Extradition due in adoptions case

The Baton Rouge Advocate
January 25, 1988

MIAMI -- An extradition order is expected this week for an adoption middleman as investigators continue to unravel the complex workings of an agency that targeted wealthy couples and poor mothers-to-be, a newspaper reported today.

Richard Gitelman, 45, of Coral Springs, is charged in Pennsylvania with a third-degree felony for allegedly luring an underage mother across state lines as part of his National Adoption Counseling Service Inc. founded in 1983.

Gitelman's client list stretched from New York to California, and some who have dealt with him told The Miami Herald of a business that traded on desperation, vague laws and high profits.

He declined comment because of the criminal charges.

The criminal charge stems from the case of Rebekah Lin Dulik. The pregnant runaway from Nemacolin, Pa., was awaiting her first child at a Louisiana hotel when Gitelman asked at one point if she would bear a second child for adoption after the first was delivered.

Some young mothers said they felt pressured to give up their babies, and some couples say they paid up to $30,000 in fees for babies they never received.

More than a dozen pregnant women awaiting childbirth could sometimes be found in Mamou, La., where Gitelman arranged 127 adoptions from July 1985 to January 1987.

"We had to report to the court on the suitability of adoptions where we never saw the mother, never saw the child, never saw the adoptive couple," said Louise Bourne, who at the time ran Louisiana's adoption review agency. "They came here, picked up the children after they were born, the petitions were filed and they flew back to their home states."

Residency was required for neither the mother nor the new parents in Louisiana until the state tightened its adoption laws at the end of 1987.

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