More of My Story

February 1st, 2012

choosing adoptionI haven't talked about it too much, and frankly haven't noticed a whole lot of birth-first parents that talk about this. Signing off parental rights. I have a unique adoption story and anyone reading this knows their own story. Every story has a different flavor and experience, but we all share something similar. Phoenix was 8-9 months old when his birth-first father and I signed off rights. We had each been pulled aside by our court appointed attorney's and asked if we wanted to do it apart. Apparently we both agreed to stand together in front of the judge, and I will be frank, I don't remember a whole lot about that day. As we stood before the judge, he read us the termination of rights, and it… [more]

Another Father Denied His Child

February 26th, 2009

Another father has been denied parenting his child because of the unethical actions of the mother, the intended adoptive family and the state laws involved. I hate that I have to keep sharing these stories. Some might say, "Well, don't!" However, when we neglect to address father's rights, we only allow the actions to continue. Someday I hope that I won't have to hear of and write things like this one. In short, here's what happened. Mother lies to father and tells him that the baby is stillborn. Mother lies to her own parents and an attorney about knowing the father's identity. Mother places her child with a family for another state. Father finds out from maternal grandparents about the baby after the child has already… [more]

Medicaid Bumping Expectant Parents?

September 21st, 2008

I happened upon an interesting discussion on the forums. A family waiting to adopt was told by their attorney that Medicaid was "catching on to adoptive families" and advising hospitals to "hold the baby hostage" until the adoptive family agrees to pay or "pays in full in some cases." I must first off commend those that spoke up and told this family to "run, not walk away, from this attorney." Shady, shady. However, I'm not all that surprised at the concept being discussed with regard to expectant parents considering adoption, Medicaid and shadiness in general. When I was pregnant with the Munchkin, I was initially bumped off of Medicaid when I mentioned the "adoptive family" at a meeting with my case worker. When my own mom informed… [more]

An Important Note Regarding TPR

June 20th, 2008
Categories: Legal Issues

The process of Terminating Parental Rights (TPR) was not explained to me prior to the birth of the child I relinquished for adoption. Actually, it wasn't explained in detail after her birth either. I found out much later that, had I been informed of the laws in our state, things would have been much easier for all involved. And so, I cannot scream it loud enough: learn the laws of your state regarding Termination of Parental Rights. I will share my own misunderstanding(s). When I placed in the state of Pennsylvania (and it seems that, since then, statutes have changed), the law was that the TPR couldn't be signed before 72 hours. Now neither the agency nor the adoptive parents' attorney said, "That means this: you can't sign… [more]

Things to Leave to Your Relinquished Child

March 19th, 2008
Categories: Legal Issues

I've been talking over the past two days about wills and things birth parents might want to consider with regard to their relinquished child(ren). I gave my personal reasons for including my placed daughter in my will and as a beneficiary on my life insurance. To wrap this discussion up, I thought I might give some ideas of things that could be passed on to your placed child, either now or in the event of your death. 1. Money. This is the obvious answer. Anything of value as well, such as art, antiques and other collectibles. 2. Jewelry. Do you have a piece of jewelry that means something to you regarding your child or the placement? Perhaps it is a ring with your child's birthstone… [more]

Personal Reasons for Including my Daughter

March 18th, 2008
Categories: Legal Issues

Yesterday I gave some advice to all birth parents regarding relinquished children and inheritance laws. Basically, if you missed the post (go read!), whether or not you want your relinquished child to have access to an inheritance, you need to specifically state your desires in your will. I am now going to share my personal reasoning for including my placed daughter in both my will and as a beneficiary in my life insurance policy. Disclaimer: These are personal reasons. They may not be your reasons. They may contradict everything you believe. And that's okay. Long before I thought about wills, I was still forced to think about this issue on the scale of life insurance beneficiaries. It first came into my conscience at my first… [more]

Your Relinquished Child’s Inheritance

March 17th, 2008
Categories: Legal Issues

Not too many people like to spend an awful lot of time about thinking about what happens to their possessions should they pass, parents of all types should put some time and effort into making sure their wills are always up-to-date. Right now, of course, I'm going to talk about birth parents. Even more specifically, I'm talking to birth parents who want to make sure that their relinquished children inherit something upon their death. The laws vary from state to state and that is why it is important for each first parent to know the laws that govern their own state. Here's an example of how the topic varies and how it can be generally confusing. Generally, an adopted child inherits from adoptive parents and may not… [more]

Putative Father Registries: Yay or Nay?

August 1st, 2007

©Freddy Thorvaldsen Truth be told, fathers in adoption often get the short end of the stick. Stereotypes held toward fathers are sometimes even worse and often harder to break. Society still sees birth fathers as men who have deserted a woman they got pregnant. Truth be told, some of these men have been lied to and deceived and, in the end, their loss is a child to parent. While some laws have been instated to help protect a birth mother's rights (though how often these rights are stepped on is somewhat disturbing), biological fathers are still struggling for recognition as an equal partner in the adoption (vs. parenting) decision. Of course, before we go further, I need to define what a "putative father" is so… [more]

When the System Fails Biological Fathers

May 15th, 2007

Baby & ChildAdoption has a lot of problems which is why reformists are constantly pushing for change. We hear, too often, of Mothers who were coerced into placement by unethical agencies. We hear, too often, that there rights were neither defined or protected. However, the stories in which Fathers' rights were trampled upon are not heard as often but they're equally common and equally saddening. I just learned of such a Father, stuck in a nightmare within the Utah legal system. You see, he Fathered a child with a woman named Ashley. He wanted to be, not only a Father, but a Dad. In the end, Ashley told him that she had a miscarriage and he left. When she was eight months pregnant, he… [more]

Placed Child Wins Settlement on Mother’s Fortune

March 22nd, 2007
Categories: Articles, Legal Issues

MoneyAn interesting, yet somewhat sad story from Law.com revolving around an adoptee's search for her biological mother, the Jell-O fortune and laws that, basically, suck. However, triumphant in the end, the daughter, Elizabeth McNabb, was just awarded money after taking the case to court. Reading the article, we find that after the mother died, her will stated that her money be left to her living child[ren]. Elizabeth met and interacted with her birth mother and biological half-siblings prior to the mother's death in 2003. The amendment made to the mother's will, in 1963, was exempt from a law established in 1964 that states that adoptees cannot inherit from both their biological and adoptive families. Thus, since the law was not in effect the year… [more]