There is always talk of a "transition" time if a child who has been in the wrong home for such an extended period, but they do not work. The kidnapping Christians typically use the time to delay, file new petitions, and transfer their anxiety to the child in question. Some of you must remember the hysteria that occurred when Anna Schmidt (known to the world then as Baby Jessica DeBoer) was transferred in 1991. The rapacious DeBoers pulled out all the stops and had television cameras rolling in their driveway when the police took away a screaming child from Roberta DeBoer. It was sickening.*
I was the lone supporter for the Schmidts on the MacNeal-Lehrer Report, the then PBS News Hour, against a phalanx of adoption attorneys and adoptive mother-Harvard law professor, Elizabeth Bartholet, who had just published a book called Family Bonds about the two children she adopted from Peru. The attorneys and other so-called experts were on live hook ups, but Bartholet and I sat side by side.
She called any research that shows that adopted people have any problems with being adopted, or that they have more psychological problems than the rest of us who are not adopted, "garbage." The adoption attorneys were apoplectic that my point of view--that the natural parents should have their child back--was being given a hearing. In that case, the same kind of shenanigans went on between two states, Michigan, where the DeBoers lived, and Iowa, where the Cara and Dan Schmidts, the natural parents, lived, as the Vaughns have been able to concoct in Indiana/Ohio.
But Jessica became Anna and has no memory of that time. In the current adoption controversy, the Vaughns fight on! even though the transfer is two days away. According to an unconfirmed source, the Vaughns' last petition filed in a U.S.District Court (during the supposed transfer time) was dismissed. What I will never understand is how people who took a child and then in a week or a few days longer learned that the father was asking for his own son live with their consciences. Have they no morals? Will nothing stop them?
As the story has come out, the biological mother lied to Wyrembek, told him he was not the father as she was still married, but then as her marriage was breaking up, she surrendered the boy. But then Wyrembek filed in seventeen days with the putative father's registry in Ohio and asked for custody should the child be his. It took a year before the DNA test was completed and court agreed he was the father. As I have heard it, the Vaughns knew seven days after they took the boy from the hospital that paternity was an issue and the real father wanted his own, true, biological son. The Vaughns had not yet filed for adoption of the boy. This is different from a kidnapping only in degrees.
We have seen these stories come out year after year, and it is always the same, when the prospective adopters decide to dig in and keep a child who is not theirs: We had the Jessica DeBoer/Anna Schmidt and Baby Richard, both of whom were returned to their (birth/biological) fathers and (birth/biological everything else) mothers. Now we have Baby Emma (What Ever Happened to Baby Emma? and good news on the Wyrembek boy) , also being fought in two states: Virginia and Utah, the least friendly natural parent state in the Union. I swear, if I won a vacation in Utah on Wheel of Fortune I would not go.
Anyone wanting to send a card, present, or note to support Wyrembek and his son may do so can. Make any donations payable to "The McQuades Co. Trust Account" and put in the subject line "Wyrembek". The address is McQuades Co. ATTN: Lehenbauer P.O. Box 237, Swanton, Ohio 43558. Lehenbauer is Wyrembek's attorney. As I said, the boy will be three on the 29th. Tomorrow.
(Fellow expert Jane Edwards covered this and how such children fare: Transition Time in Contested Adoptions: Just Another Excuse for Delay.)
For how the DeBoer/Schmidt case played in the media see: May the Richest Parents Win--The DeBoer Case.
I was going to try to write a post for Happy Adoption Month, which is November, but I think this one will have to suffice. Perhaps it is a good sign that Grayson (or whatever his father has named him) will be returned to his father before that happy occasion comes to pass. If I do write anything, it will be a call for adoptees and birth parents alike to speak out/act up for their rights! If you have not yet written a letter to some legislator in your state (unless you are one of the lucky six) please do so! during National Adoption Month. We need letters in New York. Please see previous posts for addresses.
And one more thing: Do Vote in the Pound Pup Demon in Adoption Award. You will find all kinds of interesting candidates for the honor. See the sidebar and link at the top of the page. Enjoy! Just doing it will make you feel good. I voted for the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Yes, those good Christian folks in Utah.--lorraine