' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Utah adoption attorney exposes corruption in Utah adoption agencies

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Utah adoption attorney exposes corruption in Utah adoption agencies

Wes Hutchins
Wes Hutchins, a Utah attorney who has done more than a thousand  adoptions, decided to follow up on an “unsettling hunch” that “the way some adoption agencies handle birth mothers …‘is an invitation for birth mothers to lie, cheat and defraud birth fathers into thinking they don’t have anything to worry about’” according to a May 9 report on Denver TV station, 9News.*

"'The idea that the birth mother can travel from any state to Utah and be in Utah for two or three days and then give birth to a child and then leave the state with the sole purpose of cutting off the rights of the biological father has to stop,’ Hutchins said.”

Hutchins had employees from his law firm call adoption agencies at random posing as a woman whose unmarried sister was pregnant and wanted to place the child for adoption although the child’s father was opposed. Here’s what the agencies told these women:
 “’If he’s going to just be a total pain in the butt, then we can definitely just not have him involved at all.'
“’I’d say literally over 99 percent of the time the guys just get caught up in it and everything, and then they find out they’re gonna have to pay $30,000 in legal fees, they’re just like, “Whatever, never mind.'
 “’You can tell the birth father anything after you give birth; might be easier to tell the birth father that you were in an accident, and the baby died.
 “…Three agencies promised to pay airline tickets, travel expenses and put the woman in a furnished apartment until the baby was born.
 “One offered what they called ‘final placement money. It’s usually about $3,000’ a woman with an agency said.
 “Another said, ‘We will give you an envelope of cash when you place, and you can spend that however you want.’”

Hutchins brought his concerns to the Utah Adoption Council (UAC) where he had been president. UAC is made up of adoption agencies, attorneys, adoptive parents, and birth parents. He told Salt Lake TV station KSL “’Fraud [should be] no longer acceptable as a method of taking a child from one home, destroying a family, and placing (the child) in another home to create another family.’”**

Salt Lake City attorney David Hardy, who represents LDS Family Services, the adoption arm of the Mormon Church, responded : “‘Wes has taken more of the approach of some of the rights of fathers that are, in many ways, inconsistent with Utah code.”

As we're written here,*** the Utah code is designed to deny fathers their constitutional right to nurture their child. An unmarried father’s consent to adoption is not required unless the father files a paternity action in Utah before the mother executes her consent and within 20 days of learning that she resides in Utah, intends to give birth in the state, that the child was born in the state, or that the mother intends to execute her consent in the state. A cryptic text message from the mother-to-be that she is in Utah is sufficient to put a father on notice to file his action, never mind that he may be thousands of miles away, and has no way of knowing she plans to give up the baby, and no knowledge of the situation in Utah. 

Fathers and Children at play
Hardy added "Wes has had a different vision of what’s best for children in the state of Utah." … Fathers aren’t best for children? This would be news to a lot of men. On Mother’s Day I spent the day at the Portland, Oregon Zoo with my husband, daughter, son-in-law, two grandchildren, and another daughter. I saw a zillion fathers of all kinds, dark, light, thin, heavy, young, old --well the old ones might be grandfathers. I saw the same thing at the Washington DC Zoo on Easter. Lots of dads, pushing strollers, carrying toddlers on their shoulders, wiping messy faces, leading youngsters up to the window to see the pandas.

Hutchins resigned in protest as president of UAC. He is founding a new organization to work in the best interests of all parties to adoptions. 

Next we’ll write about Mormon practices on which the Draconian Utah law is based. 


From FMF


  1. As usual, the comments on the news article are eye-opening and full of people who can't stop chugging that adoption kool-aid.

    Here is one I know everyone here will love:

    "You should rethink adoption, because you are so wrong about it. It gives children lives that they ordinarily would not have and to me the parents that raised me are my parents and I love them, they are my parents. being a baby carrier or a sperm Donner does not make you a parent"

  2. Do these people ever think how they would feel if this happened to their own son or brother? How do these workers live with themselves?

  3. Society has long since decided that "caring" about other human beings is not important. If a person "cares" they are some how defective.

    That is how they live with themselves..... they have everything they want and don't worry about anyone but themselves....

  4. How fantastic that an adoption lawyer has taken a stand against unethical adoptions. Good for him. What we need is more people like this.

  5. I don't understand the motives of these women.

    If someone had come forward who wanted to be part of helping me raise my child, it might have made things turn out very differently.

    I mean, I made the best decision I could, with no support, certainly none from the father of my child. I've made peace with it all but this just angers me all over again.

    But mothers going out of their way to deceive and lie? Unbelievable.

    Is their motive to hurt these fellas who DO want to stand up and do what's right? Is it the promised payout?

    Disgusting, all parties.

    Sign me Wistful

  6. Glad to hear there is a whistleblower out of Utah. Although the powers that be will probably try to do everything possible to discredit him. After all, they wouldn't want to lose the child redistribution aka adoption cash cow.

    And in celebrity news....Katherine Heigl has recently adopted another baby girl. No word yet on where she is from but her first adopted daughter and her adopted sister are both from Korea. I don't understand how the media can ooh and aww over this when Korea is in the midst of its own BSE and most likely the first mothers of both of these girls (if the second daughter is, in fact, Korean) didn't want to give them up at all. This isn't something to celebrate. It's a tragedy.

  7. I agree, Kim. We need more people like this.
    This is a good thing, right?

  8. The Heigl adoption was a domestic newborn adoption. Yikes.



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