Biological parents

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Biological parents

Postby Marina » Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:27 am


I am starting news alerts for "biological parents," "biological mother," and "biological father." ... /803290305

Coshocton family concerned with child's welfare
Staff Writer

COSHOCTON - A Coshocton family is concerned about how their adopted daughter is being treated for her various emotional issues and for the visitation privileges she is being given with her biological father, who is a convicted sex offender.

A local couple adopted the girl in 2005 after she was removed from her home along with her siblings and placed in their home as a foster child.

The girl, now a teenager, was removed from the couple's home last year after she became so troubled that they could not care for her, in their opinion "the way she needs to be cared for."

The Coshocton County Job and Family Services Department has allowed the girl to visit her father, who is a convicted sex offender and who has shown an interest in having the girl once again live with him, citing he is about the only biological family member that has shown an interest in the child.
"This child is in need of deep psychological help that we are just not able to provide," the adoptive mother said. "Not only has she been placed in another foster home, but she's being allowed to visit her father and with his background, we just don't think the state is doing the right thing by her."

The couple still retain parental rights of the girl, even though she is at another foster home. Zanesville attorney Brian Benbow, who represents the couple, said he, too, is unclear why the child has not been placed in a supervised setting where she can receive the medical and mental treatment she needs nor why she is being allowed to see her father.

"I think the girl is in purgatory," Benbow said. "The Coshocton Family Services is allowing her father to see her when he has issues of his own and they have not placed her in a facility where she can receive the kind of treatment she needs. She needs to be in a more secure facility then just a foster home. I'm not sure any foster home is equipped to deal with her problems."

The girl had been running away from the couple's home and causing harm to herself, according to the adoptive mother.

"It just got to the place where we knew we couldn't take care of her anymore but we want someone to get her help," she said. "After reading the report from Children Services regarding her father, I'm not sure that is the answer. I think they just don't have anywhere else to send her."

According to a report from Megan Staron, a caseworker for the Coshocton DJFS, the couple told Staron the girl was a threat to the other children in the home and in need of extensive psychological and psychiatric help.

The biological father had expressed a strong desire to have the girl placed with him at his home in Columbus and Staron wrote that her agency felt one more attempt to reunite the girl and her biological relatives was necessary.

The father has been convicted of domestic violence and two counts of gross sexual imposition in 1985 in Knox County, according to court records. He could not be reached for comment.

Aware of those convictions, Staron wrote that Gary Wolfgang, a licensed psychologist, assess the father for the potential to "display violent tendencies and the possibility of (the father) perpetrating" on the girl if placed in his home.

Staron also recommended visits between the girl and her father begin to determine if they were capable of having and maintaining a relationship.

The visits have all been supervised and family counseling visits for the girl and (the father) have been taking place, according to Staron.

"Our agency will continue to provide services to the family to strengthen their relationship and this will help us make a decision if placement with (the father) is an option in the future," Staron wrote.

Terry Miller, director of the Coshocton DJFS, said he is not at liberty to discuss this particular case but in general, his office does its best to seek out the best possible solution for a child's placement.

"Our objective is to get the best situation for the child," Miller said. "We work for the best interest of the child and try to find a good relationship match."

Miller said some children come with their own set of issues and behavioral problems and placement or adoption proves to be "challenging."

"Some families are better equipped to deal with problems than others," Miller said.

Benbow said he understands the dilemma Miller's agency may have, but that is what their agency is about.

"It's a tough job, I'm sure," Benbow said. "But that's what they're there for. We just don't feel the agency is helping this girl. The (adoptive parents) should be commended for the job they've done so far. They are now in a moral dilemma with not having the child but being held responsible for the child as her adoptive parents."


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Postby Marina » Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:32 am


Distraught Grandmother Assaults CPS Case Worker

Updated: March 26, 2008 04:55 PM EDT

Distraught Grandmother Assaults CPS Case Worker

CORPUS CHRISTI-A local woman is facing felony charges for attacking a CPS worker Tuesday morning.

KRIS 6 News learned the woman was upset over a court decision earlier that morning to turn her grandson over to the custody of his biological father.

She and her daughter went visit her grandson at the local offices of Child Protective Services, but police say the woman became upset and hit the case worker.

Because the CPS worker is a public servant employed by the state, the charge will be assault of a public servant, which is a felony charge.

The case worker was taken to the hospital for a cut above her eye.

Online Reporter: Bianca Castro


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Postby Marina » Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:57 am


Jail Sentence Overturned For Lesbian Mom
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: March 25, 2008 - 10:30 am ET

(Atlanta, Georgia) The Georgia Court of Appeals has overturned a criminal contempt charge against a woman who was sentenced to 10-days in jail for not handing her daughter over to foster care after she lost custody solely because she’s a lesbian.

The little girl, now aged seven, was eventually returned to Elizabeth Hadaway but the contempt sentence had not been rescinded, although it had been stayed to allow Hadaway to appeal.

The appeals court ruled a year and a day after the lower court judge passed the sentence.

"Just yesterday I was watching Emma hunt for Easter eggs and thinking how the possibility of going to jail and being separated from her again made it hard to just enjoy the moment,” said Elizabeth Hadaway, a 29-year-old paramedic who first took in the little girl when the child’s biological mother asked her to raise and adopt the little girl named Emma.

"I’m just so grateful that the court has lifted this burden so we can move on and I can keep focused on making sure Emma has a happy home and a good life."

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented her in the appeal and secured the little girl’s return home from foster care last May, applauded the appeals court decision.

"We’re pleased that the court has agreed with us that Elizabeth Hadaway shouldn’t do jail time simply for doing the right thing for her child, but it’s unfortunate that it’s taken almost two years of court proceedings to end up with things where Elizabeth, Emma, and Emma’s biological mom wanted them to be in the first place," said Debbie Seagraves, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia.

"None of this would have ever happened if the trial court had recognized this child’s needs and not been swayed by misguided beliefs about gay people," said Ken Choe , a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s national Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project.

"No child should fear being torn away from home just because his or her parents happen to be gay."

Hadaway was granted legal custody in 2006 and under Hadaway's care, the child began making great strides in her schoolwork, self-confidence, and emotional well-being.

In January, 2007, Wilkinson County Superior Court Judge John Lee Parrott appeared to be on the verge of granting Hadaway's request to permanently adopt Emma when he noticed in a home study report that Hadaway was living at the time with her same-sex partner of seven years.

At that point Parrott abruptly denied the adoption, ordering that Emma be sent back to her biological mother.

Hadaway complied and met with the biological mother at a truck stop to hand over the girl.

After accepting custody, the biological mother saw how distraught Emma was at being taken from Hadaway and again insisted that Hadaway should raise the girl, according to court papers.

Hadaway, who had ended her relationship with her partner, then moved with Emma to Bibb County, where she applied in a Bibb County court for custody with the biological mother's full consent.

Shortly after that Parrott found Hadaway in contempt of his ruling and ordered the little girl be taken from her home to live in foster care in spite of the biological mother's wishes.

In early April a Bibb County judge then granted custody of the child to Hadaway, after hearing evidence from an expert commissioned by Wilkinson County DFCS to study Emma in her foster home.

The expert found that the little girl is unable to get the individualized attention she needed in her foster home and was experiencing emotional trauma because of the separation from Hadaway.

Nevertheless, the child remained in foster care, with the Division of Family and Children Services uncertain of which judge's ruling to follow.

In May DFCS agreed that the biological mother's wishes should be honored, and little Emma was reunited with Hadaway. (story)

The contempt charge against Hadaway remained outstanding, however, and her ACLU attorney filed a motion with the Court of Appeal to have it overturned.


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Postby Marina » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:14 pm

. ... 051/NEWS01

Adopted man seeks biological parents

Closed records keep 4 brothers from knowing their roots
By Kim Kimzey
Published: Sunday, March 30, 2008 | Updated: 8:49 am

Alex C. Hicks Jr./[email protected] | Order a reprint
Kelvin Eaker and his brothers are looking for their biological parents, who could live in the Spartanburg area.
Kelvin Eaker likes to imagine what it will be like when he meets his mother for the first time.

The 34-year-old has gone through many scenarios in his head. In one, an old lady answers the door. Kelvin tells her, "You need to sit down, 'cause I've got something to tell you."

Kelvin just hopes she's happy to see him.

The Myrtle Beach resident is searching for his birth parents and thinks they might live in Spartanburg. He was born here June 25, 1973, but has no memory of his birth parents or the five or six foster homes he lived in before his adoption at age 3.

"I don't even have a last name to go by," he said.

He wants to know why he and his three brothers were given up for adoption. He also wants to know his family's medical history. And the scar on his back - where did that come from?

"I don't know if I was shot or stabbed," Kelvin said.

The quarter-sized scar was there when he and his three brothers were adopted the day before Valentine's Day 1976 - they call it "Gotcha Day" - by Hershel and Annie Eaker.

Kelvin's first name used to be Joey. Chad, born July 24, 1974, is the next oldest. His original name was Tony. Then there are the twins, Jonathan and Jason, once named Ronnie and Donnie. They were born Aug. 10, 1975.

Kelvin said he was about 15 years old when his adoptive parents told the boys they were adopted.

"I was shocked," he remembered. "I think we all were."

They were raised in Marion and later moved to Mullins, and their family was a tight-knit one.

"We had a real, real good life," Kelvin said.

Growing up, he and his brothers were typical, rambunctious boys who enjoyed baseball.

Kelvin has always liked to fish. He fishes off the piers at Myrtle Beach, where he moved a couple of years ago. He's divorced and said he was recently hired as a driver and stocker for Pepsi.

Chad lives in Latta and is a general foreman for a tree company. He now has a son of his own.

Jason still lives in Mullins and is a father to three daughters. Jonathan lives in Nichols and has two sons, 2 and 4 years old.

"It's amazing. It's just wonderful, having someone, a part of you," Jonathan said of fatherhood during a phone interview.

After Jonathan learned he was adopted, he said he changed.

He became angry and upset, but as he grew up, he realized what the Eakers did for him and his brothers.

"It takes wonderful parents to take kids in that weren't their own and love them," he said.

He wants his biological parents to know that he appreciates their decision, too.

"You couldn't have given us a better life than we have now," he said.

"We don't have no regrets or anything," Kelvin said.

Kelvin said his birth parents probably thought they were adopted separately.

He wants them to know "we're all together. We're doing OK. We want them to contact us."

Their adoptive father, Hershel, died two years ago. Kelvin said his father handled the details of the adoption.

Jonathan remembers his adoptive father telling him that his biological parents were young when he was born and that they did not have much money. Jonathan said his biological dad might be a car salesman.

Kelvin said their closed adoption was through the Department of Social Services.

It was a very closed time for adoptions, explained James Fletcher Thompson, a Spartanburg attorney whose practice covers adoption law.

"But the fact that it was a DSS case makes it even more closed," Thompson said.

He said children who are privately adopted have been voluntarily placed, but 97 percent of children placed for adoption through DSS have been abused, neglected or abandoned, or one of their siblings has.

Thompson said that might not be the case for the Eakers.

Kelvin said the lawyer who handled his adoption did not keep any files.

Thompson would not be surprised if the attorney who handled the case no longer has the records, since many attorneys dabbled in different areas of law years ago.

The courthouse, however, would still have the sealed records.

People adopted through DSS can register for the reunion registry. The adoptee must be at least 21 and apply in writing to DSS for information, according to Thompson. Adoptees and their biological parents can be reunited if both parties are willing to reveal their identities to each other, but it's unlawful for someone, such as an attorney or employee of a private adoption agency, to release information in adoption records.

Another possibility is registering for the International Soundex Reunion Registry, a nonprofit that matches people with their next of kin-by-birth.

In order to have the records unsealed, Thompson said Kelvin would have to request that a judge open the records based on good cause.

"You can find someone without their birth certificate, and that's often true, but it's certainly not always true. If you have a genuine need to know and you can't find, then this access becomes really much more critical," Adam Pertman said.

Pertman is executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a national nonprofit that is a research, policy and education organization.

The institute released a report in November recommending in part that every state amend laws to restore adult adoptees unrestricted access to their original birth certificates.

Among the arguments against unsealing records is that it will increase the incidence of abortion and decrease adoptions, Pertman said in a phone interview.

"The thinking is, if you don't allow women this lifelong anonymity, maybe they'll have an abortion instead of carrying the child to term and placing them for adoption," Pertman said.

Eight states now have open records.

"In the states that have unsealed these records, the adoption rate appears to be going up, rather than down," Pertman said.

"People really do want to have this sense of fulfilled identity, to know that they started at Point A, and not at Point B, i.e., Point B being adoption, A, birth," Pertman said.

"I have way too many e-mails in my files of adoptees who really need medical information and they just can't get it," he said.

Thompson said South Carolina is trending toward openness in adoption.

A bill introduced last year in the state Senate would allow adoptees 25 and older access to non-identifying health and medical histories of their biological parents. That bill was sent to a Senate judiciary subcommittee on Jan. 11, 2007, and has remained there.

Meanwhile, Kelvin's search continues.

"I just don't want to give up," he said.

Despite all the questions about his past, of one thing Kelvin is certain: "Somebody's got to know something."

"You don't just give up four boys and forget about it," he said.


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Postby Marina » Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:11 am


Monday, April 7, 2008

C.A.: Biological Father Waited Too Long to Assert Rights

By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer

A biological father seeking reunification with his child who comes forward after the reunification period has ended must establish changed circumstances or new evidence that reunification is in the child’s best interest, this district’s Court of Appeal held Friday.

In a split decision, Div. Five found that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Emily Stevens abused her discretion, concluding that a father whose paternity was hidden from him by the mother is a presumed father entitled to reunification services without regard to the best interests of the child and reversed the dependency court’s decision.

Vincent M.’s mother—children in dependency cases are only identified by name and initial— surrendered him for adoption at birth, and declined to identify his father. The judge found Vincent a ward of the court, and because his parents’ whereabouts were unknown, did not order reunification services. Stevens set a permanency planning hearing, with adoption by Vincent’s de facto parents as the plan.

The mother had allegedly deliberately concealed the pregnancy and birth from Vincent’s asserted biological father, identified in the opinion as Jorge C., who had relocated out of state and was allegedly expecting mother to join him and continue their relationship. Jorge C. said the mother finally told him about Vincent when the baby was seven months old, and he flew back to California to try and obtain custody.

He appeared at the permanency hearing, claiming paternity. He filed a petition under Welfare and Institutions Code Sec. 388 requesting presumed father status and reunification services.

Stevens found that Jorge C. was Victor’s presumed father under case law, and held that because he “came forward at the earliest possible time,” she had “no choice” but to find him the presumed father, entitled to reunification services regardless of the child’s best interests.

Writing for the appellate majority, Justice Sandy R. Kriegler reasoned that because a child’s de facto parents have an interest in the companionship, care, custody and management of the child, and that these rights and interests were injuriously affected by the dependency court’s ruling, Vincent’s prospective adoptive parents had standing to appeal.

Citing Civil Code Sec. 7004(a)(4), Kriegler said Jorge C. was not a presumed father because he did not receive Vincent into his home and hold the child out as his own. Relying on In re Zacharia D. (1993) 6 Cal.4th 435—which held that a man who fails to achieve presumed father status prior to the expiration of the reunification period is not entitled to reunification services unless he can establish, in a Sec. 388 petition. changed circumstances or new evidence demonstrating that the child’s best interest would be promoted by reunification—Kriegler concluded the trial judge had abused her discretion in disregarding Vincent’s best interests.

Presiding Justice Paul A. Turner sided with Kriegler, but Justice Orville Armstrong argued in dissent that Jorge C. occupied a “completely different position than the biological father in Zacharia D,” because Zacharia D. involved a father who learned of his child’s birth after he had abandoned the child’s mother and who waited until the court was about to terminate the mother’s reunification services before coming forward. In contrast, Armstrong noted, the mother in this case had “engaged in a web of lies” to conceal the pregnancy and birth from Jorge C., who “did everything one would hope a man in his position would do” upon learning of Vincent’s existence.

“It is an odd conclusion indeed to deem the hoped-for result–a family’s reunification–a legal injury to the foster parents,” Armstrong added, disputing the majority’s conclusio the same Sec. 388 requirements applied to all biological fathers who appear after the end of the reunification period, regardless of whether his paternity was concealed from him or not.

He reasoned that because Vincent’s de facto parents had no legal right to adopt the child, they were not legally aggrieved. He further criticized the majority for failing to explain why the de facto parents were entitled to challenge the child’s ability to reunify with his father by appealing an order the child’s attorney supported.

William D. Caldwell represented the potential adoptive parents, Lawrence E. Fluharty was court-appointed to represent Jorge C., and Aida Aslanian was court-appointed to represent the child.

The case is In re Vincent M., 08 S.O.S. 2020.


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Postby Marina » Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:50 pm ... geId=3.2.1

Appeals Court Ends Adoption Battle

Last Edited: Tuesday, 30 Dec 2008, 1:14 AM EST
Created: Monday, 29 Dec 2008, 7:45 PM EST

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that Cody will remain with his biological parents.

FOX 2 News

ECORSE, Mich. (WJBK) -- A long legal fight over a planned adoption ends with the biological parents being reunited with their son. The costly court battle lasted more than five years and drained the parents' resources.

Kenneth Barnett and Christine Wolfe received word on Christmas Eve that their son, Cody, would remain with them. The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in their favor.

"I was just jumping and screaming for joy... It's the best Christmas present ever because my baby's home," said Wolfe.

"We were so thrilled that not only will this case... keep him home for good, but being that the decision was a precedent, it's going to be... very hard... for anybody to ever do this to a set of biological parents again," said Barnett.

In 2003, Wolfe gave birth to Cody after she and Barnett had divorced. She already had another child and considered allowing a Dearborn couple to adopt him. "I wanted the best for him and I thought I was doing the right thing and it wasn't," said Wolfe.

The couple got custody and guardianship of Cody, but Barnett never gave up his parental rights and fought any anticipated adoption. Wolfe also withdrew her consent, but the couple went to court, fighting to keep him as his parents' legal bills soared.

"We're close to $225,000... This has basically impoverished us," said Barnett.

The child bounced between the parents and the guardians who wanted to adopt him. Last year, Wolfe received full custody of Cody, but the other couple tried to get the decision reversed. The Court of Appeal's ruling halted that move.

Cody's parents argue these disputes should never last this long. "He spent three years of his life with two homes, two names, two schools, two religions, two families and nobody could stop and say wait a minute, let's put an end to this," said Barnett.

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Postby Marina » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:39 pm

Biological father of Kansas boy missing since 1999 anguishes over loss
The Associated Press

WICHITA | The biological father of a Kansas boy missing for 10 years from the home of his adoptive parents says officials unjustly terminated his parental rights.

Investigators only recently learned Adam Herrman disappeared in 1999 and are focused on finding him. Adam was 11 when he disappeared from a mobile home park in Towanda, where he lived with his adoptive parents.

Irvin Groeninger II is the boy’s biological father. The Indiana truck driver says he last saw his son when the boy was 18 months old.

He was divorced when the child was removed from the biological mother’s home because of alleged abuse. He says he was cleared of any wrongdoing and tried to get the boy back.

Groeninger says he wants his son to know he loves him and wishes he had fought harder to get custody of him.

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Postby Marina » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:38 pm ... ene-64.php

Biological mother cannot intervene
Woman’s oldest son allegedly slain by adoptive mother; custody of two living children in question

By: Lori Dunn - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 01/17/2009

LINDEN, Texas—The biological mother of a slain 13-year-old boy adopted by Cynthia Hudson will not be able to intervene in the custody proceedings of her two living children, a judge said Friday.

Cass County Court at Law Judge Donald Dowd struck down Rebecca Henson’s request Friday at a three-hour hearing in the Cass County Courthouse.

“I realize this is an emotional issue. I am not without sympathy,” Dowd said after Friday’s testimony.

However, he said he was dismissing Henson’s request because of a “lack of standing” on her part.

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