Adoption DilemmasWhat would you do if someone said you no longer had the right to see your child? Dr. Phil's guests say they feel helpless and hopeless because they've been shut out of their children's lives and are facing lengthy court battles to get their kids back. Carla says she placed her daughter for what she thought was going to be an open adoption. It's been six years, and she says the adoptive parents reneged on their promise and won't let her communicate with the child. Legal analyst Lisa Bloom and an adoption attorney weigh in on the case. Then, John says he was looking forward to raising his baby with his childhood girlfriend, but when he got to the hospital to visit his daughter, he never got to meet her and nine months later still hasn't. Learn about the law that is keeping him from being a dad. And, a woman paid more than $20,000 and was given an ultrasound of the baby she was supposed to adopt, but motherhood didn't happen as planned. Find out how not to get scammed and the precautions to take when adopting a child.
I previously wrote to you about my efforts to regain custody of my middle daughter, Peri, who is being raised by a couple, Susan and Demyn, who perpetrated a methodical, detailed scheme to defraud our family in order to procure Peri's adoption. I was able to raise enough money from my previous email to take the case to the point of trial, and I am now likely to be able to ensure Peri’s well-being--if I am able to raise enough money to handle the trial itself.
Susan and Demyn promised our family a fully open adoption in which we would be an integral part of Peri's life, and they even willingly participated in a nationally-televised documentary about the open adoption. This openness was critical to my going through with the excruciating decision to allow Peri to be adopted into what I believed at the time was a better situation for her. However, Susan and Demyn have clearly admitted in sworn testimony that they were always planning to ensure that the adoption would actually be legally closed--enabling them to completely eliminate us from Peri’s life at any time--and the evidence is clear that they even deceived the adoption counselor as to their true intentions. Susan and Demyn restricted our contact with Peri starting just 9 days after finalization of her adoption, limiting us to one annual visit of 6 hours and essentially no other contact during the year--not even between Peri and her biological sisters, who are dealing with emotional trauma due to not being able to have a relationship with Peri. If I am not successful in the lawsuit, it is virtually certain that Peri will not see her sisters again until Peri is 18.
I decided that I could not abandon Peri to people who would lie to take a child from her family--especially in light of the disturbingly callous behavior by Susan and Demyn toward us and toward Peri’s older sister in addition to the fraud. The trial date has just been set--it starts on March 22, 2010, just over three months from now. The documentation of the fraud is overwhelming, and the California Appeals Court has expressed its belief that Susan and Demyn’s failure to tell the Court at the adoption finalization that Peri’s adoption was to be open was “further proof that [their] pre-adoption statements were fraudulent” (http://www.fearnotlaw.com/articles/article22323.html).
Three nationally-respected adoption and custody experts will help me to plan a gradual transition for Peri, with ongoing supervised contact between her and Susan and Demyn if I am successful in regaining custody, to maintain her bond with Susan and Demyn (for Peri's sake) while enabling her to be raised with her sisters in a loving home in which integrity and children's needs are valued.
Peri's situation was featured in a three-page article in People Magazine in the September 21, 2009, issue--you can read the online version here (http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20306373,00.html). The case will also be discussed on the Dr. Phil show on this coming Friday’s episode (December 11) (http://www.drphil.com/shows/). I went public in desperation to try to keep going in the case since Susan and Demyn’s legal maneuvering over the past 3 years has taken me to the verge of bankruptcy. I cannot take this to completion without help.
Considerable detail about Susan and Demyn’s deception is on my website about Peri (http://www.BringPeriHome.com). I have recently added a lot more information and documentation to the website, including video clips from the documentary on the Discovery Health Channel that was focused on the open adoption plan for Peri (it is clear that Susan and Demyn carefully planned out what they said in the show interviews in an effort to prevent us from holding them to anything concrete in terms of contact).
I have found a fantastic lawyer who will be handling the trial (Paul Thorndal--http://www.waldlaw.net/about.htm). However, I need to raise $50,000 by the time of trial to pay him. I am also working to get to a position (ideally, by finding a funding partner to expand my babies-at-work efforts) in which I can move to California with Peri’s sisters for several months immediately after the trial (assuming I do prove fraud, which is likely) to transition Peri to my care.
I also need to pay (in the very near future) for testing of a handwritten note that I believe was likely fabricated by Susan and Demyn for the lawsuit (if I am correct, it would mean that they committed perjury, which would be powerful evidence in the case). More details about this note can be found starting here (http://www.BringPeriHome.com/today.html). The testing will cost about $3,000.
I know you are aware of my dedication to education and advocacy about babies-at-work programs (which are still drawing media attention (http://www.inc.com/news/articles/2009/12/babies-at-work.html)). I am devoted to that work as a means of helping other families to avoid the difficulties my family faced when we made the disastrous decision to place Peri into adoption. I am asking now for any help you are willing to provide to enable me to take the final steps to ensure the well-being of my own daughters and to establish a precedent to prevent other families from being taken advantage of related to open adoption. If you would like to donate to my efforts, the donation page is:
Thank you so much for reading this and for considering helping my family. Please feel free to forward this email to anyone you think might be interested or willing to help, and I welcome any suggestions you may have for making this work. I am deeply grateful for any assistance you may be able to provide.
I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
Thank you again.