In October of 1995, I received an
introductory package from Small Miracles, a local adoption agency
in Englewood, Colorado, USA. In it I received a Cover Letter and
various other informational items.
I subsequently contacted the agency
and began to pursue my options for an "Open Adoption". I thought
this was the best answer possible to my difficult situation. I
could provide a stable home for my as yet unborn child, and not
have the fear that she would never know who I was. I realize the
importance of maintaining ties to the Birthfamily, and that is
why I wanted to maintain contact.
I signed the Adoption Agreement,
and as I did I noted that in the agreement there was a time period
following the Birth of my daughter, in which I was free to change
my mind and regain custody, if that was my desire. Above all it
was stressed to me, both by the agency and the "prospective" parents,
that my desires and wishes would be followed, and we were all
bound by the promises in the Adoption Agreement.
After my daughter was born I gave
physical custody of her to Small Miracles and the prospective
adoptive parents under the terms and conditions outlined in our
The following three weeks were filled
with what-ifs and doubts as to whether I had made the right decision.
I was worried that the agreements of the adoption wouldn't be
kept. I finally came to the realization that I did not want to
place my daughter and that I wanted her back.
During a conversation with my 'counsler'
at Small Miracles I was forced into making a decision to relinquish
or not. At that moment I told the counselor I wanted my baby
back. Instead of her assuring me I would regain custody of my
daughter as stated in the Agreement, the woman on the phone informed
me that I would now have to undergo an evaluation by Social Services
to determine whether or not I was FIT TO PARENT my own daughter!
They never informed me as to which Social Services office would
have to investigate or how I was supposed to proceed.
I was then told by Small Miracles
that a man by the name of Jeff Levenhar would do the evaluation.
That was the OWNER of the Agency, so how could he be qualified
as an attorney to do an evaluation of my parenting capacity and
skills? When I pointed this out the woman at the agency stated
that indeed he was qualified.
I then pointed out that as the
owner of the Adoption Agency he had a vested interest in the adoption
and therefore should be barred from evaluating me because it was
a conflict of Interest. Well, it seems that this is not a concern
for Small Miracles, and why should it be, after all they are the
ones who stand to gain by his role in the evaluation! He will
then be the one who decides whether they lose 40% of the Adoption
Fee or not. Plainly what I call a stacked deck, and it's not in
the Natural parents favor by a long shot!
The agency rep then told me I
would have to go and get my daughter. I was glad to do this, if
only they would have told me WHERE I was supposed to find her!
I asked her to give me the address, tell me where my baby was.
I was then informed that the adoption
agency would go to court and have me declared abandoned of my
daughter! How could I have abandoned her when I am begging
for them to tell me where she is so I can get her?
I was told that the adoption would
proceed without me! I was scared and I didn't doubt for a
minute that they would have me declared unfit without my knowledge
or go to court without me. I had refused to go to the first relinquishment
hearing because of this whole mess.
When my daughter was 5 weeks old,
2 weeks after I had informed Small Miracles that I wanted my daughter
BACK, I received a letter from my Daughter's Prospectiv Adoptive
Parents. Now, keep in mind that all the conversations between
me and the Agency workers are supposed to remain confidential.
The Adoptive people's letter to me addressed every one of the
reasons I told the Agency Worker I wanted my daughter back. How
could they have known WHY I was reconsidering relinquishment?
There is only one answer and that
is the Small Miracles breached the contract I had signed, that
stated that our conversations would not be repeated to the prospective
parents. It is my belief that the adoption agency shared my thoughts
in an effort to try and brainwash me into signing over my baby
to them and coached the 'prospective' adopters so they could say
and do what I wanted to hear and see in their efforts to coerce
my daughter from me. Why wouldn't they? The adoption agency and
the adopters lose money and the adoptive parents lose custody
in matters like this, BUT that is the risk that they take, adopters
enter into adoption knowing this.
Efforts to see my daughter as per
the agreement (see prospective adoptive woman's letter to me)
resulted in this farce of a letter from Brenda. Brenda KNEW I
wanted my baby back as she attended two meetings with me. One
at a Village Inn and the other at the offices of Small Miracles.
allow my daughter to be stolen away from me so eventually I ended
up hiring a lawyer to help me reclaim my child. I am not financially
"privileged" and it was hard to pay for the attorney fees, BUT
my daughter was worth it!
hearing were far from objective as they were presided over by
the MAGISTRATE Judge Schwartz, herself an adoptive mother. How
can an adoptive mother hear cases and rule in favor of justice
when decisions that favor a natural parents could have bearing
on her PERSONAL life? Is this not a classic form of CONFLICT OF
INTEREST? If she were to serve on a jury in a case involving adoption
wouldn't she most likely be excused? Apparently this is not a
concern in the Arapahoe County Colorado Court System.
case, Judge Schwartz ruled on my motion to set aside the relinquishment
before she even held a hearing on the matter! Or Small Miracles
could submit an answer. She had to have ignored the documents
and letters we provided with our complaint.
Schwartz also ignored a Federal Mandate that comes into play in
my case because my daughter is part American Indian. According
to the Indian Child Welfare Act, every possible effort
is supposed to be made to place an Indian Child in an Indian Family
so she is assured of learning of his culture and Birthrights.
Small Miracles, and Judge Schwartz blatanly chose to ignore this
Federal Law. Is this not a crime? Shouldn't Judge Schwartz be
forced to resign from her position because of this? Again, not
according to the Arapahoe County Courts!
receiving her decision I immediately asked for a review by Judge
Schwartz's superior, Judge Stuart. He in turn vacated Schwartz's
original decision and remanded the case back to her court for
a review. Judge Schwartz is an adoptive parent herself. I had
no chance of winning my case as long as she presided over my case.
never came. Instead of an explanation and proof of a formal review,
Judge Schwartz made her final judgement before the time period
even ran out. She simply stated that her decision stood for all
the reasons she outlined before. Nothing more was said. Should
she not be forced to detail what she did to review the case? Apparently
there are no provisions in place to assure that even when ordered
to by the court, that a judge will competently re-review a case.
Furthermore, why should the judge who made the initial decision
be ALLOWED to review it? Shouldn't it go to another judge? How
can a judge even allow himself to consider turning over his own
verdict, wouldn't this serve only to discredit himself? Surely
it is common sense that this would be considered a flawed procedure
and a drastic miscarriage of justice!
her Final Judgement I was crushed. I couldn't afford to file an
appeal and all for a situation that should never have been allowed
to continue past the first day of my phone call when my daughter
was just 3 weeks old.
last ditch attempt to procure justice for myself and my daughter
I wrote a personal plea to Judge Stuart. I thought surely he would
remember the case and surely he would see the corruption I had
pointed out to him.
of taking action to stop this horrendous nightmare, Judge Stuart
simply informed me that the ONLY remedy I had available was an
Appeal. As I said I couldn't afford the attorney's fees for this
situation, so once again the adoption industry prevails over the
Natural parents, with no hope for redemption.
all I can do is sit and wonder. Wonder, will her adopters fill
her head with lies about me? How could they tell her the real
will they even keep their promise and tell her she is adopted?
Or will they serve their selfish needs to remain in control of
do tell my daughter, will she see through the lies? Will my daughter
know that I love her to this day with all that is me? Will she
know that I fought for her till there was no way I could continue?
my daughter know of the countless nights I have spent crying,
not knowing whether I will ever see her again?
deserves to know the truth! How can I trust that she will be given
that opportunity? How can I trust the promises of those who vowed
to respect my wishes and then turned their backs to keep their
World, the Baby Selling Trade is alive and well in Colorado as
well as across the United States.
Adoption? Will your loved one be next?