This Would NEVER Happen to a Birth Mother.

Published December 4, 2012 by Elspeth

Since there is mostly silence on this story throughout the blogosphere, I thought I’d shine a small spotlight on the plight of this married father who had his child stolen and given up for adoption without his consent. And even though the courts have ruled that the adoption should never have gone through, the adoptive parents are fighting, claiming that “God gave them this baby.”

Frankly, I’m too livid to offer any meaningful commentary, mainly because I know that this would never happen to a birth mother. Still, I thought this guy’s story needs to be read by as many Americans as possible:

In a 48-page ruling, Judge Darold McDade said the Adoption Center of Choice’s policy of refusing to disclose any information to Terry Achane once he learned what had happened to his baby is “utterly indefensible.”

Salt Lake City attorneys Mark and Scott Wiser, the father/son team that represented Achane, used even stronger language for what occurred.

“This is a case of human trafficking,” said Mark Wiser. “Children are being bought and sold. It is one thing what [adoption agencies] have been doing with unmarried biological fathers. It is in a new area when they are trying to take a child away from a married father who wants to have his child.”

Jared and Kristi Frei, the adoptive parents, declined to comment, as did Kasey Wright, their former attorney, and Larry Jenkins, newly hired to represent the couple. James Webb, executive director of the Adoption Center of Choice, based in Orem, did not return a call from The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune attempted to reach Tira Bland, the birth mother who is now divorced from Achane, but was unsuccessful.

On a blog about the case, where the Freis have raised more than $20,000 to help with legal bills, they vow to appeal McDade’s decision, describing the arrival of Achane’s daughter in their lives “a righteous desire blessed to fruition by God.”

The original story is several pages long, but these are the facts that matter:

  1. This man was married to the mother of his daughter at the time of the birth and had every expectation that immediately upon the birth, he would be reunited with his wife, stepchild, and newborn in another state where he’d taken a position as a drill instructor.
  2.  The adoption agency and the adoptive parents knew full well that he hadn’t consented to the adoption and went through with it anyway
  3. The wife, and I use the word loosely, put her husband through this hellish ordeal because she was unhappy in the marriage.

Okay, I’m done.

No, wait. He still hasn’t gotten his daughter back, and she’s 21 months old at this point.

Now I’m done.

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9 comments on “This Would NEVER Happen to a Birth Mother.

  • You already know Jo how much this story bugged me. I only had one more post scheduled before the close but this needed to be written. Fathers are getting shafted and good people have remained silent long enough.

  • I just hate to see you leave, Elspeth. I have yet to find a blog for Christian men that I feel is the equal (or even close) of yours. Thank you for everything.

  • Disgusting! How would that family like if someone took their biological children from them. They need to give that man his child back ASAP.

  • I can’t believe they were legally able to do that. Do they only need one signature from a parent for an adoption? The child is his and no adoption agency should be able to take the baby away from him.

  • The story is very disturbing, for sure.

    The injustice done to this man is undeniable, and the whole thing could easily be summed up in the “human trafficking” statement Mark Wiser made. When the bottom line is money, some people (ie practices of unscrupulous adoption agents) will sink to any level.

    Some thoughts:
    I am no fan of “the state” being able to interfere with the right/responsibility of a parent when there is no solid evidence of abuse or neglect. When it became obvious the father desired to recover and care for his baby girl, I agree with the concept that all adoption procedures should have been halted and the daughter returned to him.

    The adoption agency was incredibly negligent in its dealings. While it is evil to steal children from their birth parents, it is also cruel to set up an adoptive family to accept a much wanted child into their home only to be told later that they have to return her because the appropriate background information was not handled first.

    The whole thing is complicated by the apparent marital difficulties and separation of the couple. Couples who have serious problems and then separate in order to “cool off” often never get back together.

    That said, it’s pretty difficult to support the notion that this sort of thing would never happen to a birth mother. Maybe not in the US…but, I suspect there are many married women around the world who have lost their babies due to one or another culturally supported decision made by their husbands. To say this would “never” happen to a birth mother appears to turn a blind eye to this equally heart-rending possibility.

  • Your closing point is duly noted Heather. I agree completely. I was thinking more in terms of here in the States. I never meant to diminish the injustices done to birth mothers abroad.

  • Elspeth, this is not something unique to the US. Similar things are happening in the UK and you can usually find out about them from Christopher Booker in the Telegraph. In the UK, social services who deal with adoption and fostering issues ae becoming more and more authoritarian in their demands of adoptive and foster parents, and more ready to grab children from their birth families. Recently British social workers have snatched children from their natural parents in other European countries in contravention of court orders and still hold those children.

    We recently had a case of a married couple of foster parents in a town called Rotherham who had the three Eastern European children they were fostering removed from their care because they were members of the UK Independence Party. UKIP does not subscribe to the lunacy that is the EU nor does it agree with such things as banning smoking. It wants stronger immigration controls. In short it is a libertarian party and membership of this is sufficient in this country to get you labelled as unfit to be a foster parent. I am waiting for the first case when social workers try to snatch children from birth parents because they are members of an ‘unacceptable’ political group.

    With a system of ‘family courts’ in the UK with hearings effectively held in camera, and the parents not advised what is happening until they get there, the state is weighting the balance further in its favour and against the individual parent. Keep watch on what happens in your system in the US and do not follow the UK in this disgusting move.

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