The Freis' attorney, Larry Jenkins, also represents the unscrupulous adoption agency at the center of this case, Adoption Center of Choice, in American Fork. Jenkins has asked asked 4th District Judge Darold J. McDade to stay his order dismissing their adoption petition. He also asked that the couple be allowed to disregard the judge's order to prepare the little girl, now 21-months old, to be returned to her father by mid-January. That is the usual order of
business in cases like this--delay, delay, delay, and then claim the "best interests of the child" is to remain with the very people who have caused the delay. The sleazy way this "adoption" was handled reminded me of what I, as an attorney, encountered when I managed a State of Oregon agency which regulated the sale of securities.
BLINDERS WHEN IT COMES TO REGULATION IN UTAH
It was axiomatic that Utah was the sewer pit of the business, allowing slimy dealers to sell worthless stock to naive investors all over the country. Like its adoption laws, Utah securities laws were tilted in favor of con-artists. Regulators hemmed and hawed about why they didn't go after crooks. "Utah folks," they explained were faithful Mormons for the most part "so they just trusted people when they shouldn't have."
Those responsible for licensing adoption agencies in Utah seem to have the same blinders, letting the industry they're supposed to regulate run go amok, ignoring the real human suffering that results.
Otherwise why would the Adoption Center of Choice (Adoption Center) place a newborn infant for adoption--in spite of the fact that her father was married to her mother, had not given his consent, and in fact did not know about the adoption until three months after it occurred. Why should a shady operation like this still be in business? And why is A (sic) Act of Love the agency which screwed John Wyatt and other fathers out of their children still around? A (sic) Act of Love was well on its way to keeping Ramsay Shaud from his daughter, except for a brave decision by the Utah Supreme Court last week.
Thanks to Brooke Adams of The Salt Lake Tribune*, we have a close up look at the Adoption Center, and it ain't pretty.
ADOPTION CENTER HAS MANY PROBLEMS
The Utah Department of Health and Human Services did not renew the Adoption Center's license in September "because of documented deficiencies in some cases." However, it allowed the Adoption Center to operate under a "corrective action plan" since. The allowance expires at the end of December, the deadline for the agency to come into compliance. We hope the agency in fact, is shut down for their shoddy practices. Other little known facts about Adoption Center:
- Since the Adoption Center was founded in 1994, at least five other fathers have sued to get their children back. They lost because of Utah's strict time limits for unmarried fathers to assert their rights, the small window of opportunity the state allows, as well as the difficulty in registering as a father-to-be.
- The Center refused to return Achane's child when it learned that he had not given his consent, forcing him to take legal action and leaving the child in limbo (and with the prospective adopters who knew he wanted his child) for a year and a half.
- In 2005, it incorporated as a "non-profit" corporation. James C. Webb is the only director and officer. (Non-profit means it has no shareholders.)
- The Adoption Center appears to be plenty profitable. It charges between $22,000 and $30,000 for each of the 100 adoptions it completes each year bringing in between $2,200,000 and $3,000,000. It likely also rakes in money for application fees and home studies. According to our sources, it charges more for white infants than mixed race or African-American babies.
- It required the adoptive parents in this case, Jared and Kristi Frei, to pay a $9,800 marketing fee to Blue Sky Choice Marketing which James Webb founded and operates. (The name Blue Sky is ironic. State laws regulating the sale of securities were dubbed "Blue Sky" laws because purchasers often received only a piece of the "blue sky.")
- The Adoption Center has done business under eight other names, just as securities con-artists often use multiple names.
- The Adoption Center was featured on an hour-long special on TLC called "Birth Moms" that chronicled three unwed pregnant women who were living in homes provided by the center and struggling with their decision to pursue adoption.
- The Adoption Center's attorney is Larry Jenkins who also represents A [sic] Act of Love in its "screw the father" cases.
______________________________________Unwed Utah 'Birth Moms" star on TLC
And for a timeline of fathers contesting adoptions in Utah, here is a timeline from the Tribune (it is amazing reading):
Utah court voids adoption, orders girl returned to her father
Adoption in Utah: No place for birth fathers
Utah to Birth Fathers: Go Back to the Grave!
Out of the Shadows: Birthfathers' Stories by Mason, Mary Martin
"As a birthfather who lost his children in a closed adoption 25 years ago I found Mason's book to be a breath of fresh air. Birthfathers are the invisible and often unwelcome members in the triad world and this book shows that we are parents who can love and care deeply for the children we have lost. I have become active in triad issues since my reunion with my son and daughter a year ago and this book has helped me keep going when faced with the sometimes daunting birthmother-centered focus in our corner of the triad." --Amazon (Order at the title link)
The Dark Side of Adoption "...challenges the commonly held idea that adoption is a winning solution for everyone...this book is to be recommended as one of the few available which balances the more usual happy-ending adoption stories with a birthparent's reality...it is recommended for those who prefer the truth, even if unpleasant, to unquestioned adoption mythology." -- RESOLVE newsletter