On to another news story that's really bothering me today:
The news story I'm talking about can be found here. Go read it and then come back....I'll wait.
My initial reaction to this case is anger. At least based on the reporting here in this story, it appears that every step was taken to ensure that the adoption of this little girl was ethical. Her father told her mother that he was not going to support his daughter. Her mother was put into a difficult position, and made a choice that was the best choice for her family given the father's lack of interest in supporting his daughter. What hell kind of argument is saying that he thought he was relinquishing his parental rights to the mother for the mother to raise her? Without monetary support from him? Really? And who doesn't read papers formally terminating your parental rights before signing them?
As an adoptive parent, I have a bias and fear. The way that the rights are terminated due to the absence of a parent are somewhat dubious. First of all, it's published in the county where the adoption is taking place, not necessarily the county where the parent might live. At the very least, the publication should be in several different sources, not some local paper that no one ever reads. I would much rather have the knowledge that this person faced the consequences of their actions and knowingly, voluntarily terminated their rights. While in most cases the parent will never surface, there is still that chance. While this person may have no legal (or moral) leg to stand on regarding custody of a child, there is fear that a similar situation as described in the story could unravel several lives.
Moving beyond the initial reaction to news reports, I decided that instead of flying off the handle over what a stupid decision this was, I found the original court decision here. Go read that and come back.....waiting.....waiting....waiting.....
After reading the facts of the case as summarized in the court decision, I realized that prospective adoptive parents must be aware of all ethical hurdles when going through the process. An innocent (or not) mistake in the spelling of a name, or withheld information, or an unknown birthdate have unraveled the case. If the Cherokee Nation had been properly informed prior to placement, the child and adoptive parents would have never been dragged through this case. If the father had been properly informed prior to placement, then the child and adoptive parents would have never been dragged through this case. I hold the agency and attorney accountable for this clusterf*k.
After ruminating a bit more, I've come to the conclusion that this is an example of the professionals letting everyone in the triad down. Speaking from the adoptive parents point of view, we depend on the professionals to act in a legal and ethical manner. We pay them to navigate through the legal aspects of the adoption for us. If we can't count on them to do their job, they shouldn't be in business.