exposing the dark side of adoption
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2014 Mar 31

Evelyn Bennett

2006 Sep 12
17 year old Stephanie Bennett was encouraged to run away and surrender her 4 month old child without consulting the grandparents who Stephanie and Evelyn lived with.

Baby Tamia

2005 Jan 6
Carmen McDonald, suffering from post-partum depression and bipolar disorder, felt overwhelmed, and in a weak moment called an 800 number she found for 'A Cherished Child' to explore the possibility of placing her child for adoption.

She and her three-month-old baby daughter were flown from Illinois to Utah. Within hours, Carmen was asked to sign a relinquishment document. When she tried to back out, she was threatened to be left without return airfare, which would have left them stranded - and with no money - in Utah. Frightened and feeling alone, she caved in and signed.

Later the prospective adoptive parents, with whom Tamia already had been placed, were arrested on drug charges, putting Baby the girl in the care of Child Protective Services.

Eventually Tamia was returned to her family in Chicago

Child Bernice

2003 Nov 3
Shefik said she had arranged for the child, Bernice, and her birth mother, Niebed Erakdrik, to stay with them for a few days, but things only grew worse.

"It was very difficult. Just horrible. I was distraught," Shefik said. "The birth mother was crying.

"It was very obvious the birth mother was very unhappy," said Shefik, who couldn't find out why because Erakdrik spoke no English. Shefik said the situation was further complicated because Bernice was sick and needed to see a doctor.

In desperation, Shefik called an acquaintance who speaks Marshallese and had her speak to Erakdrik on the phone. Without her, Shefik said, "I never would have known what really happened."

The translator told Shefik that Erakdrik said Maun "coerced" her into giving up the child by telling her she would bring shame on her family if she didn't go through with the adoption.

Shefik called off the adoption and insisted that the mother and daughter be flown home. The adoption fee was quickly refunded, and the Shefiks later adopted a Chinese girl through another agency.

From A birth mother alleges coercion
1997 Sep 1
The mother of a 5-month-old with severe medical problems was thinking of putting her daughter, Gabrielle, up for adoption. Mostly, though, she wanted to talk to a counselor. She contacted Adoptions by Choice which immediately made her sign consent forms and made her handed over her child. When Bowman returned hours later to retrieve Gabrielle, whom she says she never really wanted to give up, adoption officials told her it was too late. Seven days later, ABC returned the child to Bowman.

Darcy Akers Ball

1997 Sep 1
23-year-old woman in the middle of separation was continually contacted by her pastor to give up her children. At the request of her husband the pastor contacted Tampa lawyer, Gregory Boyer, who misled Darcy Akers Ball and made her sign adoption papers in his van in her driveway to relinquish all three of her children. He didn't explain Ball's rights, didn't give her time to read the papers and didn't ask if she was sure about her decision.

Lea Tyler Darrah

1991 Apr 14
19-year-old woman kept her pregnancy secret from her family and fellow students. In panic when she gave birth to a six-weeks-premature-baby-girl she called Kathy Huntziker, a counselor referred by the Davis Crisis Pregnancy Center. Lea Tyler was coerced to sign papers to give up her daughter, believing she would get medical treatment for her and her newborn.
1991 Feb 18
David (18) and Heather (17) were coerced by Friends of Children (GA) to surrender their son Jeffrey. The Fulton Superior Court decided in favor of the couple, who regained custody of their child.

Krista Stoner

1989 Jan 1
19-year-old woman was pressured by pregnancy counselor Bonnie Jo Williams into giving her baby up for adoption and was coerced into signing adoption papers while she was hospitalized and under the influence of Demerol.

Barbara Landry

1984 Feb 10
19-year-old woman claims she was pressured by the Edna Gladney Home for unwed mothers (later renamed in Gladney Center for Adoption) to give up her child and wasn't awared a "cooling-off period" after signing the papers.