A 23-year-old Arlington woman who accused her psychiatrist of physically abusing her during "rage reduction" therapy won an $8.4 million judgment Tuesday. Human rights advocates said they hope the ruling will prompt the Legislature to ban the treatment statewide. The court found Dr. Robert H. Gross responsible for assaulting and intentionally inflicting emotional distress on Jeannie Warren while treating her at the now-defunct Psychiatric Institute of Fort Worth.
Citing "despicable" practices, the state last week took action to shut down one of the region's most notorious adoption agencies. For the author, who still doesn't know if his prospective child even exist, it was justice at last.
How do you mourn a child you never had, never held, for that matter, maybe never existed? That question has been nagging me for months, After years of struggling with infertility and miscarriages before the birth of our son three years ago, my wife, Susan, and I decided we could not weather the heartbreak of trying and I decided we could not weather the heartbreak of trying to conceive another child. So last year we contracted with Today's Adoption Agency, one of the largest international agencies in the Northeast, to adopt a child from Paraguay. The snapshot the agency sent us of our daughter-to-be showed a butter cream-colored infant with legs like plump sausages and a shock of black hair. We renamed her Molly and put her picture in the dining room for all to see.
A dramatic plea from a distraught mother-to-be yesterday persuaded a judge to reopen a controversial adoption agency so more than 100 adoptions can be completed under state supervision.
Holding aloft a photograph of her future daughter, Denise Alba of Lindenhurst, L.I., rose from the gallery in Manhattan Supreme Court and begged Justice Carol Arber to lift a court order barring Today's Adoption Agency from doing business.
"It's all over for me if you don't allow the agency to process my adoption," Alba said. "My court appearance in Paraguay is scheduled for tomorrow."
Alba and her husband, Michael, have tried for more than a year to bring a South American toddler named Angelica home to the U.S.
Today's Adoption was shut last week after state Attorney General Dennis Vacco charged in a lawsuit that the private agency had bilked at least a dozen families who hoped to adopt babies.
Vacco accused the agency of leaving the prospective parents childless and defrauding them out of as much as $30,000 each in placement fees.
Times Union, The (Albany, NY)
Author: CAILIN BROWN Staff writer
One of the couples in the case was promised a baby three different times
BETHLEHEM -- The eight agonizing years Becky and Barry Gray spent working with a for-profit adoption agency left them with no child, $9,000 worth of debt and the heartache of dashed hopes.
Now the Grays and 11 other families are part of a lawsuit filed against Today's Adoption Agency by the state attorney general's office. The company has been temporarily shutdown pending a court date Thursday.
Today's Adoption, which had offices in Port Jervis and in Hawley, Pa., used ``unlawful and abusive adoption practices,'' according to the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. In some cases, prospective parents were given insufficient medical histories and the children they later adopted became seriously ill and died, the suit states.
``We're also examining the possibility of bringing criminal charges against the company and its operations,'' said Joe Mahoney, a spokesman for the attorney general's office.
AGENCY ACCUSED OF CHARGE FOR FALSE ADOPTIONS
Author: Agencia EFE.
New York - The adoption agency Today's Adoption Agency has been sued in a court in New York, of course collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars to a couple who promised the children of Guatemala and Paraguay, judicial sources reported on Friday.
The lawsuit was filed on Thursday by the prosecutor general of the state of New York, Dennis Vacca, and it argues that some people interested in adopting a child to the agency paid sums of $ 10,000 and up to $ 30,000 without achieving its purpose.
The families facing emotional and financial strain in search of a child for adoption and are particularly vulnerable to abuse, said Vacca.
"This is the worst of the scams," said the attorney general, considering that the event combines the pain of disappointment with the loss of dollars that has cost both win. "
"We can not tolerate this kind of abuse," he added, emphasizing that the agency promised even babies from Paraguay, knowing that this country adoptions banned in September 1995.
A private adoption agency bilked at least a dozen families who hoped to adopt babies, leaving the prospective parents childless and defrauding them of as much as $30,000 each, state officials charged yesterday.
State Attorney General Dennis Vacco got a court order that temporarily closes Today's Adoption Agency and freezes the Pennsylvania-based company's assets.
Vacco said he will use a lawsuit he filed against the firm yesterday as a means to gain reimbursement for families "that were left with nothing but broken hearts."
"This is the worst type of rip-off that I could think about, because it combines the horrors of losing hard-earned dollars with a heartbreak that will never go away," Vacco said.
State officials are conducting a criminal investigation of the company, which allegedly charged families thousands of dollars in "placement fees" for international adoptions without delivering any babies.
A N.Y. JUDGE ISSUED A RESTRAINING ORDER ON THE PA. FIRM.
SOME SAID THEY PAID BUT GOT NO CHILDREN.
Author: Henry Goldman, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Dateline: NEW YORK
They wanted to be parents, and they paid thousands of dollars to Today's Adoption Agency, which they say promised speedy action on delivering newborn children from abroad.
Now the agency - some families say it took their money and did nothing - is accused by New York as a ``fraud'' and a ``ripoff.''
Yesterday, Dennis C. Vacco, New York's attorney general, used those terms to describe the Hawley, Pa., agency and then went to court in the name of would-be parents to stop the agency from operating. A judge issued a temporary restraining order and set a hearing for Thursday.
Today's Adoption has also come under scrutiny by Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare, which in November 1994 determined that the agency's license should not be renewed. A year later, after complaints persisted, the department formally revoked the license; the case is still pending.
A jury convicted Willie Joe Wilkins of malice murder, felony murder and three counts of cruelty to children in the death of three-year-old Clayton Miracle and the beating of his twin sister Kelly Miracle.  Wilkins appeals and challenges the sufficiency of the evidence. Because the evidence, including Wilkins' own statements, was sufficient to support the convictions, we affirm.
A judge was visibly affected by the tender pleas of the defendant's child, but Darlene Bright went to prison anyway.
The mother of two shuffled out of Judge Pat Brian's courtroom Thursday, sobbing and cupping her face in her hands. She faces up to five years behind bars and a $5,000 fine.Bright, 34, was originally charged with murder, a first-degree felony, in the death of her adopted son, Kameron. Bright told police the boy had fallen from a bunk bed in her family's West Valley home two years ago.
Several doctors said the child's skull could not have been cracked so severely from such a short fall - opinions the judge pointed to repeatedly during the sentencing.
"The court is convinced this 3-year-old child received some extremely lethal punishment" that night, Brian said.
Kory Bright, 10, asked for mercy for his mother.
"My mom is a good mom to me and my brother. I love her very much. Please don't take her away from me," he said to the judge, who listened intently.
Brian acknowledged the child's words but said he was bound by good reason and the law.
ADOPTED TEEN SEES HER LIFE IN NEWS OF STOLEN CHILD. TO UNDERSTAND HERSELF, SHE LOOKS TO SALVADORAN PAST
Author: JIM QUINN, Beacon Journal staff writer
Judy Weideman was numb with joy when she put down the telephone. She had spent nine months trying to adopt a child, but it was still stunning when she got that call confirming that she would be able to adopt the 5-year-old girl waiting for her in an orphanage in San Salvador.
She wandered through her house until she passed a mirror and saw her dazed expression. "I'm a mom," she told her reflection.
"I'm a mom. I'm a mom!" she said, repeating the words gleefully as she danced through her house. It was Feb. 22, 1983, just two months before this single art teacher would welcome her new daughter, Jane, into the home they still share in Cuyahoga Falls.
Judy Weideman started reliving that warm memory a week ago, when something happened that triggered a less pleasant memory for Jane.
The fall of a family man
As governments crack down on the sexual tourism of paedophiles, a Nobel prize-winning scientist who "adopted" boys from Pacific islands is to stand trial on charges of sexual abuse. But is he the victim of a witchhunt?
MONDAY 05 AUGUST 1996
Daniel Carleton Gajdusek is one of the great scientific minds of the 20th century, the man who made possible giant leaps in the understanding of illnesses such as Aids and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), the so-called human form of mad cow disease. He was hailed as a philanthropist of boundless generosity who "adopted" more than 50 children, mainly boys, from impoverished Pacific islands, caring for them in his own homes in the United States and paying for their education.
Now the illustrious career of Dr Gajdusek, 72, a Nobel Laureate, is in tatters, forever tarnished by allegations of child abuse and perverted sexual practice. And if found guilty in October, he will have been largely damned by his own pen.
He was only 5 when he saw his mother and younger brother killed and the soldiers took him away to their base in a helicopter. She was just 6 when she was separated from her parents during a bombing raid and delivered to an orphanage here.
Amilcar Guardado, who is about to turn 22, was raised by military officers on an air force base. Imelda Lainez, now 17, ended up being adopted by a family in the United States, where she was given the name Gina Marie Craig.
Now, both have been reunited with their original families, beneficiaries of a private investigative program that has forced El Salvador to confront one of the darkest secrets of its civil war, which lasted from October 1979 to January 1992.
Some 75,000 people were killed in the war -- most of them by troops trained and financed by the United States -- or disappeared and were presumed dead.
Among those who disappeared were hundreds of children who, parents and human rights groups say, were kidnapped by the Salvadoran military during attacks on peasant settlements suspected of harboring guerrilla fighters or sympathizing with the leftist insurgency.
CLEVELAND PRIEST SAYS HE CONFRONTED U.S. OFFICIALS WHO TURNED A BLIND EYE TO PRACTICE
Author: JIM QUINN, Beacon Journal staff writer
The search for stolen children is leading investigators to Northeast Ohio, where hundreds of families adopted children during the Salvadoran civil war.
"I think parents have a valid reason to be concerned," said Tom Craig, whose adopted daughter Gina was discovered by her biological parents. "It's especially valid in this area because the Cleveland diocese was so involved in El Salvador."
Pat Burns, a spokeswoman for the Kent-based group that arranged local Salvadoran adoptions, said she has already heard from parents alarmed by what happened to the Craigs. "It's taking me some time to absorb all this," Burns said. "I feel certain that the vast majority of parents have nothing to worry about."