Courthouse News Service

SALT LAKE CITY CN – An adoption agency coached birth mothers how to “use the fraud immunity act for their own financial gain” and pocketed fees without delivering babies, leaving a married couple “deceived” and “devastated” after three failed placements, the couple claim in court. Suneet and Martha Agarwal sued Heart and Soul Adoptions, its executive director Denise Garza, and its employee Rachel Patten, a licensed clinical social worker, in Federal Court. “This is a case of a corporation with a corrupt, illegal, and unethical business model preying upon the vulnerabilities and frustrations of prospective adoptive parents who

via Courthouse News Service.

Both Ends Burning — Orphans Day

Step Forward for Orphans Day

Both Ends Burning is creating an annual Step Forward for Orphans Day on Saturday, May 17 to celebrate the anniversary of our movement.

On May 17, 2013, Both Ends Burning together with friends and supporters from 37 states marched on Capitol Hill to advocate for every child’s right to be raised in a family.

The journey was just beginning and we would like you to join us this year in what will become a national day of recognition for kids living outside of parental care.

This year on May 17, Both Ends Burning will be “stepping forward” at major league baseball games in Boston, Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles to raise awareness and promote every child’s most basic human right to belong in a family. We will use teams of volunteers in these cities generating grass-roots activism to grow our movement.

Boston – Fenway Park – Game time 7:10 PM (ET)
Chicago – Wrigley Field – Game time 1:20 PM (CT)
St. Louis – Busch Stadium – Game time 1:15 PM (CT)
Los Angeles (Anaheim) – Angel Stadium – Game time 6:05 PM (PT)

Step Forward for Orphans Day is not limited to these 4 major league games! We are looking for your leadership and creativity in your community to help us step forward for orphans on May 17. ANY sporting event, concert, school activity, event at a house of worship, block party, or family gathering would be an excellent venue to share our message! We will do everything we can to support your efforts and connect with others across the country.

To create an event in your community, please contact Sandy Davis at sandy or call (636) 219-6760.

Reactionary Me

By Jessica

Maybe it’s just my mood today, but when I saw this headline–”Americans Should Adopt Americans First“–my reaction was “I won’t tell you how to create your family, if you don’t tell me how to create mine.”

Okay, I’ll be quiet now.

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Update on orphanages in Guatemala

By Jessica

The Wall Street Journal published Mary Anastasia O’Grady’s “Guatemala’s Stranded Orphans.” Below is a link to an interview with O’Grady–the article itself won’t “re-post.” Everyone agrees: Children first should stay with their mothers or be placed with extended family; second, children should be adopted in-country. But when that doesn’t happen–and few other countries besides the US embrace a culture of adoption, a documented fact–kids grow up in orphanages. Which is what is happening now.!410993E0-1A7B-48FB-8C7C-C83D0B695850

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Golf Saved My Life: Beniam Osterloh : Golf Digest

You can call me Ben, but I prefer Beniam. In Ethiopian it means son of my right hand, or favorite son.My parents, who gave me this name, came to America in 1993 as refugees. My mom had suffered beatings and other atrocities.

I was adopted by golfers.  I can spend all day at the golf course. And because we moved to Arizona last year, this happens more often. My two new best friends, Riley and Trevor Lewis, are really good golfers and are members at The Club at Prescott Lakes, where last year I won the 14-and-under division of the junior club championship. When I grow up I want to be a tour player, though I realize the odds. I just turned 12, and my best round is 82.

Sometimes I feel angry and upset by my OCD. I don’t like that I count when I get anxious, or that I sometimes can’t sit still if I think a door is open. But I’m getting better. My dad says these tics are probably leftover coping mechanisms from when life was bad. He says I don’t need any medication, that I just need to keep playing golf. The game has taught me that to be good at anything, I must control my emotions.

My sister Susan is thriving with her family in Seattle and will attend college next year. Our mom lives in a home not too far from her. I spoke to our mom on the phone last Christmas, but she doesn’t speak much English, and my Ethiopian isn’t any better. My biological father isn’t allowed to contact me until I’m 18. Dan believes fate delivered us to each other. He calls me Beniam.

via Golf Saved My Life: Beniam Osterloh : Golf Digest.

Waiting families and Encarnacion Bail Romero

By Jessica

As December 31 approaches, I remember the announcement by the government of Guatemala that every pending adoption case would be finalized by year’s end. Recently, I read First Christmas in Texas, a wonderful article about two families whose children have joined them in Texas from Guatemala after waiting 5+ years. With only a few days remaining in 2013, I hope other cases also will be resolved. The lack of resolution, the not knowing, seems to me to be a very specific kind of torture.

I’m also posting here a link to the latest update on the Encarnacion Bail Romero case, Missouri Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Challenge to Adoption Decision. The case revolves around an undocumented Guatemalan woman, her arrest and incarceration; and her son’s adoption at age one by a Missouri couple. I wrote about the case here and here. The article contains information I had not read previously, and implies that Bail Romero may be deported. Unless the US Supreme Court decides to hear Bail Romero’s appeal, the case finally is ended.

On a personal note, this may be the last Christmas for our family that Santa isn’t in the house. The logistics will be easier, but I’ll miss the old guy.

Time marches on. My children are growing up. Still praying for the families who continue to wait. ~

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Skagit Co. parents found guilty in death of adopted daughter | Local & Regional | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KOMO News

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — The Sedro-Woolley woman accused in the death her adopted daughter was found guilty Monday afternoon of manslaughter and homicide by abuse.

Carri Williams had long professed her innocence in the case, but a jury disagreed. Her husband Larry Williams was also convicted of manslaughter.

The couple was accused of causing the death of Hana Williams in the backyard of the family home in May 2011. The girl died of hypothermia and malnutrition. Prosecutors say she was starved, beaten and forced outside as punishment.

via Skagit Co. parents found guilty in death of adopted daughter | Local & Regional | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KOMO News.

First Christmas In Texas

This Christmas, I’m happy to report that two newly minted Texans will be spending the holidays with their adoptive families, after years of waiting to be together. Vania Hermes-Rometty, 5, and Robert Thomas Smith-Heinzmann, 6, both natives of Guatemala, were united with their respective families in the past few months and brought to live in their new homes in Texas.

via First Christmas In Texas – Your Houston News: Opinion.

Intercountry Adoptions

Americans adopted from other countries

Americans adopted from other countries

The intercountry adoption process varies greatly, as it is governed by the laws of the countries where the adoptive parents and the child reside (which in the case of the United States means both federal and state law), and also in which of these locations the legal adoption is finalized. Additionally, if the child’s home country is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention, the Hague processes of both countries must be followed. Prospective adoptive parents should consider all of these factors when evaluating what to expect.