An Adoption Mess

February 11, 2008 at 7:31pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Here’s a nasty little adoption-related scenario playing out in Nebraska:

An adoption agency [Nebraska Children’s Home] and birth mother want to take back a 3-month-old baby boy from a couple who wanted to give him a home, after learning that the adoptive mother was pregnant.

The 22-year-old biological mother says in court documents that she wanted the parents who adopted her son to not have their own biological children. She wanted them to either raise her son alone or adopt more kids if they wanted to expand their family.

But Jason and Angela Vesely say they didn’t purposely hide Angela’s pregnancy when they applied to adopt a child. They say they were never asked if she was pregnant by the private agency and didn’t know it had rules against applying mothers being pregnant.

Yikes, talk about a situation with no winners. It isn’t unusual for Nebraska Children’s Home to have a policy regarding an adoptive mother’s pregnancy status or the adoptive family’s number and age of current children. That’s all par for the course. What would be unusual is if NCH didn’t make its policies crystal clear.

There was no mistaking our agency’s policy: if The Missus were to get pregnant before the placement, we would be dropped from the waiting list. It’s not intended to be a punitive policy, nor is it to prevent families with biological children from adopting. It’s simply about ensuring that a newly adopted child receives the attention he deserves; it’s very difficult to give that attention if two new children are battling for the parents’ focus.

Unfortunately, the LJS article creates more questions than it answers. Was it an open adoption? (The fact that the mother’s name appears in the article leads me to believe that it was.) Has the adoption been finalized? (If so, that was very speedy.) I could go on and on.

Child custody cases are rarely pretty, but they are often fascinating. I, for one, hope to keep an eye on this case because the end decision could potentially have interesting implications for all adoptive parents. Any case that is perceived to hurt adoptive parents has a chilling effect on adoptions. The biggest losers are usually domestic and open adoptions, two areas that most adoption proponents are trying to strengthen.

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