Mom who took son to Nebraska in court today


The Southfield mom who said she took her son to Nebraska and left him there under the state’s Safe Haven law to try and get him counseling appears in court today to argue that she is a good parent and deserves to regain custody of her four children.

In a precedent-setting trial, Teri Martin, 38, will have to explain to a jury why she crossed multiple state lines to take advantage of the now-amended Nebraska law that allowed parents to leave a child up to age 17 without fear of persecution in that state.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin at 8:30 this morning.

Martin said she was trying to get help for her troubled son through Boys Town, the famous Nebraska youth services program.

Instead, she lost custody of the foster-adopted teen and her three other children, The other children are now living at home under state supervision with her husband. She’s barred from the house, per court order. The once abandoned teen is in a foster home.

Martin said she regretted her decision almost immediately and tried to reach out to her son, who at the time was in Nebraska custody before being transferred to Michigan.

So far, she is the only parent subject to court action in her home state for traveling across state lines to use the Nebraska law, which now only allows abandonment of babies up to 30 days of age.

The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office has repeatedly questioned the mental state of a parent willing to drive 12 hours to relinquish custody of a child to another state. Deputy Prosecutor Deb Carley has also questioned the impact of the trip on Martin’s other children, one of whom is the teen’s younger brother.

The lawyers for Martin and her husband Terrence said they are confident they will reunite the family.

It is a not a criminal trial, and no one faces jail time. This is the second neglect petition filed against the Martins – in 2003 a petition filed in Wayne County was denied.

The current petition originally suggested severing parental rights to the 13-year-old, but in the weeks after returning from Nebraska, Martin and her husband have enrolled in parenting classes, and Mrs. Martin’s mental health has been analyzed.

Martin said in an interview last week the child was prone to violence and bad behavior, but available court records suggest the child was never wanted and adopted only to secure the adoption of his younger brother, then a baby.


Hauntingly similar to a case in Hong Kong

In another article, about another adoptive family, the same complaint, "bad behavior" in the fostered/adopted  was made, justifying the actions made by the troubled parents at a place far, far away from their home.  [See:  "Can an Adopted Child be Returned?" ]

Is it any wonder Safe Havens want babies-only to be brought to them?  It's much easier to sell a cute adorable ("abandoned") baby to a pre-qualified buyer than it is to sell a grown angry child who has been abandoned over and over again.

Returned to the orphanage

Some cases of  internationally adopted children returned to orphanages

1)Couple gives adopted child back to orphanage

In 2005, two years after adopting a newborn baby, the adoptive father drove his son back to the orphanage at Jakarta when his
Azerbaijani wife finds the adoption is not working out. The boy has Irish citizenship by his adoptive father and can't be adopted until his nationaly issue is settled. Finally, the boy returned to his birth mother and the couple told to support him in Indonesia until his majority.

2) Devuletos al orfanato (Returned to the orphanage).
It covers two specific cases: a girl adopted from Russia at 11 years old with her younger sister. In this case, it is her who rejected the adoptive family; a girl adopted from Colombia at 6 years old and returned five years later.
Althought the percentage of failed adoptions is still low in Spain, a professor of universtiy found that, 1 adoption out of 5, results in dramatic situations. This data have been collected by adding the cases of families who cover-up tensions by sending their children to boarding schools and cases of families who have not digest the adoptions in the first four years of coexistence.

I know there are more cases that have reached the news.

Add to that the underground adoption dissolutions.
Add to that every cases of abandoned children by their adoptive parents that never reach the news.

Romanian suing Canadian couple over adoption

Romanian suing Canadian couple over adoption

Updated Thu. Feb. 17 2005 12:51 PM ET

Canadian Press

A young Romanian mother is suing the wealthy Canadian couple who adopted her as a nine-year-old, then sent her back five months later to a life of poverty -- two days after they adopted another baby girl.


The suit, filed in Ontario Superior Court by Alexandra Austin, 22, on Tuesday, identifies her legal father as prominent heart surgeon Joseph Austin, now chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, Wash.

"They stole my childhood. They stole my future. They stole my life,'' Austin said in halting English, brushing away tears.

"I never had a normal life.''

The unproven suit, which seeks at least $7 million for, among other things, negligence and breach of contract, are the doctor's ex-wife, Silvana Di Giacomo, the Canadian and Ontario governments, and Swiss International Air Lines.

The couple, then of Ancaster, Ont., had four boys and wanted a girl. In 1991, they persuaded Austin's impoverished mother to let them take her to Canada even though she was not up for adoption.

When they unceremoniously sent her home alone months later, the girl found herself back with her surprised mother, but in legal limbo and stateless.

The Austins had never cancelled the adoption and the child's documents had been altered, as is customary in such cases, to show her birthplace as Canada.

As a result, Romanian authorities refused to recognize her and she was denied access to schooling and health care.

"I lost not one or two years, I lost 14 years,'' she said.

Now the mother of a four-year-old daughter herself, Austin lives in a one-room Bucharest apartment, struggling to get by on a Grade 3 education in a country where Grade 7 is the minimum requirement for street-sweeping.

Questions remain about both her and her child's identities.

Because she is not a Canadian citizen, Canadian consular officials refused to get involved until the media recently began asking questions but have done nothing to help, Austin said.

"It's like she has fallen between the cracks,'' said Mary Anne Alton, who brought Austin's plight to public attention with a documentary Return to Sender.

A secretary at Dr. Austin's office said, "He is not interested in making any comments.'' Di Giacomo lives in Rome but her exact whereabouts were not known.

The lawsuit claims the Canadian government has sloughed off its obligations to her.

Ontario Children's Services Minister Marie Bountrogianni refused to comment on the case but said the province is in the process of beefing up its adoption rules and procedures.

Ann McElhinney, an Irish journalist who worked on the documentary, called the case "a massive tragedy'' that highlights the perils of international adoptions.

Despite the family's financial straits at the time -- her biological father had died, leaving their mother with eight children -- Canadian authorities knew Austin was well cared for and should never have allowed the adoption, she said.

"It's a tragedy that she was ever sent back but the greatest tragedy is that she ever left Romania in the first place,'' said McElhinney, who like Austin, wants an end to all such adoptions.

"Canada knew what they were doing was wrong.''

As part of the documentary, Austin arrived unannounced on her adoptive father's doorstep in an effort to confront him, but he refused to acknowledge her.

She said he gave her a number to call and promised to talk to her another time, but the phone was disconnected.

While he told the documentary makers Austin was unhappy and wanted to go back to her native country, she said that wasn't true.

She maintained Tuesday she wants answers to the "many questions'' she has about why she was adopted in the first place, and why she was as suddenly wrenched from a busy life of school and friends, swimming and piano lessons, and learning to ride a bicycle.

"I do not have an idea. I was a child,'' said Austin. "It wasn't my fault.''

Austin's brother was adopted by another Canadian couple as a two-year-old and lives in Montreal.


For once I am not sure what

For once I am not sure what to say.... other then... these are the side effects of adoption... Treating children like toaster ovens... don't like it? Return it and exchange it for another...

Adoption and foster care = Child Slavery....

The unadoption option

Not that many people want to discuss/admit the hows and whys adoption fails... and yet there are webpages dedicated to adoption dissolutions.  [I googled " adoption dissolutions", and found 2.35 million results in less than .20 seconds!]

One such page clearly states:  Many adoptions are dissolved due to medical or emotional health issues of the adopted child. (Suggesting the problem is with the child, and not the parents who promised to be the forever family to said child...) [From:  "Unadopt a Child:  The Growing Trend in Adoption Dissolutions", published March, 2007,

But these dissolutions require lawyers (with legal fees) to undo the mess adoption has brought a child and a new family. 

So what does a troubled parent do when adoption doesn't seem as ideal as it did during the family-making process?

 Add to that every cases of abandoned children by their adoptive parents that never reach the news.

"Abandonment by the adoptive parents"... is there anything more alienating than being abandoned by your own adoptive parents?  From my own personal experience, I can honestly say, nothing has hurt me more deeply or profoundly than the time I realized my own adoptive parents were turning me away from "their" family.

In non-adopting families, parents who abandon their children are seen as cold, heartless, selfish individuals. 

It seems AP's who do the same thing like to see themselves as victims.

Either way, the child who may never have been an orphan certainly becomes one, thanks to the adoption option.

Pound Pup Legacy