Grandma Contacts United Nations Seeking Justice in US Adoption Fraud Cases

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Beginning with the loss of her own granddaughter due to fraudulent adoption practices right after Christmas in 1999, Ms. Melinda Walmsley has made it her mission to fight adoption fraud in support of a parent's right to keep their own child. She has been bringing cases to the attention of the United Nations when the means used to obtain a baby was clearly illegal and yet has been upheld by US courts refusing to take action. In desperation, after finding newspapers in the United States unwilling to print the stories, she has resorted to submitting articles to newspapers in countries such as Germany and Russia in an attempt to keep the United Nations involved.

On December 13th 1999 Ms. Melinda Walmsley, part owner of Walmsley Trucking, learned her daughter, Tarin, a high school senior was pregnant. Her due date was Dec. 25th. It was the beginning of a nightmare for both of them.

Two weeks prior to her due date, Tarin had been approached by the receptionist in her doctor's office who had been looking for a chance to obtain a baby for a friend of hers. Prior to that day, Tarin had not even considered adoption, but she agreed to meet with the receptionist for supper, just to talk. The receptionist and her friend got Tarin to meet with a lawyer. The lawyer was friendly and seemed non-threatening at first. It seemed harmless and even the non-binding consent the lawyer had her sign seemed like no big deal. A possible open adoption "plan" was worked out, which would provide Tarin lots of visitation with her as yet unborn child.

But after signing, Tarin was told that although the binding document could not be signed until 12 hours following birth the judge had already been chosen and the judge would consider the pre-birth agreement to be binding.

Well, it turned out that the judge had not been chosen. It also turned out that the agreement signed by her baby's father was binding, but the agreement Tarin signed was not. But Tarin did not know this.

And Ms. Walmsley was completely unaware that her daughter, prior to being approached by the receptionist, intended to keep her child.

"When she told me the details of the baby's conception, and knowing she had hid it for so long, I assumed all the wrong things and we failed to communicate those two critical weeks. If only I had known she wanted her baby, before being coerced by that lawyer, being lied to, being made to believe she didn't have the legal right to keep her, I would have stood by her no matter what."

The prospective adopters were friendly and assured Tarin that they were looking forward to having frequent visitation. The lawyer told Tarin that if a conflict occurred and they had to go to court over a contested adoption, the adopters could close the adoption, cutting off all contact. The matter would have to be settled in court and the party who changed her or their mind would have to pay everybody's legal fees.

A week after signing this agreement, Tarin went into labor and her daughter was born. She loved her as her mother reported "with all her heart, like no love she had ever dreamed possible." But she believed if she did not go through with the adoption, they would take her to court and she had been told the judge was an adoptive father who considered pre-birth consents binding. She could end up spending a lot of money to contest the adoption but Tarin's absolute worst fear was that she might lose all contact with her daughter forever.

Ms. Walmsley was still unaware of her daughter's reasoning, still thinking she wanted to go through with the adoption. "I actually stood outside the hospital praying out loud for anyone to hear, that God would stop this from happening, stop her from signing, but I never told her how I felt because I didn't want to influence her."

As Ms. Walmsley wrote: "Tarin was devastated. At 12 hours after birth the binding agreement was to be signed. By 10 hours after birth she was so distraught over the thought of the loss of her baby girl she could barely speak. Out of fear of never seeing her daughter again and with regular assurances throughout the day from the woman hoping to adopt that Tarin was welcome in her home any time, at 12 hours after her daughter's birth she signed the papers. She was released from the hospital shortly thereafter, falling into hysterical tears the moment she stepped outside the hospital without her baby. "

"The next morning she begged me to call a lawyer and see what could be done to get her baby back. The lawyer said there was nothing we could do. We approached the woman seeking to adopt and she refused to call it off, instead reassuring Tarin that she could visit any time and attributing her feelings for her daughter to hormones."

Three weeks later, the visitation was cut down to just a few times a year. Tarin knew she could never live with that and the adoption would be final in two weeks. She hired a lawyer to contest the adoption.

It came out in court that many of the things Tarin had been told by the lawyer were untrue and that the prospective adopters had not even signed their part of the agreement, although the lawyer had signed a statement stating that they had already signed their part of the contract. At least one piece of evidence was shown to be altered with a name added after the fact and the judge pointed out that the font was different.

The lawyer was uncooperative in her testimony, covering her statements with words like "I may have" and "I might have" rather than stating what actually occurred.

When asked about signing the statement that the prospective adopters had signed their part of the paperwork, the lawyer claimed to have lost that part of the paperwork.

Tarin's petitions to the Kansas State Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court were denied.

Ms. Walmsley has listed many other cases of adoption fraud in her article published by the Russian newspaper Pravda. Pravda had to cut many more cases out of the article because of space limitations.

The cases presented include a mother who clearly stated her intention to keep her child although she had at one time considered adoption. She was harrassed mercilessly by a social worker until the social worker happened to come by while she was in a heavily sedated state and obtained a signature.

Another mother signed while under powerful prescription narcotics.

A mother under 18 years of age and her baby's father were invited to a meeting ostensibly just to look over the visitation contract that had been drawn up. Her parents did not go, thinking that this meeting was just to review the proposed visitation, and no final decision had yet been made about adoption. But when the young parents arrived for the meeting, they were surprised to discover that their own lawyer had withdrawn to represent the prospective adopters he'd found and they themselves had been given a new lawyer (to meet the Kansas legal requirement for a minor to have separate legal representation from the adopters). The new lawyer then pressured them to sign the actual document surrendering their parental rights at a time when her parents were not present. By the time her parents found out, it was too late, as they had already been pressured to sign and Kansas has no revocation period.

A father's parental rights were severed after the father's lawyer accidentally filed the required papers with the wrong clerk.

In another case, grandparents of a mentally incompetent mother were denied custody in favor of unrelated persons adopting, apparently the result of the lure of an adoption bonus from the federal government.

In another highly publicized case, the father had been told his baby died at birth. Learning the truth 11 weeks later, he contested the adoption and wound up paying child support to the prospective adopters and getting four supervised visits a year.

In all cases, custody was given to prospective adopters and the natural family given little or no visitation while the case was in court, giving prospective adopters what Ms. Walmsley calls the "best interest" defense. Courts use the fact that the parents did not have contact with their child to permanently sever their parental rights.

Adoption is promoted in the United States not so much for children who need homes, but in the interest of people hoping to adopt an infant. Every day unsuspecting parents who are not yet through college or who have some other temporary situation fall prey to the slick advertising and well rehearsed tactics utilized by adoption lawyers and the adoption industry. Afterwards, they suffer for a lifetime.

Ms. Walmsley states: "Adoption fraud exists and is promoted by the government....Fraud and coercion is ignored by the courts, even when acts of fraud and coercion are not in dispute."

Her plea: "Citizens of the United States of America desperately need the help of the United Nations." is a sad testament to how things are going in the United States for parents wishing to exercise the right to keep and nurture their own child.

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Laurie Frisch

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