be!! What gives people the right? How can they justify KIDNAPPING?!

Anonymous said...

My criteria for "success" would be that both the biological parents, the adoptive parents, and especially the child (now grown adult) are all in agreement that the right thing occurred and they are all happy.

I'd love for your research to actually investigate best practices, seek out both the good and bad in an impartial manner.

I was wondering, do you judge adoption agencies by their "slick" websites, or by what they do (or don't do)? Or, like a support website for a product, you only hear the"bad" side of the story as reported by the one party?

You do a great job in pointing out the problems. With your extensive research history (and regrettable personal experience), how would you propose how adoptions take place, what preparation for both prospective adoptive parents and biological parents should commence, and then how do they meld with current "best practices" and what agencies/charities/attorneys are leading the way in that regard?

Mirah Riben said...

I am but one person. I report on studies and my personal contact with adoptees, adoptive parents and parents who have relinquished, as well as adoption professionals and organizations such as the UN which often report on global adoption issues (as per some quotes above). I am not associated with a university, do not have educational credentials nor grant funding to do original research.

Even if I did, conducting actual first hand research into adoption is very difficult for several reasons. For one, all records are sealed. Most of us can only repot on those who report outcomes. That often does sway results. For instance, the opposition to equal claims "claims" that there are others who are traumatized by being found - or think they would be. But they also claim these mothers are so uptight about protecting their anonymity they refuse to speak about it. cannot be verified.

I do know some cases as you describe - where all are happy or content. I know far more who are not and, quite frankly it is not my "job" to report the joys of adoption because there are a great deal of other individuals and others doing that.

My position is clear: I believe that no child should be separated from his family UNNECESSARILY - i.e. they are truly orphans and have no extended family to care for them....and even then they should not have their birth certificate falsified.

I agree with the UN that adoption is a permanent solution for what are temporary problems and there are better solutions. That adoption has changed from being about finding homes for children who need alternative care to supplying babies to meet a demand - mostly by pressure, coercion, deceit, exploitation, or out and out stealing and kidnapping. In nations where the US (and other nations) have halted adoptions, "abandonments" have been greatly reduced and then increase again when adoption restart.

Likewise, when Australia put family preservation programs (such as those I suggest) into p;lace, they reduced their adoption to about 2 per year in the entire country.

Demand creates supply. The tens of thousands of dollars people pay to adopt creates a lucrative business for baby brokers and child traffickers - more lucrative and less risk of penalty than drug dealing!

I suggest you come to my presentation at St John's conference NYC on Oct. 16 and hear my suggestions for "ethical adoption" or continue to watch this blog for a link to the presentation after it is presented.

Oh, yes, one more thing. Whoever you are - that you do not reveal - you refer to my "regrettable personal experience." If you mean that my daughter is deceased, I hope you are aware that I was doing this work - and in fact wrote my first book - long before that unfortunate occurrence. If you mean having lost my child to adoption - that was the impetus to get involved...first by facilitating support groups for mothers who were having trouble "forgetting" their child as they were told to do, as I was. In the course of running that support group I co-founded in 1980 - the original Origins headquartered in NJ - I heard the pain from every woman who came to us or wrote to us. I heard how they were pressured and offered no other alternative or help to help their child. And I saw fist hand the results they found when they searched: far less than the "perfect" families we had been promised. They found lies about the religion of the family. They found divorced couples who sent their children off to boarding school - the lucky ones. They found graves and they found abused children. And all the while I heard from adoptees who were desperately searching for information about their family they were denied by law for no reasonable or necessary reason.

Anonymous said...

I hope as time goes on, that Anna "Jessica" will realize that her "real parents" aka the Deboers loved her. Cara Schmidt gave her up. I had a newborn when this was all going on. I couldn't even imagine, after bonding with a child for 2 weeks, to give her up. Biological or not! If "Jessica" cannot see that, what a spoiled little girl she is.

Anonymous said...

Anna aka Jessica, has already realized her real parents are and was very lucky to have been reunited with them and raised by them. If she would have stayed with the Deboers she still would most likely have realized who her real parents were or wonder who they were. Honestly some people are clueless and delusional, I just don't get those type, from watching though have learned this type of personality tend to be insecure and extremely controlling.

Maryreunited said...

My god I can't believe people are still on about this almost two decades after Anna went home. It only proves to me that the entire industry needs to go the way of the dinosaur. For those that spoke of Anna being brainwashed-what do you think would have happened had the DeBoer's won? What do you think happens to so many adoptee's still? Shame on all of you for this wrong headed thinking. The laws in each state are written as they are to protect adoptive parents 99% of the time, there is nothing in them that protects a child or the natural families rights. Waiting periods are far too short, contesting an adoption is far to hard-and even if they are contested you often have what happened to Anna as a result. It's criminal, it's unethical, it's immoral and it needs to change. The idea that posession is 9/10 of the law is just not true. The adoption industry preys on the most vulnerable-young women/couples who don't know all of the options in most cases. The coercive tactics they use are unconscionable, they in fact use the one thing they know they can rely on, a mother's love for her child to get her to surrender. in short they use love as a weapon. It disgusts me-

TrinaH said...

I find i amazing that if you are adopted and don't have a book of issues with it, how your feelings and thoughts about it are completely discounted on this site. I also call BS to the person that claims to know Anna. Anyone can go online to the one article that is still out there and pull the same story. In fact there person that recently posted said she is 18 or 19, and she's in her twenties, what a good "friend" that person is.

I can appreciate all the emotions and psychological damage that adoption can bring with it. And Mirah, I would like to thank you, because prior to hearing about the Grayson case I wasn't the least interested in finding my birth mother. I have since put my name on the registry and will wait to hear.

But, I support one one of your posters said in that, this woman may be my biological mother - but that's it. I wouldn't go to her if I needed a kidney. To me being adopted is like having an additional trait that could play a part in my life. As someone that works in healthcare, I can tell you, there are a lot of people that die every year waiting for transplant, because their blood relatives aren't matches. My point here is that to me adoption might limit some thing for me - I may nee to get early mammograms, I might not know where my hazel eyes came from - but I also had the trade off of growing up with two wonderful sisters, a mother and father that loved me. I can't complain, and that doesn't undermine my opinion that some adoptions aren't bad. And while I do support a father's right to raise his biological child, I still question some of these mens' motives. Fighting because you can, doesn't translate into fighting because I love this child so much and want to raise it. Pulling a child from a healthy family, just to "win" is what I think a lot of the Grayson supporters worry about. Yes - they do feel that the more money they have and stable lifestyles all are a better match for a single father who doesn't work consistently. I also think though that there is an instinct and a sense that this man may just be fighting for "what's his". We all could be wrong. But that too is an injustice .

Mirah Riben said...


To each his own. It's your life. But it sounds awfully self-spiteful to say you wouldn't go to your natural mother for a kidney. I wonder then why you would even put your name in a registry with an attitude like you have. I suggest:

1. Putting your name in a registry is a passive act so that you can then claim that she didn't act to find you when she could have, which assumes she knows about the registry you chose to use (or any) since there are many.

2. It sounds like you are approaching any possible contact with her, if it would occur, with a huge attitude that takes passive into passive aggressive.

I hope you might rethink and do some deeper self investigation into these attitudes and underlying feelings before pursuing another human being further who might be in for being very hurt by your undercurrent of - UNDERSTANDABLE and warranted - anger and hurt at being relinquished.

Sorry to be so personal in a public forum, but you brought your own situation and feelings into this discussion of a 40 year old adoption case, not I and I had no way to reach you personally, or I would have.

Seems like the Grayson contested adoption and this one have really brought up some long-buried issues for you...and as I said, they are not uncommon and are most understandable. It hurts trying to comprehend why someone didn't want you, as adoption feels. It is, as you aptly said a trade off. A lot gets lost in that trade off and needs to be mourned.

I hope you find someone knowledgeable in adoption loss and grief to work with you as you sort of all this out constructively. It is a small niche field with very few experienced practitioners. Please feel free to contact me privately for suggestions.

TrinaH said...

Wow Mirah - I am not sure why my attitude is perceived as being so bad? I am surprsised to hear such harsh criticism of me - going so far as to call me passive aggressive, really?

I guess I fail to see what I said that would suggest I have such a strong undercurrent of hurt and anger - because I really don't. I feel good in my life,balanced, and hope that she does as well.

Why did I put my name on a registry? Because after becoming involved in this case and reading your site and the First Mother's Forum, I really had no idea the world of anger and hurt that came from women that gave their children up. Call that naieve, but I just didn't spend a lot of time in my life feeling sorry for myself, or wishing I had a different life. I felt like my birth parents made a choice, and I had a great life - so just assumed it worked well for everyone. I have no ill-will or anger - truly. I fundamentally believe that you have to not live in regret, because that is not living. But after reading all of these experiences, I realized that I might have a mother or father out there looking for me, and I really just wanted to let them know that I was ok. I am not looking to fill a void, I am not looking to satisfy my biological curiousity, or to even ask "why". If I find her and we can get to know each other as human beings, that would be wonderful. I read the pain of so many birth mothers, and if that is indeed how my birth mother felt, I wanted to ease that pain for her if I could.

As for my comment about waiting to hear, forgive me, because I am not experienced in birth mother search and so the one ISRR registry I found seemed to let me know that they will contact me if there is a match. I am not wealthy and don't have the means, or the desire to spend a lot of money searching. But by all means, please feel free to share your expertise on how I could be doing this better .

Mirah Riben said...

My apologies. i did not mean to judge, and wasn' I said twice that feeling hurt and anger is totally understandable.

It was, as I said in the first sentence your saying you wouldn't ask her if you needed a kidney - unless I totally mis-read that...

ISSR will match two people if BOTH are registered. Few know of it, as you didn't all these years, so I just don't want yout o feel your mother doesn't care if she doesn't register.

if you were adopted through agency, you could also file a waiver with them in case she goes back there inquiring about your well-being, and check to see if your state has a registry, or the state you were born in if you know that. If it was a private adoption, your adoptive parents may even have finalization papers with your original name.

Trina, I hope as you become more involved in issues around adoption that you might also become involved in the fight to change the laws and allows adult adoptees equality with non-adopted persons in regard to access to their own birth certificate, which adoptees are currently denied in 44 out of 50 states.

This is an issue of discrimination and equal rights and is separate from any interest or non-interest in search or reunion.

Again, sorry if I misunderstood.

DerrickT said...

Really, it is unbelievable how much people involved in adoption perpetuate lies about how wonderful and heroic adoptive couples are, when in reality they are doing it for their own selfish need to have a child, and don't consider the child's need for their natural parents, grandparents, cousins, etc. The real parents are made to look like monsters for even considering adoption. And once they find out how screwed up the system is, and try to change course, they are penalized by the court system for "victimizing" the prospective adoptive parents. It's completely one-sided, as if their intentions are above scrutiny!

Anonymous said...

The DeBoers always seemed like the better parents, and after they raised her to the age of two, it was a shame the courts didn't keep the little girl with the parents who loved her without ever having had any hesitation about keeping her.

Mirah Riben said...

Here's the problem with that "logic":

1. "seemed" like.

2. "If ... the best interests of the child is to be the determining factor in child custody cases ... persons seeking babies to adopt might profitably frequent grocery stores and snatch babies from carts when the parent is looking the other way. Then, if custody proceedings can be delayed long enough, they can assert that they have a nicer home, a superior education, a better job or whatever, and that the best interests of the child are with the baby snatchers. Children of parents living in public housing or other conditions deemed less affluent and children of single parents might be considered particularly fair game." -- Justice James Heiple, Illinois Supreme Court in the "Baby Richard" case.

Anonymous said...

I must say there are many angles & areas involved.My heart goes out to all that have been hurt.

Anonymous said...

I'm a victim of "family preservation", I would have given anything to have grown up with a family that wanted me, and because everyone was so scared to violate THEIR rights or preferences, I'll be dealing with the emotional fallout for the rest of my life. I would have rather lived in a cardboard box with strangers that wanted me rather than been forced to stay with "parents" that didn't.

Mirah Riben said...

You are only a victim if that is how you CHOOSE to see yourself! You also the capability to be a survivor!

Look, NO ONE gets to choose their parents (with very rare exception) - not the parents we are born to or those who raise us. It's ALL a crap shoot! A spin of the wheel of fortune. AND, there ar good and bad natural parents, good and bad foste rparents, and good and bad adoptive parents.

Adoption does not - by any means - guarantee a better life. it only guarantees a different life! AND, no matter how good and loving one's adoptive parents are, they still have to deal with feelings of having been rejected or abandoned, and they have to deal with lack of being treated equally to non-adopted folk in regards to access to their own birth certificate and thus their medical history. So it's a trade-off and not equal trade. You MAY gain in the bargain, but you are guaranteed to loose your medical history and your equality.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the person who said the following:

"I have a daughter the same age and I remember thinking at the time how horrible it would have been for my daughter if she would have been taken away from every constant in her life. They even changed her name! But it was OK, because she was only three and doesn't remember! That is just wrong! From the child's point of view she lost everything, parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles cousins, playmates, view outside the window, her bed, her home, even her own identity."

I remember this story, and I remember the biological dad who was a complete nut case, would get into physical altercations with reporters and cameramen, and would leave messages on the DeBoer's answering machine saying that he was going to confront them and talk to them about "what they told channel 7". Not a word about his daughter.

This biological father acted like he had property taken from him and that he wanted to settle a score. I was sickened by his behavior.

Whether the Deboers should have given her back or not, the facts go back to what I quoted from the woman above. Jessica was with them for 2 1/2 years! In that instance, if a biological parent really loves his/her child, you will love that child enough to let her go. 2 1/2 years. my god.

But this case is done and over. Unfortunately, biological parents rights usually take precedent over what is best for the child. It obviously still strikes a chord, the only thing we can do is to make sure it never happens again.

Mirah Riben said...

The previous anonymous comment shows a total lack of being fully informed of the facts of the case. the DeBoers intentionally dragged the case out until she was 2. Had THEY been loving parents, they would have returned as soon as her MOTHER rescinded the adoption and then let the child maintain the CONTINUITY she had with her mothers' voice, smell and rhythms and be with all of her blood KIN.

It's amazing that as a mother you cna identify with the rights of a total stranger to another's child but not with the child's actual, real, natural mother who has suffered a grievous loss. instead you side with CRIMINALS who violated the law in keeping this child from family who wanted her and a mother who was perfectly capable despite your judgements of the father.

Just amazing!

Anonymous said...

That was a quick response to my comments.

The DeBoers did not forge Cara's name on the form terminating her rights. Cara Schmidt did. It's like Tom Snyder said years ago, people do not want to follow through on what they pledge/sign to do.

It's a parental termination agreement, not a timeshare or an automobile purchase.

I have heard all of the arguments before, so you can save them. People disagree with you, deal with it. You will have to as people will continue to discuss this case. And the things that I say about the father are extensively documented.

I did not see the top of the blog, so I was not initially aware of the extreme anti-adoption bias here.

Mirah Riben said...

Well, my dear, if you read the comments here, you will see that many disagree with YOU. So you might want to get used to THAT!

Many people recognize that asking a mother to sign papers hours postpartum and then holding her to it is as immoral and wrong as asking a widow to sign over her house before her husband is in the ground. And any contract has a cooling off period.

The courts felt it was so!

And bottom line - since you obviously did not read the comments, i will repeat this for you:

Anna is doing great. She's a high school senior, is actively involved in band (pep, marching, jazz, concert), loves photography, has good grades (3.0+), and has plans to attend college next year. She lives (in a middle class home) with her mother, Cara....step-father Lyal....and sister Chloe....and is very close to all. She has no contact with Dan Schmidt, her natural father, and hasn't had for 2-3 yrs now, for reasons you could probably guess. She also has no memory of the DeBoer's, nor does she ever plan to contact them. She felt it was "creepy" when she saw the recent article that said Jan DeBoer looked at her picture daily. She has led a full and normal life, and doesn't care to be in the public eye.

Please put that in your pipe and smoke to your heart's content, my dear!

Anonymous said...

I'm just curious..The previous statement said that Anna " has no contact with her natural father Dan Schmidt for reasons you can probably guess" Sounds to me like he molested her. If thats the case, then she would have been better off left with the Deboers. Even if he didn't molest her, he must have done something pretty bad to her. Doesn't spund like a good life at all for her!! There are clearly a lot of cases where the child is better off being adopted and this is one of them. Her life would probably have been much better left with The Deboers.

Mirah Riben said...

You have the most vivid imagination I have ever heard - you are mising a brilliant career as a fiction writer.

And your conclusioin is brilliant! Everyone who doesn't get along with their father wouls be better of having been adopted!

crocodyle said...

"For reasons you can probably guess" was a statement that anyone with a little intelligence would be able to figure out, without going off the deep end. And as an FYI, Anna has mended her rift with her natural father and has a good relationship with him again!

Anonymous said...

Wow everyone on here is so obviously biased since this site supports natural parents. I'm sorry to inform you that having sex and making a baby does in no way make you a 'parent'. It is because of the amazing, loving, and giving people out there that so many children are given a chance at a good life when there own 'natural' parents couldn't give it to them. You have all these videos on here that talk about how adoptive parents harmed/killed their kids, but where's all the ones about the natural parents torturing their children?! I guess you just "forgot" to include those. Adoptive parents go through hell and back to try and adopt a child. Every bit of their lives are investigated to see if they are fit enough before they are given the opportunity to adopt; 'Natural' parents don't have to prove anything. In most cases adoption saves lives. So please stop being so biased that's all I ask.

Mirah Riben said...

Dear Anonymous,

Biased? No, we tell the truth and express our feelings from our perspective as it is, which may not be the same as yours. That makes us no more "biased" than you.

Sex does not make a parent, agreed. But neither does paying an adoption agency fee, as proven by the videos you yourself watched and the many, many other adopters who abuse and even kill their children, or terminate their adoptions in one fashion or another.

As you said, adoptive parents jump through hoops, pay lots of money, spend lots of time etc to obtain someone else's child with an INTENTIONAL - not accidental - promise to care for them FOREVER! That is what makes it FAR FAR worse when they abuse, torture, rape, starve, burn, beat, cage or kill a child entrusted to them! I'm sure you would agree.

Finally, no we do not sing the praises of adoption here. First, because there are bookoo websites and blogs that do that. Secondly becaue this is what it is: a blog that supports and promotes FAMILY PRERSEVATION *NOT* adoption separation! Would you go to a blog or a support group website for DIVORCE and complain that they never talk about happy marriages??? THINK abttu it. So, thank you for visiting and instead of being judgemental of us here why not stay around and perhaps learn something from a slightly different perspective than you are used to? It's called educating yourself. It might help you better understabnd your child, if you have adopted.

Anonymous said...

The Schmidt baby theft by the DeBoers is just the tip of the iceberg. Think of the baby-scoop era. My own biological cousin was almost murdered by one of his adopters, who did kill his baby sister.

In 1969, my uncle became a biological father. He'd been engaged to the baby's mother, but she broke off the engagement & gave the baby up for adoption. My uncle had a university degree, & was licensed to teach both social studies & history. In fact, at the time his son was born, he was employed full time as a teacher-- although he was considered, by educational authorities, to be perfectly fit to indoctrinate and, indeed, raise, children belonging to other persons for 7+ hours per day, the fact that he wasn't married made him unfit as a matter of law to raise his own child for purposes of the children's code. He sought legal counsel to no avail. This was in LaCrosse County Wisconsin, and the agency that assisted in this baby theft was Lutheran Social Services.

Since the biological mother (not some immature teenager but an adult hairdresser) unilaterally decided to give the baby up for adoption & get on her merry way partying & doing whatever it was that she wanted to do (fortunately she never had any more children) & my uncle had no right whatsoever to nay-say it or take the baby himself, social workers with a sick, religious-based moral agenda swooped in & legally stole the baby, giving him to a couple whose only qualifications, so far as I have been able to tell, were the fact that they were married, believed in a deity, & wasted time each week going to a building with a steeple & worshiping said imaginary being.

In 1972, a few days before his third birthday, the adoptive "mother" threw him off a bridge in a drowning attempt (he was found unconscious with various injuries, but recovered in hospital), & at the same time did drown his younger sister (not a biological sister; he was the only child either of his biological parents ever had). Although the adoptive "mother" was locked up for a number of years, my cousin was not the subject of dependency proceedings. Rather, he was left in the "care" of his adoptive "father" who was seriously depressed & had difficulty functioning, and in the "care" of his adoptive "grandparents" who beat him when he in his toddler innocence asked where his sister had gone. So this was how he grew up, in a small town, where he was ostracized & mistreated by other kids who, of course, knew the story.

Last year, thanks to the internet, my cousin managed to find our family. Although I'd known for quite a few years about the legalized kidnapping that'd been perpetrated upon my uncle, when I first heard the story of what had gone on in the home of the adoptive "family" it seemed so far-fetched that I had difficulty believing it. However, I was able to locate newspaper articles & confirm that this murder & attempted murder did, indeed, occur.

Anonymous said...

(continued from prior comment)

Had my cousin been left in the care of his *real* father (yes, I consider my uncle who really wanted to keep the kid his "real" father; the adoptive father abdicated his role as father when my cousin was a toddler) he would not have been abused, injured, almost drowned, etc. My cousin would not have been a "parentified" child who was forced to look after the so-called adults in his adoptive family. As a demonstration of the parentification-- my cousin is currently the legal guardian of one of his adoptive aunts. He was considered the fittest of the entire family. None of her several adult siblings were considered appropriate guardians for her. Basically, this is a judicial determination that he is the most functional adult in the entire extended "family" (the adoptive family, I mean). Had my cousin been raised by his *real* father, he most likely would have a university degree now (his adoptive "family" didn't value education). Had my cousin been raised by his *real* father he would not now be a religious fundamentalist who believes in the literal truth of each word of the Old Testament. Had my cousin been raised by his *real* father he would not have spent significant portions of his life cleaning up after the adoptive parents' compulsive hoarding disorder when government agencies got involved and ordered clean-up. His adoptive "parents" ruined his life.

And my uncle? Unfortunately uncle's dead now and I can't confirm this, but it appears that some social worker did break the law & let him know where his son was; I'd heard that back when the baby was 3 uncle'd gone to visit him, and also that the baby was with a religious farm family (true). Age 3 necessarily would've been after the drowning attempt. Way back when all this was going on, uncle had a breakdown & was hospitalized with severe depression.

It affected my gran, too. After developing Alzheimers, she walked around in the late 70's & early 80's crying & muttering to herself over & over "she killed the baby; she threw it in the river." For years she was in her own private hell, & only now do I know the cause. Obviously my uncle must've told her. And both were powerless to retrieve/rescue the legally stolen baby.

Mirah Riben said...

That is indeed a HORRIBLE story of adoption abuse and murder. Unfortunately, far from the only one.

And there is no on "era" in which single and poor mothers and fathers have come victim to adoption pressure and loss.

Father's right are particularly precarious.

You can read all about adoption abuses in both of my books:

"shedding light on...The Dark Side of Adoption"

Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry"

Anonymous said...

All of you people are nuts! Cara was a 28 year old grown woman who didn't even know who the father of her child was when she selfishly gave JESSICA away!! It's not like she was some scared teenage girl and made a rash decision. TWENTY-EIGHT!! She was old enough, and had 9 damn months to figure her sh*t out! And Dan?? Don't even get me started. He was too damn stupid to ever be given a child. And Cara obviously thought so too since she never bothered to even tell him about her pregnancy, or the baby she gave up, until she figured out she could use him to get the baby back. And clearly my first impression of him as a lousy human being were correct considering he waited another 13 years to abandon her just like Cara did when she was born. I don't give a rat's behind the circumstances that led up to it, you simply DO NOT pry a toddler away from the only loving parents she's ever known and hand her over to a couple that can't afford to properly raise her. I have a daughter, ironically named Jessica, the same age as JESSICA DEBOER, and I followed this case very closely. The media images of that heartless social worker dragging that child away from her MOTHER will never, ever, leave my mind. It was simply disgusting and in no way in the best interest of the child. Which is supposed to be all that matters. If Cara and Dan Dumbfu*k had any kind of brains at all they would have realized that and wanted what was best for the child, not their own selfishness. Makes me sick!!

Mirah Riben said...

You are incredibly judgemental based solely on assumptions of people you have never met.

And I find it humorously ironic that you label the placing of a child for adoption as SELFISH. It so happens that the adoption industry, all adoption agencies and facilitators talk women into signing away their children by telling them the exact opposite: that keeping their child would be selfish and that the lioving unselfish thing is to let the child have a chance at a better life!

And you don't see trying to keep someone else's child as selfish?

Simply inexplicably bizarre thinking!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm personally I think the author of this nasty little blog is biased. Sorry but Cara was an irresponsible woman who lied about paternity and more than willingly gave up her kid. Dan was a rampant sperminator who did not want responsibility for the kids he had. I think Cara used this baby to get what she wanted, Dan. Obviously he was true to form and walked away from yet another responsibility. The DeBoers were right to try to keep this child. They are deeply feeling people and were heartbroken and devastated through no fault of their own, they adopted in good faith and were hurt by LIARS. Blood ain't everything. Sorry but thats the truth. Anna has been brainwashed by her irresponsible lying hurtful mother, who was the one who caused the whole damn thing with her LIE!!!!

Anonymous said...

I personally feel that the biological mother, who had 9 months to determine what she thought was in the best interest of her child, was the one that was out of her mind at the time. I am a mother of 2 and I'm pregnant with my third child. I can not imagine giving my child up for adoption. If I was ever put in a situation where I felt as though I had to, I would think this through very thoroughly. Putting adoptive parents through that kind of hurt just because I want my child back after 2 1/2 years of them raising her, is being somewhat selfish. Even though Jessica was young and adjusted to the switch very well, the biological mom has to remember, it was her decision to put Jessica up for adoption. No one made her do it and I if I was the judge, I would have made sure that she never got her hands on Jessica. I would have made her live with her actions and except the consequences of putting her child up for adoption. You can't just do that and turn around and chance your mind. People will get hurt in the process.

Mirah Riben said...

The previous comment is a CLASSIC example of the public's ignorance an inability to show any empathy or compassion for natural mothers and fathers in a bind and pressured to relinquish. Until you have walked a mile in the shoes of being pregnent and destitute, deserted by the babies father and shamed and possibly shunned by your family, pressured by social workers and clergy to do what is BEST for your child...your inability to idenify with such a person is rendering you cruelly and wrongfully judgemental.

Every day women are told that to let go is the UNSELFISH, loving thing to do! They are told over and over that to keep their baby would be selfish and not in their child's best interests; that others are "more deserving." Read all the pro-life "adoption not abortion" rhetoric and you will see how relinquishment is praised and hailed as the RIGHT thing to do! But then when a woman does, she is shunned and out down for doing what she was encourged to do! What a Catch-22!

And agin, if she changes her mind, she's evil and selfish. She can't win!

Please read the Girls Who Went Away by Anne Fessler. And please try to develop some open-mindedeness and compassion.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am in Australia but this case certainly made headlines here. I had just had my 3rd child & the hormones(along with the misrepresentation of the press) had me empathising with the DeBoers. Now, I feel quite differently. While I still have empathy for the DeBoers(love is a strong motivator but operating purely from an emotive angle can cloud our better judgement), looking back at the fiasco that this was, it is clear to me that the birth parents should have had their child restored to them asap after they expressed the desire to parent her.
Here in Oz infants relinquished for adoption are placed with specially trained foster carers for up to 6 months( the period of time allowed the birth mother to consider her initial decision-difficult enough even when one has that 6 month period of grace). By specially trained I mean that carers are screened and evaluated on their opinions on adoptive parents, relinquishing parents & all probable scenarios involving the above. They are able to parent & bond with the infant & are able to involve prospective adoptive parents & give them the sense that this is their child-After the 6 month period has lapsed. Also, they are able to (without prejudice)support & encourage the birth family if they choose to reunite with their baby.
I am now the mother of 3 boys & 3 girls that are mine & my husband's biologically (ages 23 down to 13)& a 7 yr old daughter who was placed in our care at 11 days. Adoption proceedings are almost finalised(she was initially a shortterm foster placement & being of Vietnamese heritage we were told that she would need to be placed with an Asian carer asap-which we accepted & prepared 4 emotionally). Circumstances have allowed us the privilege of being able to raise her. Although her mother had no choice in relinquishing her(there was history), she loves her deeply. I have never met her(yet) but we talk & txt & have a good relationship & are supportive & appreciative of one another. I always send photos & updates & she takes joy & pride in her child's achievements. She has another child (about 13 now) who is in the care of another foster family but has no contact with his mother. I contacted the foster mother several years ago to give her the kids' birth mother's details-4 photo exchange, family history etc., but she did not want 2 know. She could not grasp that contact could only benefit the child in her care. She saw it as rewarding the birth mother's ' bad behaviour'.
I have had to hand over other babies/toddlers to their birth mothers & to other carers. I loved them all & would have kept each in a heartbeat. At the end of the day, while I might think my home/family/parenting style is the Only or Best, guess what? It's not.
The law is there to protect. Behaviour based purely on emotion gets people killed everyday. The DeBoer's should have put aside their own heartache( of course they loved her from the 1st moment- been there, done that)& recognised that the correct(legally & ethically) course of action was to return the child to the biological mother asap. Who knows? They could have offered support(& I do not mean financially)& perhaps remained a positive & loving influence in Anna's life(albeit not in the way they had hoped).

Anonymous said...

In all honesty, this could have been prevented if Cara did not give up her baby for adoption. I truely believe the Doboers deserve an apology from Cara. I had my first daughter and age 18. People told me to put her up for adoption, i couldn't succeed in life with a baby, that I should abort, that i should do this do that, i heard everything except you can do it. I really don't care how "pressured" she was. I was in a horrible relationship at the time, i didn't have a job, nothing at all and i didn't give in to all that "pressure" and i was only 18. Cara was 27-28. She definitely owes them an apology.

Mirah Riben said...

If anyone owes anyone an apology the Deboers owe Cara and Anna for keeping this child from her mother and father! Thta's totally outrageous.

No mother owes anyone her child and ceratuianly owes no one an apology for raising her child!

Your comment and people who think like you are as persposterous as those who claim that Jews should have fought off the Nazzis...or raope is impossible because you can't thread a moving needle...or women's bodies close down so they can't get pregnant from rape.

Are you aware that Australia has issued an apology to all the women who were PRESSURED to let their babies be adopted during the same time perioid??? Regardless of their age?

Anonymous said...

Why are the Deboers viewed with compassion and sympathy for their loss? How outrageous! Compassion! Imagine! In this day and age, we should actually suspend judgment and instead extend compassion for human suffering and loss... how archaic.

Mirah Riben said...

The DeBoers got 100% of this nation's compassion, sympathy and pity in the media and at the water coolers, and still do today by people like you who remain in the majority, while cara has always been and continues to be vilified for wanting to raise her own child. Imagine that! Imagine having a baby, falling on hard times and thinking our child might be best off raised by another and then not being able to let her go and deciding you had made an awful mistake. You can't, can you. It's just impossible for even a second of IMAGINATION to put yourself in her shoes and have an ounce of compassion. It is HER child! She had a legal, moral, ethical, God-given and constitutional right to raise her own child! Sorry you and most people do not agree, but that's the way it is. Period! accept it. She was never their child and they had to give her to her MOTHER!
Was it hard on the DeBoers? Of course! Do I feel sorry for their loss, I do, to a point. They caused the delays which only made it harder for them and for the child.

Anonymous said...

These comments sound like adoptive parents can just be used... Be there, prepare your home and your heart, take a child in, but never fully see the child as your own, bond, or trust, because you are not "real" parents and as soon as the "real" parents change their mind you have to give it up. So in this point, it was a week. Where does the "adoptive" family become real? What does such a policy do to adoptive families in the stigma and uncertainty created?

If you care so much about your potential offspring you keep track of the women you sleep with to see if they fall pregnant and if they do assert your rights to a paternity test. I couldn't love a child and give it to a "family" that's so unstable. Sure, as people said, I can relate to the hormones that lead a woman to reject her child (who cares who the birth mother thought her lawyer was? A 12 year old knows what adoption is). Those are the same hormones that lead women to drown these children they're not sure they can bear to raise, and where's the bio father now? I can understand deep regret but I know what a commitment is and I wouldn't hurt another family because I'm a mess and I screwed up.

Mirah Riben said...

Anon - Everyone has a right to an OPINION - even on subjects they know nothing about. Such appears to be the case here.

You obviosuly know NOTHING whatsoever about adoption law or emotions.

In no way can mothers or fathers who legally relin quish their parental rights and place a child for adoption simply change their mind and take the child back from adopters.

#1. In most contested adoptions, we aree not ecen talking about adoptive parents - we are talking about PRE-adopive or prospective adoptive parents -- foster parents.

#2. the only way an adoption is ever reversed or dissallowed to go forward is when something ILLEGAL such as FRAUD has been proven to have taken place such as a father not properly notified or a mother who can prove coercion.

#3. Please do not presume to know what you would do or not do without walking a mile in someone else's shoes!

Anonymous said...

Shame, shame SHAME on the DeBoers. I remember this story well. I was a single mom of two little ones at the time. I was in my early 20's.

I just couldn't understand how the Deboers were getting so much sympathy. It angered me too that people were saying that ANNA should be with the DeBoers becuase they were better suited to raise her (had money, etc). That was a big slap in the face to me as a single mother who did manage to struggle and raise both my children and even become a medical professional.. going to school while raising them and working. Would my children have been better off with people who had money and were somehow better than me? NO WAY.

I clearly remember the DeBoers in the media constantly. They put poor ANNA through that and used her for public sympathy. How abusive. I didn't see the Schmidts exploit THEIR CHILD at all.

The DeBoers with all their money did nothing but harm Anna by legally kidnapping her, then tried to use the excuse that they are the only parents she has known. Evil people. Makes me truly believe that God makes it so that certain people like Roberta DeBoer cannot conceive.

No matter what, Anna belonged with her REAL PARENTS. It's just a shame that the selfish DeBoers are the ones who caused her the trauma of being removed (with media present, of course!) by keeping her for 2 1/2 years.

I commend Cara Schmidt!

Anonymous said...

Would love to see you cover the story of the babies in Oklahoma who are native being adopted out to South Carolina without father's consent! It is a horrible and scary thing! Makes me think of this case. Please give it some attention!

Mirah Riben said...

You are absolutely right. This is a major issue as is adoption in the state of Utah.

I have covered the Veronica-Dusten Brown case and am well aware of the Desarai case.

Anonymous said...

Cara Schmidt is a slapper........let us turn the table around Robby deboer has a baby doesn't want it gives up for adoption cara schmidt files for adoption Robby deboer wants the baby back .......would any woman who fell in love with the baby want to give her back ?????

Mirah Riben said...

You might not WANT to give back an baby you fell in love with, but you cannot just keep a baby that is not legally yours because you love it!! That's called kidnapping.

spookym said...

"Anna is doing great". Sure doesn't seem that way, if she thinks a father missing his child (blood or not) is "creepy". The people who raised her didn't seem to do a very good job. I hope she loses a child someday.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize that someone you don't know staring at a picture of you everyday isn't creepy. And how dare you insult the people who raised her when you don't even know the story. I hope you lose a child sometime as well,because someone to wish that upon anyone doesn't deserve to raise a child to turn out as ignorant as you.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry I didn't realize that someone you don't know staring at your picture isn't creepy. And how dare you say her parents didn't raise her well when you don't even know the story or situation. I'm sure you lead an example life. I hope you lose a child someday as well, because someone as ignorant as you doesn't need to bring a child into this world. How can you live with yourself saying such a thing. My advice to you is to step back and evaluate what makes you think you have any right to say such a thing about her.

Anna Rogers said...

Even after all these years Jessica/Anna remains close to my heart. I think that's because she and my eldest daughter are the same age, and someone said at the time she was taken from the DeBoers "How would you feel if someone told you that the child you'd raised for three years wasn't actually yours?"
I remember watching the removal on the news, and even now Robbie's and Jessica's cries echo down the years. So I am genuinely glad to hear how well she's doing, and what a good job Cara primarily has done in raising her. I am saddened however that she has such a negative view of the DeBoers who genuinely loved her, and made mistakes out of a belief they were acting in her best interests. Rather than condemning people simply for being human, we should focus on the courts whose layers of available appeals allow these situations to continue indefinitely. Once Dan's paternity and the Schmidts' suitability as parents been established a final ruling should've been made.
And finally a word to you Anna, "As a mother myself I'm glad your life has turned out so well. Over the years I've thought of you often, and treasure both the movie and book about your early years. If that sounds creepy my apologies, but as we followed your story you touched hearts around the world and many caring strangers hoped your life would turn out ok. That it has is wonderful to hear, and also to you Cara you have done a wonderful job in raising this well rounded, confident young woman."

Mirah Riben said...

I fully agree that the legal system exacerbates these devastating cases.

The worst thing of all is that we have learned NOTHING all these years later. Google "Baby Veronica" for the most recent horrific case.

Anonymous said...

Was Anna recently arrested for Drug possesion? If so, what do you feel, if anything this has to do with her past.

Anonymous said...

Pure evil jessica should have stayed with the debours she was mum n dad cara gave her rights to be called mum the day she gave her away its no excuse i feel sori 4 the debaurs and cant believe anna (jessica) hasnt been in touch with them even just a thanku for loveing and caring for us mayb she wil understand when she becomes a mum herself she would have been beta cared for by the debours not with cara n dan who no longer r together wonder why it was just a front to gt jessica bk bless the debours x

Nancy M said...

Mirah, you, yourself seem to be very biased on this topic. Birth parents are not always the best choice and a child is not some ping pong ball you can bat back and forth. I remember this case well and I remember thinking at the time that she belonged with the people she knew as Mommy and Daddy. There is NO way you can make a child that age understand the semantics of the situation. So what if Cara changed her mind? It doesn't matter if it was a day or a year after she gave her up. Like other here have said, she had 9 months to decide if she wanted a child or not. (if she has chosen to have an abortion, there would be no second chance)If her birth mother truly loved her, she would have let her stay where she was, put on her big girl panties and went on with her life. I also remember thinking this would have a lasting emotional effect on the child. Anna might have grown up to be a seemingly well-adjusted young woman, but eventually, the trauma that has been buried in her subconscious will come out. Hopefully, when this does happen, her "loving birth parents" will make sure she gets the therapy she needs. I wish her well.

Mirah Riben said...

Nancy - I cannot disagree with your assessment that I am biased. However, it is a bias based on SOUND research for over 40 years on adoption in general and also having studied MULTIPLE cases of contested adoptions and revoked adoptions. Have you???

I also agree that a child - at the young age this is happening - cannot understand that he mother "changed he mind." But I CAN tell you with assurance that a child in such a tug-of-war -- especially a highly pub,lice done -- who stays with her adopters WILL know the truth that their original parents FOUGHT to keep them and their adopters ignored that and kept them from their loving, caring and capable parents. That can have a marked effect on a person.

Bottom line is that in the any cases such as this I have studied and followed the kids do JUST FINE when returned even after YEARS with their adopters.

Think about this, many. If a newborn infant were kidnapped by someone who wanted a child and treated them WONDERFULLY and lovingly as their own child, and these were THE ONLY Mommy and day the child had EVER KNOWN ...and it was discovered years into the kidnapping...would you suggest the kidnappers keep the child or return him or her????

Adoption, in some cases, is nothing more than legalized kidnapping. Just because you stamp the word "adoption" on it does not always make coercion or deception right.

Amanda Schlicht said...

I don't feel the same way you all do I hate Dan Schmidt for ruining her life. As his oldest daughter that he has no contact with still.

Anonymous said...

Anna Lee Jacqueline Clausen Schmidt has been arrested 3 times in the last three years for possession of a controlled substance. Two of those times were within months of each other.. The third time which was in 2015, she was found to be in contempt of court. She is now 25. You cannot blame her 'Foster parents ' for these actions. Her mother didn't tell her father of her existence until after she had been given away. Why scream at the Deboers? The last time I looked at her Facebook page, she wasn't talking to her mother, but had her biological and step father's as Facebook friends. Maybe if she winds up taking a drug overdose and dying from it, her whole sad story will be over, but Cara and Dan better had not blame Jan and Robby for her wild ways, and maybe Cara will know how it feels to lose a child and not get her back and feel what the DeBoers felt.

Mirah Riben said...

What a SICK comment...wishing a human die to teach others a lesson??

You seem to take sick, twisted pleasure in her life's struggles which may be the result of any combination things - not the least of which is people like you stalking her on FB and all the press surrounding her life's beginnings!

Anonymous said...

Mirah, I do hope Anna got the help she needed after her arrest! I don't think life has been as easy for her like Dan and Cara say it has been. I mean, she was taken from the people she saw as parents when she wasn't even 3, her bio parents divorced, and Dan got injured in a work accident and is on disability. Maybe she tried to get him the drugs for his pain and Cara hated that! Her stepdad was probably understanding and forgiving, but Cara didn't forgive. I would hate to see a newspaper article about her overdosing on drugs and dying as a result! This would destroy Dan, Cara, Robby and Jan in ways we can't fathom. I think anonymous wouldn't want Anna to die and maybe he or she is curious about how life is treating Anna which is why he or she went on Facebook. I saw Anna's arrest record and it is really her! She is a bit thinner and has Cara's nose and the same eyes. I myself wouldn't want her to die and have a friend, her mother, or sister Chloe finding the body!

Bridget said...

I did find a picture of Anna's sister Chloe and it was a school photo. Chloe is into track and other sports as well. She is also majoring in history and seems to have a bright future! Cara Schmidt was mentioned, but not Dan Schmidt. The literature mentioned Lyal, Cara's second husband. I wonder if Chloe has good memories of her parents' marriage? It seems strange to me two girls raised in the same home by the same parents ended up so different! Maybe it has to do with genetics. Anna is the girl version of Dan and probably inherited his penchant for drugs and breaking the law. I wish things would have turned out for Anna and she achieved great things like Chloe did!

Anonymous said...

I would just like to say that Anna has her own child now. I believe it is a little girl( looks like a little girl to me). She was born this past February, possibly just after Anna had turned 26. The child is now 8 months old. I don't know if the baby's father is in the picture or not, but Anna still wears pins/ ring through her nostrils. She seems to have a better relationship with her father . Just wanted to give an update of how life is going so far in 2017 for Anna Jacqueline.

Anonymous said...

I have followed this case for years....none of you seem to remember that Cara Clausen /Schmidt LIED to the doctors,lawyers and the DeBoers,yet you all think that Robby DeBoer was the demon here...WHY is that? Cara Schmidt lied about the father of her baby.She knew that the child actually belonged to Dan Schmidt, and she knew that she was wrong from the minute Jessica was born ( now Anna)
Anna has been arrested several times for drugs etc.Now who are you going to blame for that, and you'd better not blame the DeBoers due to the fact that Anna Schmidt admits she remembers nothing about being with Jan & Roberta DeBoer. Jan and Robby DeBoer were like a lot of young couples who couldn't have a child,and decided to adopt. They had no idea that the baby they were going to adopt would be ripped from their home because the natural mother LIED. You all seem to forget that Cara Clausen Schmidt lied....she knew that the baby didn't belong to her boyfriend Scoot Seefield....yet you all want to blame the DeBoers. I still think that had the Schmidts left Anna were she was ( with the DeBoers) she would have turned out a lot better...Anna Schmidt didn't have a fighting chance being given back to the Schmidts. Dan was no father...and Cara was a lousy mom....and look how Anna ( Jessica) turned out.

Bridget said...

Anonymous, I do hope Anna is a good parent to her son or daughter. I hope she doesn't do anymore illegal activities and mends her relationship with Cara. I wish she wouldn't have rings in her nose but it's her choice and all! She has the potential to do something productive in her life like her sister Chloe did.

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