Monday, February 28, 2011

Barahona UPDATE: A Glimmer of Hope for Victor

The good news is that it has been reported Victor's physical wounds are healing and his condition is improving. He is reportedly up and walking at this time. Of course the mental scars he has endured being abused and witnessing the abuse and even the murder of his twin sister, that's another story.

Other new aspects of the case are that the Miami Herald is suing DCF over their refusal to release the records pertaining to the foster care and adoption of the twins, Victor and Nubia, the later of whom was found dead in the back of Barahona's pick up truck.

Their adoptive father, Jorge Barahona, is now facing attempted murder charges. Sure hope that gets upgraded to murder! Perhaps they are waiting to determine if it was Jorge or Carmen who killed Nubia. ?  Carmen Barahona has not yet been charged in the abuse case, but it is expected that she will face charges. 

Hedda Nussbaum - Joel Steinberg's common-law wife, you might remember, walked away scott free of any criminal charges though she sat and watched Lisa die and did not call any emergency services.  It was taken into account that she was herself a victim of Steinberg's severe abuse for many, many years and also she testified against him in exchange for not being charged herself. Steinberg himself was never charged with murder but a far lesser charge and is today a free man after illegally adopting two children, abusing one for the entire six years of her life in every unimaginable way until she finally succumb. The toddler boy was saved and, best of all, did not have to take another gamble at yet another stranger placement, but instead, I helped reunite him with his original family, with whom he has remained and grown into adulthood! But I digress from the present - equally monstrous - case...

DCF just released this statement regarding why it will not hand over all the documents related to the present Barahona ongoing investigation right now saying that, "Our law enforcement partners have asked that details of this still incomplete DCF investigation be kept confidential so that the criminal investigation and interviews are not compromised."

Privatized foster care did this...allowed all the warning signs to be ignored!

There is also a three member panel that is now looking at how DCF handled the case.  The panel heard from the head of the private agency running foster care in Miami-Dade county on Friday.

The Miami Herald spoke to panel member, Bobby Martinez who said, " In my opinion something failed.. that should have never happened."

In a related tragedy, Jennifer Perez, Carmen Barahona's daughter and the mother of the girl who reported the abuse is now in court. Jennifer Perez's 7-year-old daughter told a counselor that in her grandmother's house, the children were being tied and told to stand in a bathtub for hours.  Perez's daughter has also been taken into DCF custody, but she wants her daughter back.  Perez said of the situation, "It hurts that I was lied to when all this was going on and that my daughter was there."

Perez says she never wants to speak to her mother, Carmen, again.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

At the Base: The Most Insidious and Resilient Adoption Myth

- People read about babies relinquished for adoption having been used as "practice babies" and think it was a good idea, "better than just lying in a crib in an orphanage."

- Special needs twins - Victor and Nubia - are allowed to be adopted by their foster parents despite several reports of abuse and serious neglect.

- Adopted people are still denied equality in 44 states or so...

- Pro-lifers almost never think about helping mothers keep their babies.

Besides being about adoption issues, what do these things have in common?

Why do we repeatedly see such things?

My contention is that all go on because of a basic belief that "those babies were unwanted anyhow."

Why help a woman who comes to a crisis pregnancy center keep her baby, she has shown just by being there - in crisis - that she doesn't want her baby.

Why worry about foster kids being abused - their own parents didn't want them

Adoptees are trash and should be grateful for whatever crumbs they get and grateful they weren't aborted.

How do we change these attitudes??

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another "Special Needs" Adoption With Subsidies, Home School, and Possib;e Murder...

Like the Monster who abused and murdered Nubia and permanently disfigured her twin brother Victor, these people also adopted special needs children form foster care, then took them out of school...seems to be a pattern and red light warning sign...but who's watching once the adoption is finalized?  No one!! And especially these kids "that no one wants." The assumption seems to be assumed "better off" and the state is willing to play the odds that they will be.

Parents of missing boy enter not guilty pleas

EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas couple pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony charges that they fraudulently collected adoption subsidies long after their 11-year-old son disappeared in 1999.

Doug and Valerie Herrman, of Derby, are accused of collecting $52,800 in state adoption subsidies from May 1999 to July 2005 while falsely claiming Adam Herrman as a dependent. Their lawyer has called the allegation a technical financial matter.

They entered the pleas after waiving their right to a preliminary hearing to determine whether there's enough evidence to try them.
Adam Herrman remains missing.

Butler County District Attorney Darrin Devinney told The Associated Press after the brief hearing that there is still a missing person case under investigation. He said a decision on whether to file murder charges if a body is not found will depend on the facts found, but that his office was "keeping all options open."

"As of right now, we need to do everything we can to find out what happened to Adam Herrman," Devinney said.
The boy disappeared in 1999 from a mobile home park in Towanda, 25 miles northeast of Wichita. Authorities learned about his disappearance in December 2008 after his older, adoptive sister voiced concerns about him.

The Herrmans adopted Adam when he was 2 1/2 years old, and he had been in foster care before that. The boy was being homeschooled at the time of his disappearance.

A former attorney for Valerie Herrman has said the boy was a frequent runaway, and that the couple didn't report his disappearance out of fear the state would take him and other children away from them.

The Herrmans' jury trial was set for June 21, with a pretrial conference scheduled for June 17.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Updates on the sad Life of Nubia Doctor

The little girl whose decomposing body was found in the back of an adoptive father [read monster['s pickup truck last week endured a hellish life punctuated by sexual abuse, hunger, bruises, hair loss and the lack of care for a rare medical condition.

The state of Florida thought they were saving little Nubia's life when they put the little girl and her twin brother in a foster home. Nubia and Victor were formally adopted by the foster parents, Jorge and Carla Barahona, in 2008. 

Out of the frying pan...

The twins were born in 2000 to a mother who admitted to using drugs. She is described as being 18 and homeless.

After reports of abuse, the state wouldn’t allow her to see the children, and they went into the care of their biological father.

He was soon arrested and charged with sexually assaulting another child.
The records do not indicate whether the man was charged.

The documents released Monday redact mention of a specific medical condition, but they hint at a hormonal problem. Authorities confirmed to that Nubia was intersexed, meaning she was born with both male and female genitals.

Despite her need to see doctors regularly, a caseworker wrote that her adopted parents simply put her alone on a "medical bus" and often failed to see that she made appointments.

"This child is very medically needy and should not be missing appointments because the foster parent does not want to take her," the report said.

 In 2006 she was reported absent 16 times from school. In 2007 she missed two weeks of school "due to heavy bleeding.
 Photo shows a happy Nubia 
in her 2007-2008 school year

A spokesman for the Department of Children and Family said in each case there was not enough evidence to suggest Nubia had been abused or to remove her from her household.
"There is no specific threshold for removal. There's not a number of investigations that triggers removal," said Mark Riordan, the department spokesman. "If there is imminent danger to the child we remove immediately. But the preference is never to remove a child from the family."

But there was enough evidence, apparently, to remove her from her first family!  Seems social workers are unable to think the worst of foster and adoptive parents, like they do those who give birth like any dog can!

Her Pleas for Help Ignored:

In perhaps the most disturbing of at least eight child welfare reports, in 2005 Nubia accused her foster father of sexual abuse, just months after being removed from the home of her biological father because she had been molested.

The sexual abuse investigation was dropped after a psychologist said there was not enough conclusive evidence that the girl had not made up the story.

"Nubia disclosed to [to the psychologist] that the foster father tickled her private parts," wrote a case worker in 2005.

How gullible are they?

A case worker in 2007 wrote: "Nubia's hunger has been uncontrollable, she sneaks and steals food, steals money, has hair loss, is very thin, nervous and jittery. Nubia also has an unpleasant odor… In the past it is believed Nubia's adoption was halted when Nubia was coming to school dirty while in the adoptive mother's care."

Another caseworker wrote, "A couple of months ago Nubia had a scratch on her nose. It is said Nubia scratches her nose a lot and that she is always falling."

Just days before the gruesome discovery of her body along I-95, a caller to an abuse hot-line [identified in another report as the Barahonas' granddaughter, unless this was an additional report] reported that the Barahona twins were being forced to stand in the bathtub for hours at a time with their hands and feet bound.

At her school

Joanne Muniz, who headed the Blue Lakes PTA the last two years the Barahona twins attended the school, said she and her husband, Alex, had discussed many times their concerns that Nubia Barahona, 10, was losing too much weight and missing too much school. Alex even shared his concerns with a staff member at the West Miami-Dade elementary.

Joanne Muniz said. “For a lot of us, this is really fresh. It will be cathartic for us to have a memorial service.’’

Ideally, the moms and dads who knew Nubia would like to raise money to help bury her, though child welfare administrators are telling them that may be impossible. As an alternative, they’d like to organize a memorial service, and already are gathering photos and mementos for a memory book they plan to give to her twin brother, Victor.

Under Florida law, Carmen and Jorge Barahona retain parental rights to Victor and two other foster kids they adopted. Jorge Barahona remains in the Palm Beach County Jail with no bail facing attempted murder and aggravated child abuse charges, so, as a practical matter, he will have little say over what happens to Nubia’s body. Carmen Barahona has not been charged with any wrongdoing, though at a series of court hearings child welfare lawyers have insisted that she was complicit in the abuse of the couple’s children.

To complicate matters, Florida law does not allow a judge to sever a parent’s rights to a deceased child. So Carmen and Jorge Barahona are free to do as they please with Nubia’s remains after the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office has released her body. The ME declined to discuss the case Tuesday.

“Every employee of the department, as every member of the community, has felt the pain of this tragedy,’’ said Joe Follick, the Department of Children & Families’ spokesman in Tallahassee. “We will assist with the preparation of appropriate memorials in any way possible.’’
The Barahonas took custody of Victor and Nubia around 2004, and adopted them about three years later — over the objections of a court-appointed guardian, as well as employees of the elementary school.

Records released by DCF this week show school staffers raised serious concerns about Nubia four times from 2005 through last June — saying they suspected the girl was being physically abused, starved, and allowed to become smelly, dirty and unkempt. DCF investigators dismissed the concerns each time.

Joanne Muniz said she and other parents had discussed the girl’s condition many times privately, and her husband had forwarded their concerns to the school once.
Melinda Arana, whose daughter Amanda was friendly with Nubia, said she and her husband also had discussed Nubia’s apparent lack of hygiene, and her ever-dwindling weight. Even in second grade, a year before Nubia was withdrawn from school, the Aranas had noticed the girl’s deteriorating condition.

Joanne and Alex Muniz, like many in the neighborhood, were shocked, but not necessarily surprised when they read the details of Nubia’s death. They now feel responsible for providing her a proper funeral.

Nubia's twin brohter Victor's condition is improving. 
No one has been charged yet with her death!

Jorge Barahona is in the Palm Beach County jail charged with attempted murder and child abuse.
Carmen Barahona has not been charged with anything, despite her telling police that she and her husband had separated and he had the two children when they came looking for them, a claim that proved false. Yet as of now, she has not even been charged with impeding the investigation.

Notorious Baby Broker Aaron Britvan Being Sued

Seems they should have kicked the tires and taken the kid for a test drive to the doc's before being so eager to seal the deal....Instead they want to put their order in before the merchandise is off the assembly line and then want a warranty of perfection!

BUT we can hope they win and put Britvan out of business and make other attorneys in the business think about a career change....

Couple sue adoption lawyers for $5million claiming: 'We wouldn't have adopted our son had we known he was ill'

By Simon Neville

A New York couple are suing their lawyers for $5million, claiming they were not told about the serious medical condition of their adopted son.

Lynell and Victor Jeffrey say they would not have adopted their son Ellington in 2006 had they known about the ‘severe neurological deficits’ they discovered following a CAT scan shortly after becoming the legal parents, court documents claim.

Lawyers for the defendants believe the ‘frivolous’ lawsuit, filed at Queens Supreme Court in New York, will fail – having already been thrown out by judges in Indiana where the child, who is now 5-years-old, was born.

Scott Agulnick of Greenblatt and Agulnick attorneys, representing Alyssa Seinden - one of the adoption lawyers named in the lawsuit - told MailOnline: ‘I hate to say it, but it almost seems like they have Buyers’ Remorse.’

The couple first approached the New York-based law office of Aaron Britvan in 2003, looking to adopt.

The process, which can last several years, took a turn for the best in 2006 when Britvan – who is the second person named in the lawsuit – received word from a client in Indiana of a pregnant woman looking to put her baby up for adoption.

The details were passed to the Jeffreys, who then contacted the mother directly and agreed to the adoption.

According to court documents, Britvan advised the Jeffreys to get an Indiana-based law firm to represent them, which they did and completed the documentation in Indiana.

Lawsuit: New York-based adoption lawyer Aaron Britvan is being sued for $5million by the parents of the sick child
Aaron "the man" Britvan, well known for baby selling

It was only three months after the papers were completed that the Jeffreys took their new son for a CAT scan at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center and discovered he had neurological problems.

The couple allege that Britvan and Seiden should have informed them of any medical problems – which is the law in New York, but not in Indiana – and tried to sue them in the Midwest state.

But the court threw the case out, saying that Britvan and Seiden cannot be sued there because the firm is based in New York and outside its jurisdiction.

Now the couple are trying to sue the pair in New York, filing court documents in Queens Supreme Court.

Agulnick, acting for Alyssa Seinden, said: ‘Alyssa has dedicated her career to helping people adopt and this is how she was repaid.’

He added that his client had very little involvement in the case, calling it ‘underhand’ and ‘an abomination’ that she was named in the lawsuit.

Lynell Jeffery was reported in the New York Post as saying: ‘Ellington is a wonderful little boy, but this has been hard.’

Britvan's lawyer, Caryn Lilling, added: ‘This case was thrown out in Indiana, and it will be thrown out here as well.’
You can comment here

Follow-Up on Barahona the Monster: What the school and others knew

Barahona children's school reported allegations of abuse before adoption

More secrets revealed about the Barahona family

Follow-up to original story posted here.

More family secrets involving a Miami couple who are accused of abusing their children have been revealed.

Bruised, hungry and dirty. That's how a former principal remembers little Nubia and her brother Victor when they came to school. That wasn't the only complaint.

A child advocacy group fought to keep Jorge and Carmen Barahona from adopting the children. It's a history filled with abuse, pain and neglect.

Victor Barahona and his twin sister Nubia were born into a world of unspeakable heartache.

Alan Menster was an employee at Guardian Ad Litem ten years ago. He didn't work on the Barahona case, but says he knows how conflicts can arise between DCF and Guardian Ad Litem employees.

"Sometimes DCF people don't cooperate as much as we would like them too," says Menster.
According to the documents spanning a period of four years, a Guardian Ad Litem employee tried to keep the Barahonas from getting permanent custody of Victor and Nubia.

"Yes, Guardian Ad Litem did raise several red flags,"says David Wilkins, Secretary for the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Teachers and principals had suspected problems were taking place in the home back in February of 2006. One principal reported that Nubia came to school with a large bruise and scratches on her neck and back. The girl said she had fallen, and no one had hit her.

The principal also said Nubia appeared scared of her foster mother and had missed 17 days of school in a span of three months.

"It's very clear that there were warning signs,"says Menster.

Despite the visible marks, Jorge and Carmen Barahona maintained that the children were healthy, happy and well cared for. [So, of course we take their word for it despite physical evidence to the contrary!]

In 2008, desperate to speed up the adoption process and address the allegations of abuse, the couple wrote to former Governor Charlie Crist documenting their profound admiration for the children saying, "We are home raising our children with love, as any father and mother would do," and, "we stood-up for them to protect them."

The children were eventually adopted, removed from public school, and home schooled.

And then one was killed and the other permanently and critically disfigured!

What is not yet known or understood is WHY they pressed so hard for adoption of children they obviously were already abusing.  Nubia's twin brother Victor was autistic and there were two of them, this they must have been labeled "special needs." Did the increased subsidies for them bring in more cash than foster parenting? Or was it simply to stop anyone from checking up on them??

I am also very upset about the assumption that the children were "born into a world of unspeakable heartache."  This remains to be reported. But it is unimaginable that their original parents mistreated them WORSE than the monster who eventually murdered one and critically injured the other after YEARS of unimaginable starvation, confinement and beatings.

Anyone in Florida hear any reports on the original family???

Monday, February 21, 2011

Help Reach 100 Letter Goal!

The NY Times featured :  A wallet Lost 40 years Ago is Found:

Pam Hasagawa thought this a simple kick off for us to flood the NY Times with letters.
  • Compose and edit a 150 word count reply.  (see samples below)
  • Copy it from word into an email (not as an attachment). 
  • Include your name, address, phone.
  • Send to:
  • Also copy and paste your reply to Huffington post, here:


To the Editor:

A wallet lost 40 years ago touches heartstrings, but it doesn't compare with
the loss of personal and familial history experienced by
relinquished-and-adopted individuals.

I was born and relinquished in February three generations ago. That
November I was adopted, whereupon my birth certificate was sealed, my
genetic history was amputated, and my identity at birth was filed in a
vault, to be accessible only following issuance of another court order if I
could get one. I did. It cost me $600 twenty years ago.

What prevents adoptees from recovering their lost familial ties? State
legislatures in Trenton and Albany, for starters. The NJ Catholic
Conference, NJ State Bar Association, Right-to-Life and ACLU chapters lead
the opposition in NJ, demanding the right to influence compromise when none
of them lives or breathes adoption as institutions.

I'm glad Mr. Resta was reunited with his wallet. Countless family members
separated by sealed records will be glad when NY and NJ restore adopted
persons' right to reunite with their pre-adoptive selves named on their
original birth certificates.

Pamela Rolande Hasegawa


Letter to the Editor

"Wallet lost 40 years ago is found" made NYTimes online headlines and touched many hearts.

More than 40 years ago I also lost something precious and far more significant than a wallet: my firstborn child, Alicia.

I had no support to violate 1967 social norms making single parenthood unacceptable. I was pressured and assured that it was "for the best" to let her go. I was assured I would forget.

But mothers who relinquish children for adoption do not forget and adopted citizens do not necessarily obtain a "better life" as they are forever denied access to their own original birth certificate, equal to that of non-adopted citizens.

Unlike wallets, the losses adoption separation creates are never recovered but we can and should restore equal access in Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois and Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington where the issue is being debated.

 Mirah Riben

*******  PLEASE SHARE & FORWARD! ********

Friday, February 18, 2011

Reply Received Today

It took more than  a year, and only the second bullet point was addresses, but this seems to be a reply to the open letter sent to President Obama Jan. 30, 2010 with 141 signatures

IT WAS READ!!!    IT was noticed! 
It was passed on and it was answered.

And we have our work cut out for us: 
Contact out local congress people and representatives.


Be forewarned: This is hard to read

GOREY: Strong Stomach Required

It took two decades but the new face of evil adoptive fathers has emerged to compete with, if not topple, Joel Steinberg for the title of depraved MONSTER!

The following is a compilation of news reports and will be updated as more is revealed:

One adopted child dead, another in critical condition

The investigation continues today in family court for the twins Nubia and Victor Barahona, who's adopted father killed Nubia and put her in his truck and doused the other with chemicals from his pesticide truck.

Jorge Barahona is in West Palm Beach jail with bail set at $1 million dollars. Police have charged Jorge Barahona with attempted murder of his ADOPTED ten-year-old son, Victor. Barahona has also confessed to killing the boy's twin sister, Nubia.

A tradgic end to a child's life and ones life is in the balance to an adoptive mother and father who abused them repeatedly.  Two children taken from their biological parents, adopted by monsters, and NEGLECTED by the state officials assigned to protect them!

A state worker made the alarming discovery: a 10-year-old boy in the front seat of an exterminator's red pickup alongside a busy interstate, convulsing from seizures, dripping in chemicals so toxic they sickened rescue workers who helped him.

Nearby, the boy's father lay on the ground, unresponsive and doused in gasoline in what he later told police was a futile attempt to kill himself.

The most horrifying find would come hours later because the truck was too toxic to search - the deteriorating body of the boy's twin sister, wrapped in plastic bags, wedged between chemical containers in the enclosed pickup bed.

The boy is in critical condition, his burns getting worse and doctors unsure of what chemical was used. His father, Jorge Barahona, was also in the hospital. He faces aggravated child abuse charges, but more charges were expected.

Barahona's 10 year old adopted daughter Nubia was found dead in his truck just north of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard on I-95 in West Palm Beach.

Her badly decomposed body forced crews to don protective suits.

The Environmental Protection Agency was called in along with a joint terrorism task force.
Jugs of chemicals were inside Barahona's truck so it wasn't clear what crews were getting into.

Meanwhile, an angry judge grilled state child welfare officials over missed opportunities to help the twins, Victor and Nubia, after an anonymous abuse allegation was called into a hotline February 10 - four days before the children were found by the highway assistance worker along Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach.

So now after how many deaths to foster parents and adoptive parents is the Broward County Department of Childrens and Families going to do something when their social worker who went to the home on Friday and saw that something was wrong, did nothing to get those children out of that home.

The Department of Children and Families began investigating the family last week after the Barahona's seven-year-old granddaughter told an adult the twins were kept locked in the bathroom, their hands and feet bound. The child said Nubia was sometimes kept in the tub all day. Child welfare officials also believe the girl was being starved.

A doctor who interviewed the little girl who reported the alleged abuse, said she did so even though her grandmother told her they were "family secrets" and warned her to stay quiet.

Dr Walter Lambert also said at a court hearing that Victor had "many, many scars." Doctors also found the boy had previously broken his collarbone and an arm.

The state officials described a disturbing picture of a Jorge and Carmen Barahona, who adopted the twins, an 11-year-old autistic boy and a seven-year-old girl from foster care. The couple has been the focus of at least three abuse allegations in the past several years, but nothing ever came of them.
Authorities haven't said how Nubia was killed or when they think the chemical was put on Victor.

Barahona, 53, told officers he put his dead daughter in the truck and began driving with his son, intending to commit suicide. He was distraught, gave his son a handful of sleeping pills and, with the boy's head in his lap, poured gasoline on himself, according to police documents.

He told police he intended to light himself on fire but said he could not do it because the boy was in the truck, according to the documents. When police asked why he didn't have similar burns as his son, he said some of the gasoline must have splattered on his son.

Fumes from the boy were so toxic, workers were overcome just by being close to him when they were wheeling him into the hospital. Four firefighters working the scene were also treated for chemical exposure.

Today (NZ time), police shut down a stretch of I-95 because they found a potentially dangerous chemical near where the truck was found. They wouldn't say what kind of chemical it was.

So many children are removed from homes to only be placed in worse homes in Ft Lauderdale.  Cheryl Whittaker, writing for the Examiner said: "As a case manager I saw it many times when my clients did really nothing wrong but the child was removed and investigation was prolonged to the point it was years before the biological parent ever got the child back no matter how much the parent did to get them back."

The Secretary for the Department of Children and Families, David Wilkins, was faced with some tough questions from a room of reporters in Miami. DCF officials say on on February 10th, a call came into their hot-line at 4 o'clock in the afternoon about possible abuse taking place at the Barahona home.

"The investigator got out there pretty quickly, but the husband and children were already gone," said Wilkins. On February 11th, an investigator went to the children's school, but were told the kids weren't in school. The DCF investigator returned that night but the mother, Carmen Barahona, told her the twins were with Jorge.

On the 12th, an investigator tried again to contact Jorge, but had no luck. By the 13th, they were finally able to make contact with Jorge who then told investigators that the twins were with their mother. Investigators returned to their home but the children still weren't around. That's when red flags were raised.

Sadly, by then, it was too late. 24 hours later, Jorge was found on the side of the road with Victor suffering inside the truck and the body of Nubia dead in truck's bed.

Wilkins has now launched a full investigation into the Barahona's case in order to figure out how the twins ended up in such a home, especially after allegations of abuse were brought up before their adoption.

"I wish I could answer that question," stated Wilkins. "I want them to look at foster care licensing and the screening process. I want this review done quickly, but very thoroughly."

Wilkins says medical conditions of the children complicated the decision-making of investigators, which could be why some injuries were overlooked. Once the review is complete, DCF plans to make those findings available to the media.

Their other adopted children have bene placed in foster care.

Victory over Step Parent Adoption

High court rules for birth mother in adoption case

The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed with an appeals court in overturning a St. Joseph County judge's decision to let a Mishawaka woman adopt her stepchild over opposition from the girl's mother.

The stepmother, referred to only as "A.W." in court records, in June 2009 sought to adopt the then-8-year-old girl, who lived with her and the girl's father. The stepmother cited an Indiana statute stating she did not need the mother's consent for the adoption because she had failed to pay child support.

St. Joseph County Probate Judge Peter Nemeth granted the adoption.

But the mother appealed his ruling, and the Indiana Court of Appeals in September reversed Nemeth.

The Supreme Court today granted transfer, meaning it would grant the stepmother's request that it rule on the case. But then the high court simply adopted the appeals court's ruling without hearing oral arguments, something it typically does only about once a year.

"Under the circumstances before us, there is not a single shred of evidence indicating that this adoption could even remotely be considered to be in (the girl's) best interest," the Court of Appeals panel wrote.

The appeals court and Supreme Court acknowledged the mother had not paid child support, but noted she had not been ordered to do so. On the contrary, another judge in the couple's divorce case had determined she had a "negative child support obligation" because the father earned more than $112,000 in 2009, while she earned about $40,000.

The mother testified she had been visiting the girl on weekends until March 2009, when the father started prohibiting the visits until she paid child support.

But during their weekend parenting time before that point, the mother had provided the girl with housing, clothing, food and other necessities, according to court records.

She took her to different places, including movies and the zoo, and gave her gifts during holidays. She created a "nurturing environment" with no signs of neglect, the appeals court found.

"It is clear that mother wants to remain a loving presence in (the girl's) life," the appeals court ruled.

"Not only is mother intent on retaining her parental rights and obligations, but (the girl) herself signals that she wants mother in her life. The record includes notes from (the girl) to her mother, stating among others, "I Love you," and, "Dear mommy, I have missed you a lot, love (the girl's name).' "

In its order, the Supreme Court also took the even more unusual step of stating the mother has a right under Indiana law to recover her attorney fees from the stepmother. State statute allows recovery of attorney fees from the opposing party in cases where someone brings a civil court action that is "frivolous, unreasonable or groundless," or is in "bad faith."

"The record before us suggests one or more of these grounds may exist ..." the high court wrote.

Attorneys for the mother and stepmother did not return calls seeking comment.
Hooray! Victory over one very mean, vindictive father who does not have his daughter's bets interest at heart. Thank goodness the court saw through this mean lying.  

I very much identify with the case.  My own husband tried the same tricks on me. He obtained custody by lying to our children and because he out-earned me. Then tried unsuccessfully to sue me for child support (with almost identical disparity in income) and even went as far as trying to stop my visitation during the time he briefly had custody of our three children. He tried to claim I was mentally unstable because I was so devastated and depressed by what he was doing. His own lawyer told him not to "go there" knowing there was no claim of mental unfitness. He permanently damaged our children. 

Disputed custody - whether as a result of divorce or a contested traditional adoption - is always harmful to the children,  Children should never be taken from their blood relatives without serious due cause for their safety and well-being, because even then it leaves scars.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ban ALL Independent Adoptions!: A Model for the U.S. and the World!

Finland set to ban independent adoptions

A Finnish justice ministry working group proposed Friday that the government should propose legislation to ban independent cross-border adoptions and introduce adoption age limits.

Under current legislation international adoptions are subject to permits granted by the Board of Inter-Country Adoption Affairs, a health and social affairs ministry body, but a number of loopholes mean that independent adoptions have been possible.

Most people wishing to adopt from abroad have however gone through the board, with up to 20 independent adoptions a year.

The working group also proposed that all adoptions, including those within the country, would have to be cleared by the board.

The working group wants a minimum age of 25 and a maximum of 50 for adopting parents as well as minimum and maximum age differences of 18 and 42 years, respectively, between adopting parents and the adopted child.

An Ignorant and VILE Idea

In 2007, Texas State Senator Dan Patrick proposed paying Texas women who were considering getting abortions to instead carry their babies to term and then give them up for adoption. Patrick’s bill never made it out of committee, and Patrick was ridiculed for his efforts.

Now...young Peter Tucci, editor of something called The Daily Caller, wants to reinstate this moronic, reprehensible idea, in part because of a:

"...major shortage of babies available for adoption in the US, which is why Americans often adopt children from other countries)."

Dear Peter Tucci,
In response to your concern about the lack of sufficient numbers of "unwanted" children being born and then placed for adoption, I believe you should do your share and sire children never to see them again!

Here is what this lad "envisions":
 Interested pregnant women would sign up for the program. As part of the deal, they would have to test negative for drugs and get proper prenatal care. Once their babies are born, women would have the ability to opt out, in case they had a change of heart at some point between signing up for the program and giving birth to their children. The women who didn’t opt out would give their babies up for adoption and receive a certain amount of money, say, $3,000 — enough to give them an incentive not to get abortions, but not enough to make it possible for women to become professional baby-breeders.
$3000 is not enough to make them baby breeders? this guy must frequent some really high priced call girls! What is enough? $6000, $300,000?

Ever hear the old joke about the guy who asks a woman if she would sleep with a stranger for a million dollars. She thinks, and says, "Wow. A million dollars. Yes, I think I would do that."

He replies: "Good, now that we've established what you are let's negotiate a price."

The part I really love [NOT!] about his well thought out [NOT!] proposal is that once they give birth they have avoided abortion whether they place their child or not, but he is only willing to pay them to relinquish...when of course, choosing to parent is far more costly!

YO, Peter...there are adoption agencies offering to pay all expenses and one was giving scholarships. What's different about your proposal?

Peter says it's not baby selling because:

"the amount of money they would receive would only be enough to cover the costs of childbearing. Basically, it would be a subsidy for bearing children, much like the child tax credit is a subsidy for raising children."

Except that the subsidy is not available to those who want to be mothers of their own child!  But it's not baby selling, mind you!

Read it all, and comment here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Child Abductions for Adoption Increase in China

Financial Times - Kathrin Hille - Patti Waldmeir

Although few exact numbers are available, police and parents agree that abductions of children for profit have become a national scourge in China. ...

For three years, Sun Haiyang and Peng Gaofeng have been something like brothers in arms. The two men, both migrants from central China, have been searching for their sons together – both having been abducted in the southern city of Shenzhen.

But now their paths divide. Mr Peng’s six-year-old son was found last week, helped by a grassroots viral internet campaign that seeks to reunite trafficked children with their parents through pictures of begging or stray children posted on a microblog. But the joy of the few reunited families mixes with the anger of the many more who are losing hope of ever finding their children again.

“Peng Gaofeng has hit the jackpot,” says Mr Sun. “But the chances of finding your child like this are close to zero. The problem of child trafficking cannot be solved by a microblog, it cannot be solved by the parents, it is so much bigger than all this.”

According to state media, the government estimates that up to 20,000 children are trafficked every year. Some end up employed by criminal gangs to beg on the streets, others are forced into manual work while many more are sold for adoption – sometimes overseas. Although few exact numbers are available, police and parents agree that abductions of children for profit have become a national scourge in China.

“Child abductions have entered a phase of high frequency,” Chen Shiqu, head of the Ministry of Public Security office responsible for countering human trafficking, said in a television interview posted on his blog.

According to Mr Chen, the trade is run by small syndicates with some members in charge of abducting children, others organising their sale and then supervising the begging. Most children are robbed from their parents’ side or cheated into leaving.

In Big Gong Village, a rural spot in the eastern province of Anhui, most villagers know how this is done. “Running child begging operations has tradition here,” says Gong Chunyan, the village’s communist party secretary.

According to local officials, the trend started in the 1980s when a villager took his injured son to hospital in Beijing and, having him beg to raise money for the treatment, discovered that this was a really good business. “Some villagers found that you could make far more money by letting children beg than working in the fields,” says Mr Gong.

But according to the central government, the beggar syndicates are still the smallest problem. “Illegal adoption is by far the biggest market,” says Mr Chen.

Stealing babies for adoption is an unintended consequence of China’s one child policy. Families desperate for a boy to preserve their lineage and care for them when they are old, provide a ready market for traffickers.

State media recently reported that two people had been sentenced to death in the city of Quanzhou for selling 46 baby boys for up to Rmb40,000 ($6,097) each. Girls fetch about half that price. Some children have been stolen and sold to orphanages, which then place them for adoption.

Beijing has tried to crack down on the phenomenon, launching a special campaign two years ago that has led to the freeing of 9,300 abducted children, and the arrest of over 17,000 people. Some of those have been executed. But many parents complain that the government is failing to fight the problem on most fronts.

Local police often refuse to register children as missing and are sometimes reluctant to follow leads offered by parents or even check security camera footage in the area where parents believe the child was stolen.

Only last year did central executive and judicial departments issue an order that police start a search as soon as parents report their child missing. The authorities have now started conducting DNA tests of all parents who lost their children to be matched with any rescued from traffickers.

Mr Sun thinks much more needs to be done. “We need to test every Chinese child below the age of 20,” he says. “There are 1.3bn Chinese people, only testing all our children gives us a chance to bring the lost ones back.”

He can be forgiven for demanding that much. His quest for finding his son has repeatedly led him to Beijing, where he wanted to petition the central government to pay more attention to the issue. But instead of helping him, police came after him and put him in jail to stop him from embarrassing the local authorities in the capital.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Abducted Versus Adopted

Kudos to Jennifer Lauck for this EXCELLENT HUffington Post!! 

Abducted Versus Adopted: For 1.5 Million of U.S. Adoptees, What's the Difference?

Carlina White said she always had a sense she did not belong to the family that raised her. The twenty-three-year-old woman had been abducted in 1987 from a Harlem Hospital when she was nineteen-days-old. White was then raised by her abductor, Ann Pettway. Pettway is now in custody for kidnapping.

What White expresses about her sense of belonging is what I have felt for all the years of my own life -- only I am called adopted versus abducted.

I have to wonder, what is the difference in these terms, especially when I consider the circumstances of my own birth and subsequent relinquishment.

I was born December 15, 1963 at St. Mary's Hospital in Reno, Nevada. My mother, seventeen-years-old, was told she had no legal right to keep me. The Catholic agency who facilitated the adoption also told my mother that, with their help, a good family would raise me. The doctor who delivered me told my mother she would not be a good mother and would not allow her to hold or even see me when I was born.

By today's view of birthing and mothering, it is considered inhumane to deny a woman even a glimpse of her own child but this severe method of dealing with young mothers was standard procedure in the 1950's, 60's and even the 70's and stark evidence of this is provided in Ann Fessler's groundbreaking book The Girls Who Went Away. Those babies, forced from their mothers, are grown now and are learning -- as I have -- that it was illegal to take a child from a mother, no matter what her age.
And what of the promises made by the agencies who facilitated adoptions? In my own case, the Catholic agency placed me in the home of a terminally ill woman. My adoptive mother died when I was seven. My adoptive father died when I was nine. I was homeless and wandering the streets of L.A. by ten. A long investigation into my case revealed that the Catholic agency knew of my parentless circumstances, noting the deaths of both my adoptive parents in their files, but they did not inform my original mother.

And it turned out that my original mother became a very good mother despite the fact she was told such a reality would be impossible. She married my father when she was eighteen and they had a second child. She went on to have another child as well. Both of my mother's kept children grew to be successful, well-educated and productive adults.

Ms. White has been reunited with her biological first mother. DNA tests this week confirm her as the daughter of Joy White and Carl Tyson and her case has made headline news in the U.S. and internationally.

I have also been reunited with my mother and am confirmed to be her child but my story will never make headlines in the U.S. or internationally because at this time in history, human beings have sanctioned adoption as a moral act and have given it legal and even religious support. Despite the fact that nearly 60% of American's are impacted, directly and indirectly, by the fall out of adoption and adoption policy, as shown in research by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, we remain steeped in denial.

My mother has lived in a forced pocket of secrecy so deep she wasn't allowed to tell anyone about me and so our reunion is complex. My mother has re-experienced the deep shame she felt as a young girl and the pain and loss of separation from relinquishing her first child -- none of which she was allowed to talk about by the rules imposed by family and society. The only coping mechanism available to her has been denial. On my side, I have re-experienced feelings of abandonment, sorrow, fear, confusion and even anger -- the natural fall out of separation from my mother. Together now, by sheer will on both our parts, we work together towards forgiveness and healing.

My mother and I are two of hundreds of thousands of separated mothers and children who struggle in near silence to regain dignity, identity and wholeness. There is no justice surrounding our story and even less recognition of the injustice done.

Jennifer Lauck is the author of Found: A Memoir, The True Sequel to Blackbird with Seal Press and her book video trailer can be seen on YouTube. She is also the author of the New York Times Bestseller Blackbird, Still Waters, Show Me the Way. She is a regular blogger on Prolifically Raw and


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Sofia's Journey is a 48 minute Documentary directed, Written, and Produced by Dr. Changfu Chang.

Daughter's Return, is 56 minutes.

In the last two decades, over 100,000 children have been adopted out of China. For cultural and political reasons, their Chinese birth parents are "invisible". As a result, almost without exception, adopted children have no way of knowing and connecting with their roots. For many adoptees who are coming of age, the lack of information on their birth parents creates a profound sense of
disappointment, frustration, and loss, and in some cases, leads to identity crises.

Sofia's Journey and Daughter's Return document the gripping journeys of three teenagers as they search for their birth parents in China. Ultimately, each quest becomes the search for their own past, identity, and place in complex relationships entwined with love and abandonment. These two films, along with Dr. Chang's widely acclaimed documentaries on international adoption, address timely issues concerning international adoptees.

Shot in high definition format by an award-winning production crew, Sofia's Journey and Daughter's Return are a rollercoaster, packed with unexpected turns of events, outpourings of emotion, and a timely engagement of critical issues.

These two films offer breathtaking "sight and sound" that captures the lives of six families spanning three continents.

They will be screened in Perkasie, PA, from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 20 at 520 Dublin Road, Perkasie, PA 18944.  The program is sponsired by Welcome House Adoption Program of Pearl S. Buck
International at a screening of Dr. Changfu Chang's adoption documentaries,

Register to attend at

In adoption - for many decades, now - we seem to operate in two diametrically opposed directions simultaneously.

For 40 decades there has been a growing awareness of the grief and loss suffered by adoptees that for the most part goes unrecognized and is not dealt with.  We have likewise been keenly aware of the identity crisis that adoptees face and the pain of dealing with feelings with rejection, abandonment and a need to have real answers.

And yet we continue to have to battle - uphill - to get state legislators to allow adopted ADULTS access to their OWN OBC...while we continue to seal OBCs and create falsified documents so aps can go one pretending their adopted offspring were born to them and not even reveal the truth or reveal the truth with the adoptee at a loss to do anything about it - except for a few lucky ones in one of six states!

It's like being acutely aware of the damage of cigarettes and doing NOTHING to stop the sale!  When does the insanity stop? When does the AAC and EBDAI stand up and demand an end to falsified birth certificates???  I have never heard either org. say one word to that effect. Just keep on accepting the lies and expect different results?!!  Or, cash in on the problems created by lack of truth and openness in adoption by offering - fees based - "post adoption" services?!  When does the insanity stop! When do we BEGIN to DEMAND it stop??!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jillian Michaels: A Perfectly BAD Example...

Jillian Michaels of TV's "The Biggest Looser" has publicly announced that she is leaving the show to concentrate on the adoption she is the process of with her partner, from  the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I'd like to know:
  • Why is there no outcry from the adoptive parent community about ANNOUNCING an adoption when there is an abundance of outcry about naming a child as someone's adopted child in a news report???  WHY?  One reason is likely that it is not just celebs and politicians who ANNOUNCE their adoptions. The wen is chock full of every-day people chronicaling their adoption "journeys -- big huge poor me for my infertility and hooray for me for being so big-hearted to pay tens of thousands of dollars to take a child from his culture while ignoring the kids in US foster care!  Aren't I great and noble and brave, etc?
  • WHY is it OK to adopt an African child from Africa and not take an African-American child from foster care? Well, that one I know clear well the answer to: people would rather spend ten times as much to obtain a child whose mother cannot come anywhere near them!
  • WHY is Michaels adopting from a NON-HAGUE country??? This is a big no-no and she is setting an abhorrent precedent and negative example that sadly others wll copy-cat because she's a 'celeb.'

    PREDICTION: WATCH OUT for a Madonna Encore Repeat Performance:

    From - a horse before the cart state of affairs:
    After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) MUST determine whether the child is eligible for orphan status as defined by U.S. immigration law.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    The Seymour Fenichel "Babies"

    Kids stolen from their mothers and sold to new families looking for answers

    Lois Kaufman will never forget the sea of blond, blue-eyed babies. It was a childless couple's dream. It was also a baby-selling business.

    Kaufman and her late husband, then from Long Island, forked out $8,000 in 1972 to a Manhattan lawyer named Seymour Fenichel, who seemed to have "a lot of connections, a lot of mothers, a lot of babies." They paid whatever he asked, without question. They longed for a child.

    The Kaufmans went to a New York City courtroom to finalize the adoption and were ushered into a waiting room, and a bizarre scene.

    "There were at least 10 other babies -- all with blond hair and blue eyes," and all cradled by couples who also had hired Fenichel.

    It turns out those babies were trafficked by Fenichel and his cohorts, who coerced and threatened many birth mothers for profit. He was eventually arrested and disbarred.

    Now the Fenichel children are crying out: Who are our mothers?

    In a new Facebook forum, a growing group calls themselves the "Seymour Fenichel Adoptees."
    In 1988, the state Attorney General's Office accused Fenichel, his daughter Deborah and a Brooklyn couple, Harriet and Lawrence Lauer, of running a "large-scale baby-selling business."

    The ring placed ads in supermarket tabloids to lure knocked-up women in the South and Midwest.
    "PREGNANT, undecided, confused and worried? We care! Thinking about adoption? Free medical, housing, financial help and counseling. Call collect," the ad read, giving a 718 phone number.

    The unlicensed operators housed girls in Pennsylvania and Florida, and even in their own New York homes. They provided medical care until the women delivered, paying $2,000 each, then "coerced them with emotional and financial threats" if they wavered about giving up their infants, prosecutors charged.

    Starting in the '70s or earlier, they raked in $8,000 to $12,000 per child from adoptive parents and allegedly "sold infants to the highest bidder."

    In a plea deal in 1990, Fenichel was slapped with five years' probation and 2,000 hours of community service. He died in 1994 at age 70.

    But the identities of the mothers he exploited remain a secret -- kept under wraps by a New York state law that bars adult adoptees from obtaining their original birth certificates.

    "We pay taxes, hold jobs and have families like everyone else, yet we live as second-class citizens," said Rachel, 27, who is one of four kids -- each from a different birth mom -- that her parents adopted through Fenichel.

    "It's not fair. I didn't do anything wrong to have to live like this. This has consumed my whole life."

    She may pay $3,000 to a private investigator to help find her birth mom. Rachel, who asked The Post to withhold her last name, believes the Fenichel ring "brainwashed" young moms into thinking they were unfit to raise kids, and that it was wrong or illegal to track the kids down.

    Rachel formed the Facebook forum, and so far found 12 offspring linked to the Fenichel operation. All adopted in New York, they share clues and tips in searching for their biological families.

    AT least one Fenichel birth mother has come forward. Teri Beeler, now 52, of Orlando, Fla., is desperately seeking the daughter she gave up 36 years ago to an unnamed New York couple.

    When Beeler got pregnant at age 15, her parents sent her away to a Fenichel-run home for unwed mothers in Miami. She joined about 18 others rooming in three houses. Some girls were upset -- "they really didn't want to give up their babies," she recalls.

    Beeler, while in labor, got a glimpse of her daughter. "I looked down between my legs and saw the baby's reflection in the doctor's glasses," she said.

    "They took the baby away, and I never saw her again. They found a way to make money, playing on people's vulnerabilities."

    Rachel vents her anger, frustration and sorrow through artwork, including photos of her face covered with the words "Sealed" and "Denied," referring to adoptees' New York birth certificates.

    She also produced a heartbreaking video letter, posted on YouTube, "to the mother I never met."

    "I have everything I've always wished for -- except you," she writes. "I'll be waiting. But I don't know your name, your face, or why you don't look for me."

    New York releases only "non-identifying information" to adoptees. Health officials gave Rachel this bio of her birth mom: unwed, 23, Catholic, blond hair, green eyes, of French-Italian descent, blood type O-plus, a waitress who "liked to draw." Her biological dad was "not reported."

    In the criminal case, prosecutors said the Fenichel outfit advised birth moms "to make false statements" on legal forms, stating the father was "unknown."

    But since Fenichel had legally processed the adoptions, authorities said, none was reversed.

    A spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Friday the office will try to find records seized in the case, and decide whether to release them to the Fenichel adoptees.

    The illegal adoption ring ran a booming business. Two years after Kaufman and her husband adopted the boy, Fenichel called out of the blue and asked, "Do you want another baby?"

    Kaufman was stunned at first but asked for a girl. She and her husband paid $10,000 on demand, and presto: A beautiful infant turned up.

    She remembers waiting in a car outside a hospital near Utica -- with a bag of "gorgeous baby clothes from Lord & Taylor." Fenichel emerged with a short, blond-haired woman who handed him the baby. She then got into a cab, alone.

    Kaufman said the birth mother had an Italian-sounding last name staring with C. "I didn't write it down. I was so thrilled to have my child, I never thought about the future."

    Now her adopted daughter needs to know. Beni Cunningham, 36, and living in Phoenix, wants her medical history since having two kids of her own.

    "When I fill out forms at the doctor's, I just cross a line through the page and write 'adopted.' I have no information," said Cunningham, who joined the Facebook group.

    New York released a few bits of information: her mother was 38, a high-school grad and "housewife;" her father, 41, of Protestant faith. Kaufman said Fenichel told her the birth mom had three other kids, and the father was a civil engineer who traveled a lot.

    Despite an “empty feeling in my gut,” Cunningham says she’s finally found inner peace.
    “I have a wonderful family, two beautiful children and an adoring husband. If things didn’t happen the way they did, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

    But Cunningham is furious that “ New York laws keep us suppressed and hidden from the world. We want our birthright – the truth.”

    Another Fenichel adoptee, Amanda Glover, of Boston, learned from the state she was born in Oceanside, LI, to a 26-year-old Polish immigrant with a 5-year-old child.

    Amanda lived with them in Bronxwood until she was 6 months old, when her adoptive parents paid Fenichel close to $10,000 to make her theirs.

    "Whatever money he wanted, we tried to get it. I wanted a baby to raise and love," said Amanda's adoptive mom, Susan Feldman. "I didn't ask questions."

    After requesting an order of adoption from Nassau County, Amanda was delighted to discover her birth name: Susan Madga Nawrocka. But her birth mother's name is blacked out.

    Her detective work continues. "This is something I think about every day. I'm not looking for much -- just one answer, one conversation, one picture," she said.

    FORMER New York Gov. Herbert Lehman signed a law in 1938 that sealed birth certificates of adoptees. Instead, they get an "amended" certificate naming their adoptive parents.

    "They wanted to protect children from the stigma of being illegitimate," said Joyce Bahr, president of the reform group Unsealed Initiative, which is fighting to end the "archaic" law.

    Today, six states give adult adoptees the right to their original certificates. Three others do so only with the birth parents' permission.

    Newly elected state Assemblyman David Weprin, a Democrat from Queens, has reintroduced a bill to permit adoptees to get copies of their original birth certificates at age 18.

    Similar bills have failed for years, Weprin, said, largely due to opposition by right-to-life advocates who fear that open records might spur women to get abortions rather than risk being contacted by grown children.

    In Weprin's version, officials would contact birth parents to ask whether they want to be contacted and relay that decision to the adoptee.

    The Fenichel adoptees hail the legislation.

    Rachel, who is planning a wedding, dreams of reuniting with her other family.

    "I have a burning question: Why?" she said.

    She also wants to thank her birth mom. "What she did was brave. I can't imagine carrying a baby nine months, going to another state and being threatened," she said. "I just want to reassure her she made the right decision."

    Bail Romero: A battle Ground Ignoring The Rights of Mother and Child

    WARNING: Diabetocs and those with low gag reflex are warned not to read the opening paragraph:

    They could not have children of their own so they did the most amazing thing anyone could do: they adopted. They plucked a fragile life from the air and breathed new life into a baby who may have been lost forever, said a New York Family Lawyer. And now the child may get taken away - and it may be the right thing to do. The couple adopted the baby boy not realizing it was not up for adoption. The sad tale begins four years earlier. [Yeah, right! "Parentless" babes are waiting to be plucked from this air, or the cabbage patch...don't some WISH!]

    So begins a piece on The family Law Blog, entitled: "Messy Adoption Could See Child Returned to Mother, says New York Family Lawyer." 

    It goes on:
    The mother [note that Bail Romero remains unnamed, anonymlus, dehumanized throughout this article] was arrested trying to enter the United States of America illegally. She gave her son to her brother, said a New York Family Lawyer. The brother then gave the boy to a sister. The sister then handed the child off to a local church. From there, the church arranged an adoption and the boy made his way to America. It appears that everyone who acted did so in good faith, as there was no indication that anyone wanted to purposefully steal the baby from the birth mother.
    When the natural mother found out about the entire ordeal she got into action and tried to get her child back, noted a New York Family Lawyer. She had never consented to the adoption and the boy was hers! Now, the supreme court of Missouri will decide the child's fate, notes a New York Family Lawyer. No, there isn't a chance they'll cut the boy in half.
    The standard will be a simple one: what is in the best interest of the child. But, immigrant and minority rights groups have made this a battle ground, with care for the child taking a back seat to whatever political message is deemed more important,
    Adoptions are tricky and often messy if done wrong. If you're thinking about adopting, contact a New York Family Attorney today.
    Sure, just USE and exploit this woman's heartache as an advertisement!

    "The entire Missouri Supreme Court called it a travesty of justice - but they were split on the remedy," writes Gaye Tannenbaum on Facebook.  "The minority wanted mother and child to be reunited NOW, the majority felt the law only allowed the court to order a retrial.

    "These adoption attorneys are wrong. The only time 'best interests of the child' comes up first is when the parties have equal rights to the child (as in divorce). Adoption is different and the law ASSUMES that the child belongs with the biological parent unless there is proven neglect, abuse, or abandonment.

    "Yes I know that's not the way it usually works in the real world of CPS, but that's the law. In this case, the local family court has to determine whether or not she abandoned the child (in the legal sense) before they can even entertain whether the child is 'better off' with the adopters.

    "BTW - The adopters are living in a basement apartment and there are allegations of abuse against them. So it's not the 'illegal' vs. the upstanding-middle-class-white-picket-fence adopters by any means.

    "Aside from the usual 'the only home he has ever known' argument, the adopters are arguing that the child DOESN'T SPEAK SPANISH and his mother doesn't speak English. So I guess all those IAs don't get forever families because their adopters don't speak the same language!"

    Brilliant, Gaye! Thank you so much.

    Of 'Sluts', 'Bastards', 'Abuse' and Money

    Published in 1995, "Of 'Sluts' and 'Bastards': A feminist decodes the child welfare debate" by Louise Armstrong is an excellent read!

    Totally relevant today, the book was written in response to Newt Gingrich's "exquisite canard of implying that children with an alive-and-kicking mother were orphans" and how orphanages are filled with children who are not parentless but fatherless...the children of mothers who are "Maritally challenged." The cover bears a Gingrich cartoon.

    Ah "parentless"! What a wonderful nespeak used by pro-adoption zealots to express their wish that there were parentless children just waiitng for them to pluck up!

    Today, the New York Family Law Blog reported on the case I've been following of Bail Romero, the immigrant mother whose child was illegally adopted.  DISCLAIMER: Diabetics and those with low gag reflex are forewarned not to read this article which begins with: "They could not have children of their own so they did the most amazing thing anyone could do: they adopted. They plucked a fragile life from the air and breathed new life into a baby who may have been lost forever."  Out of thin air - as if not born to a very real flesh-and-blood mother!
    And so it was that this book grabbed my attention by the second page!

    Armstrong goes on to state flat out that "child welfare is not and never has been about children."

    Single mothers she claims, mincing no words, are in a "socially suspect position" and thus "declared to be social want of scrutiny, of rehabilitation."  Armstrong finds that: "All women who have children outside of wedlock, and then have the nerve to be economically disadvantaged (by this worldview), deserve social contempt, social opprobrium, and a social blind eye." She calls Gingrich's plan "contempt masked as reform, rehabilitation and pity."

    Parens patriae, which originated in English law, Armstrong reminds us, gives states the right to act as Big Daddy and caseworkers as police to remove children just as "authoritarian and abusive males often punish women–by threatening to take away, or even harm, the children."

    "Both fear and punitiveness underpin the attitude toward poor single mothers" which leads to "surveillance with pity, suspicions and barely concealed contempt."

    At the time this book was written: "neglect accounted for twice a many removals (49 percent) as physical abuse (24 percent), three times as many as sexual abuse (14 percent)" with "something called 'other' (other than medical neglect. emotional maltreatment, or unknown!)" accounting for 15 percent.

    She speaks at great length of how mothers are blamed for father's sexual abuse of their children. Thus many cases falling under the "neglect" justification of child removal are mothers neglecting to protect their child from sexual abuse of a man and are thus not properly counted under that category.

    Armstrong reminds us that "the first system of foster care was indenture."

    She calls her collection of stories of mothers and children "in the system" a "what dunnit as opposed to a who dunnit mystery:

    "The mystery of what is wrong in the way we are thinking about the problem posed by children who really do need intervention and help, that has allowed such a Byzantine and rudderless industry to develop. And what is wrong with the way we are thinking abut mothers and children in economic peril that has allowed their merged survival interests to be presumed adversarial?" Sure makes me think of us being used as pawns to keep our adopted-out adult children from accessing their own birth certificates, doesn't it?

    She quotes Ira Schwartz, professor and director of the Center for Youth Policy at the School of Social Work, Univ. of Michigan:

    "The public's been locked out of policy decisions. And I think that we suffered immensely as a result of that. The system has been largely unmonitored and unregulated – and has demonstrated a remarkable inability even to protect children, to guarantee their basic health and safety. So I think the whole thing is just chaos."

    Armstrong reminds us that much of our governmental 'solutions" to child welfare 'problems" stem from knee-jerk reactions and throwing funds at the public outcries to "do something" when outrageous cases hit the headlines. It bears stark resemblance to local police, who when faced with a headline grabbing murder case will frame the most convenient suspect, guilty of not, and create a case to prove his guilt to satiate the public. Send innocent men to jail and innocent children to "treatment" because of the alleged (or even sometimes real) failings of their parents.

    In the midst of my reading this, highlighter flying furiously over sentences, phrases, paragraphs and pages...with amazing synchronicity, my Canadian colleague Karen Lynn called my attention to an article entitled: The Child Abuse Laws Which Could Destroy Your ReputationA MUST READ on the topic of social service abuses, CAPTA and how our tax dollars work to destroy families instead of attempting any real help or services.

    "Child abuse," article author Dr. Mercola states, "has become a business – an industry of sorts – that actually pays states to legally abduct your children and put them up for adoption!"

    In FY 2010 "the federal government is expected to spend at least $7 more on foster care and $4 more on adoption for every dollar spent to prevent foster care or speed reunification....The law also increases incentives for adoption by paying out $1,000 to $8,000 extra for certain types of children who are placed for adoption."

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Jus' Ramblin'

    Super Model Brooklyn Decker joins up with CBS' ET (Entertainment Tonight) and Pup Culture quizzes Packers football players about her upcoming movie and how many Kardashians they can name.

    The she asks how many kids Brangelina have.  They guess 2, 4, 5...and one asks "Including the adopted ones." I have noticed that replays of this interview now have cut that part out. No doubt aps complained! Video (edited) here.

    Object as they will and edit to suit them...the fact remains that there are segments of the population who make a distinction between adopted and not adopted kids! (And, don't aps when it's convenient for them?)

    But, after all keeping secrets, hiding the truth...that's part and parcel of adoption!


    With battling bills in NJ, I joined Pam Hasagawa and Peter Franklin yesterday in a meeting with NJ Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D). DeAngelo had originally sponsored A1406 but dropped off as a supporter. We asked him why. He said that he had not hear from both sides. But he also said that he has adoptive parent friends who are concerned.

    Other than that, the meeting went very well. Pam presented a flow chart that makes the point that the OBC is not sealed at the time of relinquishment and in fact never is if the child remains in foster care, is institutionalized, or dies. It is only sealed at the time an adoption is finalized, and often (especially in the past) prospective adopters received court papers with our names!


    Just when you thought you'd heard the wors adoption story ever:

    I recently heard of a fifteen year old who father not only made her relinquish her child but also had her tubes tied.  She, later adopted!

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Hansen Abandonment/Child Support Case Update

    Attorneys blast motion in Russian adoption case

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    "Abhorrent" is how attorneys representing two adoption agencies involved in the matter of an boy sent back to Russia are describing arguments to dismiss the case. 
    In late December, a lawyer representing Torry Hansen filed a motion to dismiss child support claims made by Hansen's adoption agency, the World Association for Children and Parents (WACAP).

    Hansen caused an international uproar last April after she sent then 7-year-old Aetyem Justin Hansen on a plane to Moscow by himself with a note saying that she didn't want to be his adoptive mother anymore because the child was violent and had psychological problems.

    Russian authorities have stated they want Hansen to pay about $2,500 a month to care for the child, who is currently living in an orphanage.

    Hansen's former attorney, Trisha Henegar, argued that Bedford County's juvenile court lacks jurisdiction to order child support because Tennessee is not the boy's "home state" and said the termination of Hansen's parental rights is currently being handled by a Russian court.

    Henegar is no longer representing the Hansens, and the case has been taken by Nashville attorney Jennifer Thompson.

    But attorneys for the two adoption agencies blasted Henegar's arguments in their response filed Monday, saying it poses "a significant risk" to any adopted child whose parents find adjustment more difficult than expected.  [Yeah,'s aps who cannot handle kids that we need to protect here!]

    "Shell game"
    Lawyers Larry L. Crain and Ray C. Stoner stated that Henegar's motion failed to address that there is no treaty that would allow a Russian court to enforce a child support order against Hansen and that the Russian Federation "clearly recognize" that the Bedford County court is to establish support.

    Crain represents WACAP while Stoner represents the National Council for Adoption (NCFA), which is identified in court papers as the designated liaison for Leonid Lvovich Mityaev, the physical custodian of Justin in Moscow.

    Henegar wrote in December that the NCFA has been trying to persuade a court in Moscow to postpone proceedings that would terminate Hansen's parental rights. 

    Hansen "will not have to pay child support in Tennessee once her rights are terminated and will not be held criminally liable," Henegar wrote in the motion to dismiss.

    Henegar also claimed that Tennessee state law defines the "home state" as where a child lived with a parent for at least six months and that Justin lived with the family in Bedford County less than six months before he was sent back.

    But Crain and Stoner said the motion to dismiss "takes (Hansen's) shell game of avoiding all accountability to this child to new heights ..." by saying that laws enacted to protect children could be used to deny the local juvenile court's jurisdiction.

    "If an adoptive parent in Tennessee could avoid their child support obligations by placing the child on an airplane to California just four months after they receive custody, then the statutes would be meaningless," Crain and Stoner wrote. "This argument is nothing more than a mockery of these child protection statutes."

    Admits abandonment?
    The attorneys for the adoption agencies also blast the Hansen's argument that they were victims of fraud and that the fraud should be the basis for annulling the adoption and freeing Hansen of any child support obligations, calling it "salacious" and "most frivolous."

    "In short, they have admitted this was abandonment -- though they are claiming fraud as justification," Crain and Stoner wrote.

    They say that the court "must reject these 'new facts'" that they say is unsupported by any affidavit. Crain and Stoner also wrote that the argument that fraud leads to automatic annulment can not be legally correct, otherwise, any adoptive parent could simply send a child away like the Hansens did. 

    "An order dismissing the case on these grounds gives any stressed-out parent a free pass to ship her child overseas to avoid any legal or financial responsibility to the child," the adoption attorneys wrote. "It cannot be in a civilized society, that criminal abandonment of a child is excusable on any basis much less on an alleged fraud in the underlaying adoption."

    Crain and Stoner also stated there was a legal process to either surrender Justin or file proper proceedings to nullify the adoption and that "there was simply no need for them to resort to abandonment and neglect of this child."

    They say that the Hansen dismissal motion does nothing to undercut the fact that Bedford County juvenile court is the only place to hear whether "Torry Hansen, as the mother of this abandoned child, is responsible for child support for her son."

    The adoption attorneys are requesting an oral argument on the motion to dismiss.

    Crain stated last May that they went to court out of frustration that no one was investigating claims that the Hansens abandoned and endangered the child.

    However, since the incident occurred last year, local authorities have said they have not been able to file any charges against the Hansens because there is no evidence that any crime was committed in Bedford County.

    Imaginary Mothers

    Imaginary Mothers. What image does that conjure for you?

    Soon it will be the image of an exciting 90-minute documentary by that name that describes the unregulated adoption industry from a perspective rarely seen: the natural mothers'. In the process, the film seeks to ask the tough questions surrounding adoption:
    • Is it always in the best interest of the child?
    • Should a billion dollar industry that brokers the exchange of children form one part of the world to another come under stricter regulation?
    The director of Imaginary Mothers, an adoptee from Costa Rica recounts the ambiguous circumstances surrounding her own adoption in 1975 and explores the heartbreaking effects felt by her biological family and by her adopted siblings now living in the U.S.

    The film travels from Costa Rica to rural Ohio, to the streets of New York City and sunny orlando Florida with an aim to address the unfavorable policies with the adoption industry that continue to treat children like commodities, without condeming families who have adopted.

    The production of this important documentary will sear in the mind sof the public Imaginary Mothers like Angela Avila Arias, Elvira Arroyao Alfaro, Crescenia Maria Castro, Hellen Xiamara, Doris Benavides Morales...and you and I!

    View a "teaser" clip here and be a part of making this documentary a reality!

    Join with me in helping fund the director's return trip to Costa Rica to interview more mothers by donating. A fundraiser is planned for Feb. 28th, 7pm-10pm, West 3rd Common, 1 West 3rd Street, New York, NY where you can see an updated trailer and the winner of a one week stay in Costa Rica will be announced.

    Your $20 donation will enter you in a raffle for a one-week stay in a ocean-view house in Costa Rica! 

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    World Most Prolific Professional Baby Breeder

    Cori Smelker. 43, is five for five - her own and surrogates so she has a way to go to catch up to Carole.  Cori makes $20k per surrogatre birth and owns Surrogate Angels of San Antonio, "a full service surrogate agency matching couples unable to carry their own baby/babies with women who are ready and willing to be their gestational carrier." Cori is also a freelance writer and editor with a bachelors of education from University of South Africa/Universiteit van Suid-Afrika.

    Her first surrogate ecperience was dlivering twins in 2005,  She says:

    It was such a positive experience all the way around that I decided to repeat it. Another set of parents welcomed their little boy into the world in April 2007.

    A third family welcomed their son in the month of August 2008. They desired to add another child to their family, so I chose to become their surrogate again. In June 2009 we implanted three embryos and in July discovered that one had stuck around. This family welcome their daughter into the world in February 2010.....

    Although I have never been faced with infertility myself, I can see its devastating effects on couples. It is therefore my desire to match couples with surrogates so that, through them, their vision of a complete family can be realised.

    Despite being called a "Super Surrogate" by Inside Edition, Cori has a long way to go to compete for that title because of Britain's "Super Surrogate," Carole Horlock, 36. 

    Carole, a part-time laundrette worker lives with her 50-year old mechanic boyfriend of four years and has two children Steffanie, 13, and Megan, nine.

    But she has birthed nine children fo others at a price tag of  £5,000 in expenses for each birth.  She claims she enjoys helping childless couples so much that she would do it for free and is trying for ten surrogate births.

    Her father says he is being deprived of his grandchildren, and her ex-husband says she is greedy. She is also condemned by opponents of the commercialisation of pregnancy.

    And her daughter Megan is none too happy. She said: "If there was another way for my mum to have a baby, I would choose it - because I don't want her to be tired all the time."She loses her temper and I don't like her to be in a temper."

    Hmmmm, and this is something she does because she enjoys it!?

    Miss Horlock's father Ron Levy, a 'committed Christian' from Colchester, said: "I find the whole business deeply upsetting. They are all my grandchildren and I shall never know them."

    Miss Horlock's ex-husband Stephen Horlock, a 46-year- old design engineer who fathered her elder daughter before their separation in 1990, said: "Money is definitely what drives Carole.
    "She will never reveal how much she makes, but she once said it was thanks to surrogacy that she has been able to buy her council house."

    Carole claims: "Surrogate children grow up to be perfectly well-balanced.
    "They are planned for and wanted. All the children I have had know me. I'm not some mystery woman, I'm a close friend, but not their mother."

    But John Smeaton, of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child, condemned the practice.
    He said: "Surrogate children can spend their whole lives wondering who their real parents are. What she is doing is an affront to the dignity of human life."

    RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

    Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

    RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

    Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

    Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

    Who Am I?

    Bitter Winds

    Adoption and Truth Video

    Adoption Truth

    Birthparents Never Forget