Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jewish Child Care/Ametz

October 2, 2009...I received an email from a list I am on as follows:


For those looking into adoption: In this time of economic worries and limited adoption options, Ametz rolls back the cost of attending out initial HOW TO ADOPT DOMESTICALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY MEETINGS. Come to these FREE sessions to learn the ins and outs, and possible options of domestic and international adoption, without committing to the process or JCCA.

Wednesday, October 14th at 6 pm
Thursday, October 15 at 7:30 pm.

Thursday, October 29 at 6 pm

For details and to register, go to www.jccany.org/ametz or call 212-558-9949

Kathy Brodsky, LCSW
Director, Ametz Adoption Program/JCCA
120 Wall Street - NYC - NY - 10005
NY and NJ licensed agency
Full Hague Accreditation through 2013

JCCANY - Jewish Child Care Assoc. of NY - was "my" agency. The one I surrendered to (figuratively and literally) 42 years ago.  The one who promised me my daughter would have a better life without me and pressured me to sign...and then kept her in foster care for a year before she was suddenly wrenched from her foster family and given to another family to be adopted...

And...one of these free seminars was no more than 30 minutes from me. So, I went.

It was a bust for them. No one showed up but two social workers and me. I blogged about going on Oct. 28.  One of the two social workers was a local woman named Bobbi who said she would try to help me accomplish what I had not been able to accomplish in 42 years - receive a copy of the surrender I signed.  At Bobbi's suggestion, I wrote yet again and cc'd her. Here is the mail is sent:

    From:     mriben@AdvocatePublications.com
    Subject:     Post Adoption follow-up
    Date:     October 30, 2009 3:44:38 PM EDT
    To:     ferrerl@jccany.org

As you may recall, I believe we had correspondence in the past.  I was once again encouraged to contact you regarding a long unsettled matter.

For more than 30 years have been unsuccessfully trying to obtain from JCCA a copy of the relinquishment and consent to adopt and any other papers I allegedly signed. I say allegedly only because I was never given a copy at the time and have been steadfastly refused a copy since, despite having met Barbara and Stanley Hirsch the adopters of my daughter, Alicia Beth Hirsch.

Despite the fact that my relinquishment papers would in no way identify the adoptive family (whose identity is clearly known to me) as it took place prior to any adoption, and despite the fact that no law ever prohibited JCCA from giving me a copy (as Louise Wise - a NYC adoption agency has done), and despite the fact that all good ethical practice in adoption and common decency would call for giving one a copy of a legal agreement one had signed by...I have steadfastly been refused such consideration.

I was refused redacted copies and I was refused a blank form.

My daughter is dead, Leona. She took her precious life on Feb 27, 1995 at the age of 27.  I have precious little to connect me to her. This would be helpful in any healing I might be able to accomplish.

Why is JCCA refusing this simple, humane request for common decency? Have I not endured suffering and loss?  What is JCCA hiding? Was perhaps legal notice not given to my husband and father of Alicia? Did not sign anything?

I have cc'd Adam Pertman who has addressed issues of ethics in adoption at Ametz/JCCA venues, as well as other colleagues of mine in the field concerned with ethical adoption practices such as those at stake here.

With sincere hopes that this can be resolved once and for all,

Mirah Riben

And then I waited pateintly.  Nov. 17, I let Bobbi know that I had received no reply.  Bobbi assured me she'd intervene. She seemed amazed herself that her employer had been so rude and dissmissive.

Still, no reply.

No "out of office" or vacation reply.  No "I'm sorry" but we cannot help you.

Nothing, after an entire MONTH.

So much for ethics in adoption...

I post this and will spread the word. I hope that anyone considering using either JCCA or Ametz realizes they are dealing with an agency with no ehtics whatsoever!

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