I (obviously) won’t be posting every day in November after all. A’mom in hospital (she’ll be fine).
Today I’m sad and sore, so instead of my words, I offer my readers the words of one of my heroines. Claudia, you are the bravest woman I know.
The votes have been tallied, and this award couldn’t have gone to a shadier, shittier bunch of people.
This year’s recipient of the Demons of Adoption Award is a good example of being among the worst in an industry that thrives on bad practices.
Founded, in 1978 by attorney James S. Albers, Adoption by Gentle Care has been in the spotlight before. Already in 2011, the agency was nominated for a Demons of Adoption Award for their handling of the case of Benjamin Wyrembek.
In that case Adoption by Gentle Care placed a boy with an Indiana couple, in November 2007, knowing that the paternity of the child was not established. Benjamin Wyrembek, the father of the child contested the adoption and after a long court battle, the adoption was dismissed.
As a result, the child was officially in custody of Adoption by Gentle Care, which was ordered to show the child to his father on February 8, 2010. The agency failed to comply with the court order and through it’s executive director John Cameron was held in contempt on July 2, 2010.
The Indiana couple appealed all the way up to the US Supreme Court, but eventually October 30, 2010, the boy was handed over to his father.
Adoption by Gentle Care quickly dismissed executive director John Cameron, who was replaced by Trina Saunders. This change of leadership however didn’t change the way Adoption by Gentle Care operated.
Nope. After “cleaning house,” they snatched Baby Camden, using every dirty trick in the book:
When the issue of paternity came up, the agency coached Carri Stearns to list the father as “unknown” on the birth certificate, even though the father was known.
The case worker, having learned her lesson from the case of Dusten Brown (baby Veronica) asked if Carri had any Native American blood. When she answered truthfully that she did, the case worker responds: “Carri, you can’t say that. If we name Native American blood, then this adoption won’t happen. He’ll go to foster care.”
During the relinquishment [Carri] had to testify that she was of “sound mind and body”. In such testimony one must state that they are not under any mind altering substances and are making this decision of their own free will, independently of any coercion of duress. At the time Carri was still under doctor’s prescription for Vicodin and Dilaudid, but was advised by Adoption by Gentle care worker to say “no” to the question whether she was using any medication.
Three days after the relinquishment, reality what has transpired set in and Carri came to the conclusion she had made a terrible mistake.
Adoption by Gentle Care refused to revoke the consent and pushed through with the placement of Camden. However, the family chosen to adopt the boy, returned him to the agency and he has been in foster care ever since.
Yes, the same “foster care” the agency used fear of to bully Carri out of her baby. Only it’s worse than they threatened: Camden had now been declared “special needs” because he has de Morsier’s syndrome. Not only does no one seem to know what sort of treatment he’s receiving, the condition also makes him less adoptable than the average white male baby. Doesn’t matter: He’s still white and little and cute, there’s still a chance he can be sold, and Gentle Care is keeping him.
Remember how awful it is to take a child from “the only family s/he’s ever known”? Camden is reportedly now in a second foster family. Including his real one, that makes four. He’s only seven months old.
Adoptees and others, please name an adoption- or adoptee-themed movie you love, hate or love to hate.
Also, here is Fly Away Children, the film famous for its scene of an English-speaking woman telling a roomful of non-English speakers that any of them who doesn’t want to never see their children again should take them and leave now.
…and its sequel, Fly Away Home. Thanks again, cb!