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

By Simon Neville

February 21, 2011 /

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

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.’


"Buyer's Remorse"

Hmmm... AP's aren't happy with what the adoption-stork delivered, eh?

Well, I suppose there is comfort to be found knowing there are other AP's 'returning to sender' or choosing the underground disruption route, because they too are not happy with their chosen adoption-plan.

You know, when  breeders discover the birthed child is not as perfect as planned, they're expected to thank God, and suck it up.

Picture going to court, and suing God, because you didn't like what was "chosen" for you!!!!!



‘I hate to say it, but it almost seems like they have Buyers’ Remorse.’

Yeah it does kinda sorta seem like that, doesn't it.

Hey Kerry - can we have a category of Disability: yes/no added? So many abused children and the cases on ppl have them or are perceived to have them. It makes them sitting ducks for users/abusers. Just a suggestion.

Suggestions more than welcome

Although we do have the category, Special Needs Adoptions, I do think your suggestion is a good one.  It may take some time to get all the cases updated, but in the end, it will be a worthy effort.  TY.


If it's something you do decide to pursue and would like help, I'm available.


Ok, just an FYI - that is about as rude as it gets - would you like to be called that? I know I don't.

People who

...act like their only goal in life is to reproduce, and then expect special treatment based on how much more misery they have added to the planet in the form of progeny, deserve the epithet. There is nothing special about breeding. Even fleas and flies do it.

A name by any other name....

It's interesting.... when PPL first went public, I was chastised by a birth-mother for suggesting adoptees were "pups" left at a pound.  She also took offense at the name of the website, because it suggested birth-mothers would be seen as dogs who only know how to breed.

You know what?  In some parts of the world, that's how women are treated... like birthing breeders for the wealthy. 

You know what else?  Far too many adoptees are treated like dogs in their 'forever' 'loving' adoptive homes.

Below is a life saved through adoption.  Unfortunately, he was killed when he was 11.  The Amother claimed she was following suggestions promoted by therapists who recondition adoptees with attachment disorders.  [And pro-lifers say abortion is cruel...]

11-year-old boy, one of 5 adopted by a couple from Colorado Springs, was forced to spend days and nights in a small room beneath stairs with only a wool blanket and bucket in which to relieve himself.  When he wasn't confined to that space, he was forced to masturbate in front of siblings, do calisthenics in the nude, wear a dog shock collar, and he was forced to eat his meals on the floor while the rest of the family dined at the table.

If a person thinks the word 'breeder' is as rude as it gets, I have plenty more examples/links that will illustrate just how rude and offensive people can get.


Buyer's remorse

It always makes me wonder what these adoptive parents would do with a child who was actually born to them with severe neurological deficits - would they return him to her womb? Sue the doctors? Blame everyone around them? What a charming pair. Makes you wonder how the screening process let them through, after all, isn't adoption meant to be all about the child, not about finding a baby for a needy couple - what a joke!

State care

In all probability a child like this might end up as a ward of the state in this in foster care depending on the resources of his parents. I can see both sides of the issue. Many, many children are signed over to state in the US because of developmental or severe medical issues. Sad, but true.

I go on about this a lot because I understand the adoption component, but it is not an issue limited to adoptions.

Trick-language in Adoptionland

I was reading a short little blog-piece what puts the "What were the AP's thinking" in better perspective:

Besides the phony-baloney alarm that should definitely be ringing in your head, you must be able to read in between the lines. A “healthy” child available for adoption means he or she has been tested for AIDs, TB, and syphillis. Period. The child may still have developmental delays which are, or are not, reversible, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), ADHD, RAD, Downs, CP, scabies, and more. “Healthy” and “normal” may be two entirely different issues.

Let the adopter beware.

[From: Adoption Referral Parameters: “Healthy” or “Normal”?  April 15, 2011 ]

More revealing are the sentences that came before that:

 most of us newer to the wild and wonderful world of adoption had not a clue as to what questions needed asking. And no agencies were about to admit that those questions being asked were not about to get any straight answers from them any time soon.

“Your referral is three years old, cute as a button, and asks every day for a mommy. The child is healthy.”

Now... imagine being the desperate to have a "healthy" infant...and buying whatever you're told to believe.

I am an adopitve mother and

I am an adopitve mother and I also used this law office!! they DO NOT work like this its a very scary process and they make sure their clients are well taken care !! how dare these parents act like this and should be ashamed!!! that poor child not being loved right because they think he is defective .. shame on you!!
buyers remorse!! disgusting! be ashamed of yourselfs!!!

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