' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Adoption by Gentle Care: FMF's pick for the 2014 Demon in Adoption award

Friday, October 24, 2014

Adoption by Gentle Care: FMF's pick for the 2014 Demon in Adoption award

This year we are having no trouble selecting Adoption by Gentle care (AGC) an Ohio adoption agency, as our choice for the Demon in Adoption award, given annually by Pound Puppy Legacy. The award is given to an adoption agency, adoption practitioner, advocate, or politician instrumental in promoting adoption at the expense of natural families. PPL started this award eight years ago to "raise more awareness of the dark side of adoption and the negligent and corrupt practices we often encounter."

As in past years, PPL's followers have nominated exceptionally deserving candidates, Adoption by Gentle Care (AGC), however, shines above the others. AGC epitomizes the greed and utter disregard for the best interests of children ingrained in large segments of the adoption industry.

In its latest "grab the kid; natural parents be damned" escapade, AGC, has needlessly separated 38 year old Carolyn ("Carri")  Stearns and her seven-month old son, Camden. Here are the facts, summarized from Mirah Riben's excellent commentary on Huffington Post. Carri is a stay-at-home, loving mother of five who lives with her significant other in an upscale suburban Ohio home. After a brief encounter while under stress due to the death of her father, Carri became pregnant. Her significant other told her to choose between her family as she knew it or keeping the new baby.
The motto should be "grab and go"

Panicked, Carri contacted AGC three days before her son, Camden, was born via cesarean section on March 31, 2014. Three days after the birth, while she was still on Vicodin and Dilaudid (which can cause hallucinations), a representative of AGC came to her home and obtained her signature on a document surrendering her child to AGC for adoption. Within 72 hours, Carri regretted her action and sought legal representation to revoke her surrender. When the prospective adoptive parents learned the adoption was being contested, they refused to proceed stating concerns for "the psychological effect it would have on the baby keeping him from his mom."

AGC refused to return Camden to his mother and placed him in foster care, where he remains today. Carri has learned that Camden has been diagnosed with deMorsier syndrome, or septio-optic dysplasia, a rare congenital disorder that can cause blindness. Carri fears that Camden is not getting the care he needs--and besides that, she wants to be his mother! Any fool could see that the boy belongs with his biological mother, but the agency has refused to return him to her.

An Ohio trial court dismissed Carri's legal action seeking to set aside her surrender, apparently finding insufficient evidence of coercion or fraud, the legal grounds for setting aside surrenders. Carri has appealed and is seeking funds to help with her legal fees which include almost $5,000 for a transcript.

Ohio's adoption law is typical of most states, It allowed Carri to sign the surrender without the advice
of a lawyer or independent counseling, and it gave her no time to revoke her consent. Adoption is one of the few areas of law where a person can give up a constitutional right--in this case her right to nurture her child-- without being made fully aware of her rights, options, and long term consequences.

AGC did not make these laws. As in most states, the Ohio Legislature enacted adoption-friendly laws largely as a result of lobbying by the the adoption industry. AGC uses these laws to advance its business interests at the expense of mothers and children. While it was obvious to the prospective adoptive parents, that a child should stay with his mother, if possible, AGC is ignoring that because they do not want their unethical practices exposed, which would put a dark cloud over their business practices and might deter adoptive parents and prospective first mothers from dealing with them. To save their business, it appears that they will sacrifice the right of a child and mother to be together.

But AGC's business practice could not be worse. The Child Welfare League of America, made up of hundred of public and private agencies serving children and families, states in its Standard of Excellence for Adoption Services:
"The agency providing adoption services should recognize that the birth family constitutes the preferred means of providing family life for children and should support birth parents and extended family members, whenever possible on providing for their children's safety and protection. Children should not be deprived of care by their birth families except when the family is unable or unwilling to provide for the child's safety and protection."
This is only the latest AGC case receiving national attention because of its "fight natural parents at any cost" stance. In 2007 AGC arranged the adoption of a new born boy to Christy and Jason Vaughn --despite the fact the first mother's husband signed a consent stating he was not the father of the child. Nine days later, the father, Benjamin Wyrembek learned of the planned adoption and registered with Ohio's putative father's registry, and commenced a legal action to stop the adoption and obtain custody of his son. AGC and the prospective adoptive parents fought the case in the courts and the press. After a three year court battle, Wyrembek gained custody of his son. (We wrote about this case extensively.) 

First Mother Marie M. of Columbus, Ohio who gave up a baby through AGC when she was 19, has posted a negative review of AGC on Yelp. Marie claims AGC encouraged her to have a cesarean section when an induction didn't work so that the prospective adoptive parents wouldn't have to postpone their trip back to California where they lived. She also claims that AGC told her Medicaid would pay her medical bills. Although she had insurance through her father, she didn't want her father to know about her pregnancy. When Medicaid refused to pay because she had insurance, the hospital demanded she pay the bill, $13,000, which she didn't have. Her insurance company refused to pay because the claim was filled more than a year after the birth. AGC refused to help. The adoptive parents also refused, telling her they only moved forward with the adoption because Medicaid would pay the bill. After Marie posted on Yelp, AGC posted a comment, asking Marie to contact it.  No word on what happened.

The Demon in Adoption Awards is one of the ways we who oppose the shady dealings of the adoption industry can make our voices heard. Shaming unethical practitioners will make change happen. FMF encourages our followers to got to the PPL website and vote for Adoption by Gentle Care or other Demon of their choice. -- jane

COME ON, PEOPLE VOTE!  This link will take you right there...even if you don't vote for AGC, speak up and let the numbers show that you are out there!@

  Eighth Annual Demons in Adoption Award


We are pleased to announce that AGC is the winner of the 2004 Demons in Adoption Award.

Adoption by Gentle Care
Huffington Post, A Mother's Fight for Her Son; see also Claudia Corrigan D'Arcy's fine post Bring Camden Home from this Unthical Ohio Adoption Agency
Child Information Gateway, Consent to Adoption
High Court Won't Intervene
Child Welfare League of America The quote is from its *Child Welfare League of America, Standards of Excellence for Adoption Services, para. 1.9 which is not available online.
Yelp, Adoption by Gentle Care

Biological Father wins in court, Again: Will the Vaughns comply?
Adoption by Gentle Care being sued by Wyrembek
Natural parents have the natural right to nurture their children
What Ever Happened to Baby Emma? and good news on the Wyrembek boy
Dad Wins Custody of Son, Again, in Ohio Court

The Adoption Reader: Birth Mothers, Adoptive Mothers, and Adopted Daughters Tell Their Stories
Essays from first mothers, adoptees and adoptive mothers. 
"Each story reveals a different facet of the adoption process and of family life in general. Wadia-Ells has chosen her contents carefully, and it shows. Stories of adoptions of all sorts?closed, international, private, and state-sanctioned?are included here, as are stories of a variety of women and from times throughout the last half of this century. Some adoptions were good for all parties involved, and some were not. Either way, the autobiographical compositions in this reader are consistently fascinating and poignant, and the broad spectrum of the writers' experience makes the book particularly worthwhile. This work is recommended for all public libraries, and academic libraries that support a women's study program would also do well to purchase it."--Library Journal 
Lorraine's poignant essay about her reunion with her daughter, first published, in Town & Country, is the first in the book. 


  1. This whole thing that has been going on with AGC is a disgrace. I do not see why the baby is not returned to his mother. The fighting and mud-slinging that is taking place on Facebook over this is not to be believed. It is extremely discouraging to those of us who want to see adoption laws changed, and families preserved rather than babies sold to the highest bidder. The parents that wanted to adopt this child are proving themselves to be the most miserable people...just like the Capobiancos. But yet....the Capos won.

    Many times when I comment on Facebook over things like this, and try to show the "other" side of adoption, no one wants to hear it. This country LOVES adoption. Happy little babies being sold to people who want to "build a family." When I try to tell these people how an actual adoptee feels, they argue with me. Then they block me. How convenient. How easy. Just take away the adoptee's voice, as usual.

    Adoption reform can not happen in this climate. Somehow the non-adopted population has to be educated. It's an impossible situation, and very discouraging.

    1. Julia Emily wrote:"The parents that wanted to adopt this child are proving themselves to be the most miserable people...just like the Capobiancos. But yet....the Capos won. "

      The couple who originally planned to adopt Camden chose to back out of the adoption when they learned that the natural mother had changed her mind and wanted to raise her son. They have not acted like the Crapobiancos at all. In fact, they have done the ethical thing and have been the polar opposite of the Capos. The couple who originally planned to have Camden be a member of their family are to be commended not condemned.

  2. See.... I get a lot of my news from Twitter and then Facebook. I was under the impression there was a possible adoptive couple still involved. Maybe some of the people talking about this case have it mixed up with Sonya, which was another disaster. Camden should go home to his mother, end of story.

    Thanks, Robin.
    I said once before how my first taste of something being wrong with adoption was the case of the identical triplets who were split up. But earlier there was Baby Lenore, back in 1971, I believe. Everyone sided with the adopters who fled with the child to another state. No one was thinking anguished first mother or about what was best for Lenore. She was adopted, and adopted she remains. And really nothing has changed in the world of big money adoption since then.

  3. COME ON, PEOPLE VOTE! This link will take you right there...even if you don't vote for AGC, speak up and let the numbers show that you are out there!@

    Eighth Annual Demons in Adoption Award

  4. My vote is in. Thanks for the link!

  5. Thank you and everyone for the support for Cam. This has surely been a nightmare but nothing will stop us from getting my son back.
    True, the first family that had my son should be commended. They were victims too and they did the right thing. They wanted me to have my son back. It is adoption by gèntle care who in turn chose to hurt my innocent baby by keeping him from me for months now, playing some sort of game with his life and injuring him psychologically along the way.
    The fact this world exists and has existed blows my mind. But my promise to my Cam and my promise to all who have been so horrendously hurt by such an ugly industry let alone specifically this agency, I am never going to stop telling the truth and I will never stop until my son is home, this sick world is exposed, and laws, etc change so no one else's child can be used as a commodity in a sick game of 'who owns the baby', like my son has been. Where is my son? What are they thinking? No one thinks this acceptable, NOONE. This is disgusting and as Camden's mother, I'm beyond angry and my fight doesn't end ever.
    God bless you all for the support, this award is very fitting. A drop in the bucket to what is coming.

  6. Carri,
    Every time I read your story, even after so many times of hearing about it, my heart aches that your son is still being kept from you. At least the prospective APs did the right thing. I totally regretted signing a couple hours after doing so, and I wonder what the APs would have done if I had told them I changed my mind and refused to hand him over. I am pretty sure that the adoption agency would have reacted in the same way as AGC--thrown their weight around to enforce the legality of my signature on a TPR. And I don't know, but my best guess is that my son's APs probably considered him theirs by the time I gave birth to him, and would've dismissed my pleas. How anyone can live with themselves after taking a child from a willing parent is beyond me, though.

    We all could have been in very similar situations to you, Carri. Your story exemplifies what is wrong with adoption and what needs to be CHANGED, now!

  7. Thanks for posting the link - I voted. Those of us whose children were taken by adoption support your efforts Carri. My heart goes out to you, Cam, and his extended real family. This is such an awful event that it's hard to even believe that it exists here in this country.

  8. Voted for AGC! I don't understand how they can keep baby Camden "in limbo" the way they have. How can these people sleep at night?!?!? GIVE HIM BACK TO HIS MOTHER!!

    Still pulling for you Carri! ((((((((HUGS))))))))

  9. How is AGC getting away with this? This is beyond belief. Time is marching on and Cam is still in limbo for NO REASON. How is this allowed to continue?

  10. Julia, they will NOT get away with this. God's protecting Cam as I fight to bring him home. He will come home and AGC will suffer the consequences for their horrible actions.

  11. Carri my heart breaks for you and your family. I too pray that Cam is soon in your arms. To AGC it is just a pissing contest and they want to reassure PAP's that there is no risk in adopting from their agency. Sign up and pay for a baby and they will provide a "forever" child. Not providing a customer with a baby is bad business for them so they fight. They really need to go straight to hell and I hope all the bad publicity regarding their evil deeds shuts them down. I voted for them.



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