A single woman, forty-year-old, currently employed at a large children’s media company as a vice president for event marketing, and earns over $200,000 per year. She has appreciable savings and assets. She also volunteered mentoring young girls.
She decided to pursue a family by way of adoption. She then contacted a social worker, and commenced the home study process. She originally wanted to adopt a child from other country, however she decided to adopt domestically because of the lengthiness of the international process.
Subsequently, the woman placed an adoption advertisement in a newspaper and a mother responded to it. The woman sent the mother an adoption profile and they communicated regularly via telephone and e-mail. The mother found the woman to be warm and chose her to be her child’s adoptive parent.
The father of the child was in agreement that the woman would name the baby, and be present at the birth. Prior to the birth of the child, the mother met with an adoption attorney referred by the woman’s attorney. The adoption attorney explained the private adoption process to the mother and provided her with initial paperwork for her to complete.
Afterward, the mother called the woman stating that she was in labor. The woman and her family arrived at the hospital and were present for the birth.
After giving birth to the child, the mother described a feeling of pain inside her body and heartache as she held her child in her arms for the first time. The father of the child also stated that after he saw his child, he fell in love with her.
The criminal adoption attorney came to the hospital and reviewed the terms of the extra-judicial consent forms with the parents of the child and they both ultimately signed the consents.
Later that same evening, the child’s parents had regrets about signing the consents and decided that they did not want the child to be adopted. However, they did not act on their reservations. The child was already discharged from the hospital to the care of the woman. That same day, the mother called the woman to see if the woman was still in the hospital with child because the father of the child wanted to see the baby one last time. But, the woman already left the hospital, however she promised to e-mail photos of the child that night, which she did.
Over the next few days, the parents of the child consulted with their respective families about the child and they discovered that, contrary to their beliefs, they had the full support of both families in raising the child, and concluded that they had, indeed, made a grave mistake in signing the consents.
The mother subsequently called the woman to inquire about how the baby was doing. However, she did not ask for the child’s return. Afterward, the mother contacted their criminal adoption attorney, informing him that she wanted the child back. The attorney explained to the mother that he would not act on their behalf and that she and the child’s father had to write a letter to the court revoking their consent.
As soon as the mother got off the phone with her criminal attorney, she began writing the letter. The final, notarized letter revoking their consent was then completed.
Shortly after the revocation letter was sent, the child’s parents and the paternal grandmother all wrote e-mails to the woman pleading with her to return the child to them.
The woman however exercised her right to oppose the revocation of consent, triggering the instant best interests hearing.
But, the mental condition of the woman as well as the child’s parents has been placed at issue during the proceedings. The criminal evidence shows that the child’s parents have never suffered from any mental illness and have never used drugs. On the other hand, the mental health of the woman is of some concern. The treatment records of the woman’s treating psychiatrist show that the woman was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and marijuana abuse previously, and she was prescribed the psychotropic medication to treat the depression.
To Be Cont…
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