CHANGES IN ANOTHER COUNTRY

July 27, 2008

It seems like more and more countries are putting restrictions in their adoption laws. Azerbaijan is another country to do just that. I am also sure that there will be additional changes to come out of Russia. From what I understand on Russia, they follow the U.N. convention on the rights of the child.

In this article, the Azerbaijan government is requiring visitation and reports on the child for up to three years after the adoption. They also make it very clear on how the adoption fees will be charged. The other interesting part to this is the agency has to be Hague accredited but they also have to be accedited by the State Committee for Problems of Family, Women & Children. Its only by the looks of it for two years.

Here is the article.

Azerbaijan endorsed order of certification of adoption by foreigners and non-citizens of the country

Baku, Fineko/abc.az. The Cabinet Ministers issued Decision #166 from July 22, 2008 on approval of “Order of certification of bodies given juridical support in the area of adoption to foreigners and non-citizens of Azerbaijan. The Cabinet press service reports that foreigners and non-citizens of Azerbaijan can adopt children in the country through central bodies of juridical support of certification.

Activity of accreditation body bears non-commercial character. The accreditation body cannot receive unfounded finances relating to adoption or any other profit. The body can be paid necessary finances relating to expenditures, including for legal assistance, wage to employees, registration of documents and gathering of data about life of children. Cost of services is defined by the signed agreement.

Accreditation authority is given for two-year period. Bodies of foreign countries acceded to the Hague Convention on Protection of Adopted Children can acts in Azerbaijan if central bodies (State Committee for Problems of Family, Women & Children) give a relevant permit.

Accreditation bodies should provide data within 24 hours to central body abut depth of the adopted child, treatment towards the adopted child, non-adaptation of the child in the new family, refusal from adoption or transfer of the child to another family.

Bodies desiring to get the right of accreditation can be decline in case provision of false information, negative reference, difficulty to protect the child and in other cases.

Accreditation bodies should report to central bodies about conditions of life and raising in the family of the adopted child. In the first year of adoption a report should be submitted for 7 months after five months of adoption have passed. The second report should be submitted for at least 13 months after 11 months of adoption, the third one for at least 19 months after 18 motnhs of adoption, the fourth for at least 25 months after 23 months, the fifth or at bat least 37 month after 35 months of adoption. In necessary cases the report can be presented after three years and before the adopted child reached his lawful age.

Accreditation bodies should keep confidentiality of data and documents presented in the process of adoption.

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WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW?

July 25, 2008

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Web Site Reviews

So if you want to see if your website is a top website or just get consumer opinions, check out Talkreviews.com

BE AWARE VERY AWARE

July 25, 2008

This came out of the Waco newspaper. I have heard that in some states CPCs were investigated. I know that the one in my area preys on women, both married and single. If you are poor, they want your baby.

Here is the link. Here is the story.

Shell game on women’s health

Last updated July 24, 2008 1:22 p.m. PT

JOHN YOUNG

WACO, Texas — Please, someone. Pull the plug on this administration.

Justify it by the energy savings alone, megawatt hours that could be better used, now squandered in lame-duck lamentations.

More so, justify it in averting what lamebrain rule changes are likely in this administration’s waning days.

Consider a directive that in one lunging swing would redefine abortion to include basic birth control, and at the same time acutely undermine health services for poor women.

The Department of Health and Human Services is considering draft language that would do two destructive things: (1) qualify organizations that oppose contraception to accept Title X family planning money; (2) fundamentally alter the definition of abortion to include many forms of contraception.

Abomination No. 1 is funneling to so-called crisis pregnancy centers money that’s supposed to help poor women avert pregnancy and otherwise deal with health-care issues.

Often operated by abortion foes, crisis pregnancy centers help women deal with an unwanted pregnancy through adoption.

Meritorious though that is, it is light years removed from the work of Title X-funded women’s health clinics. They provide contraception, do cancer screenings, test for HIV. They also, yes, counsel women with fertility problems about how to get pregnant.

The fact that some of these clinics perform or refer for abortion makes them targets for destructive shell games with funding.

The Texas Legislature in 2005 directed $5 million in family planning funds to crisis pregnancy centers. It also took $20 million over two years away from traditional family planning providers and sent it to federally qualified health centers. That’s a health-care segment that handles a broad range of health needs but don’t specifically fill the niche traditional women’s clinics do.

The clear intent of both of these initiatives was to undercut funding for women’s clinics like Planned Parenthood, with their traditional role of using public funds to provide family planning and health care to the poor.

This has served as a double wallop for some agencies that do the heavy lifting for helping poor women stay healthy and control their reproductive destinies shy of abortion.

Planned Parenthood in Austin has had to stop offering free services to some of its poorest clients, limiting its no-cost services to those under 20. Though those 20 and older get reduced-price services, some can’t afford even them.

Yes, let’s make a tough job tougher — the job of preventing pregnancies that end up in abortion. More abortions. Great policy.

Speaking of the latter, an ideologue’s thrust is attempting to redefine abortion to include basic contraception, thereby matching the claims of people who oppose both. The HHS directive would prevent the recipients of federal dollars from discriminating against employees who oppose contraception and consider certain forms of it abortion.

Family planning organizations say this rule would be tantamount to redefining abortion and therefore conception. The accepted definition of the latter is the implantation of the fertilized egg. Some anti-abortion groups call the birth control pill and the morning-after pill abortifacients, though they prevent implantation of the egg.

Redefining abortion to include basic birth control could preclude federal funding for affected forms of contraception, as funding of abortion is prohibited.

That’s the amazing thing about these many attempts to undermine family planning. Our tax dollars don’t pay for abortion. What our tax dollars do with these agencies is prevent abortion in the most effective, real-world way we know -B birth control — understanding that some people are going to have sex whether the purity police want it or not.

So, who’s for pulling the plug? And for flipping the switch for sane policies supportive of family planning?

NEED INSURANCE

July 25, 2008

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THE DISTORTION

July 24, 2008

Heck we don’t need the NCFA to sabotage us. We have Bastard Nation and its fearless leaders to do that. Maybe the leaders are together with them. Lord knows there are tons of pictures of Marley in front of the NCFA building and staff members in the past. Just like they throw around that I worked for Abrazo Adoption Services.

Sabina aka Baby Love Child and aka Sleeps With Bastard is Marley’s mouthpiece. Marley has referred members of OriginsUSA to Sabina’s blog. After the protest, Marley did it again referring people to Sabina’s blog. It all coincided on the day of the protest. It was an accidental coincidence when

First to get a few things straight. The Adoptee Rights Demonstration was being run by Kali Koultas and Ron Morgan. It was Ron’s idea to protest at the National Conference of State Legislators. He had been pushing it for as long as I can remember in the last two years. Kali and he got together. They put this idea into motion. Everything was in Kali’s name. Approximately a week before the greatest hoopla ever created, Bastard Nation told both of them that they were pulling out. It was a numbers issue plain and simple. Ron asked for a DISCUSSION about rescheduling it for later due to numbers. I mentioned that there were folks raising money to come to the event. I along with the others were against this idea. Ron requested a link. I provided it for him. I found out that night what was being done. I did call Elizabeth at the agency to advise that there were issues with this. I received an email from Sabina accusing me of working for the agency. For those that don’t know Texas, I live near Wichita Falls. The adoption agency is in SAN ANTONIO. That is an eight hour drive away from me. I didn’t go into detail because I DID NOT UNDERSTAND THEM FULLY. For this, I was kicked out of the legislative committee. I was not asked my side at all on this. I was summarily dismissed without being allowed to defend myself.

The story of Abrazo and me is a simple one. I worked with one of their relinquishing mothers. If it had not been for her, I would not have a relationship with them. That mother sang their praises. Elizabeth contacted me. I checked them out thoroughly. I joined their forum and reviewed back five years. There is none of the entitlement that you see in most places. I have emailed and corresponded with them because I really need an insider’s view of adoption. The relinquishing mothers of that agency participate in the forum just as the adoptive parents. I ended up helping three people find members of their families and extended families. I would NOT take any money for it. Sabina and Marley took a good deed that I gave freely of my heart and they made it dirty. One of the women that I helped was a Gladney mother. They decided to put their money where their mouths were. Granted it was not done right but we all have learned from it. Yes the agency did contribute in the beginning. They also offered to give us tax exempt status for our donations. Bastard Nation sure as hell did not do that. Also, Bastard Nation did not own the Adoptee Rights Protest. That falls squarely on Ron and Kali. They had no say in the donations period. Maybe Bastard Nation is angry because the Adoptee Rights Protest and the Abrazo Adoption Services raised money and Bastard Nation wasn’t able to raise a dime on their own. I don’t know and frankly I don’t care. I personally and several others will not be renewing their memberships as a result. They are a little too willing to bite the hands of those that feed them. What Abrazo did with the money raised is their business and only their business. They don’t owe anyone an answer to that question especially Bastard Nation. For all we know, they may have donated it to Bastard Nation just to spite them.

Some other facts that many have failed to keep in mind. Ron was supposed to keep in contact with Abrazo and he didn’t. He was supposed to keep in touch with the Louisiana folks. The Louisiana folks all told me that he never contacted them. They waited for him to do this. I know many know this already. Ron has also stolen money from CalOpen. This is their magnificent hero. So before we start throwing people under the bus, all of us did some wrong at some point. We are not perfect.

What Sabina and Marley fail to realize is that we have documentation. We have emails from them with all of this information. It will all be public information in due time. It will all come from the horse’s mouth herself.

After they pulled out of the protest, low and behold we had people coming out of the woodwork. Telling us “thank God, they are out of the protest.” Boy was I shocked! I have ignored the innuendos and the rude tacky comments.

The leaders of Bastard Nation chose to pull out. Now they are saying its time to bring them back in. Sorry you snoozed and thus you lost. For those that think they hung the moon, if they do this to us, they will do it to you as well. We were among some of their most loyal following until they went rabid.

SUCCESS

July 24, 2008

The Adoptee Rights Demonstration was a success. We protested, they listened, and in the exhibitor’s all they listened some more. Many people showed up. We had adoptees from all over the world come to visit in New Orleans.

I thank Kali Koultas and Michelle Edmunds for their incredible hard work. Ron, thank you for the wonderful idea. We will continue in your honor with this new tradition. It was a first time venture but we did it. Next year’s will be bigger and more great. We all have to start small. Hopefully we will see some profound changes in the legislative year ahead.

The Adoptee Rights Demonstraters Rocked big time.

OOPS

July 24, 2008

I know the mothers of the past will get a giggle out of this.

Here is the link. Here is the story.

LOWELL

Adapting after a betrayal

Agency struggles after major theft

In its 101 years, the Florence Crittenton League adoption agency has weathered economic downtowns, fewer domestic adoptions, and tougher guidelines for adoptions in foreign countries.

But today, it may be facing the biggest challenge yet – its betrayal by a longtime employee who stole $637,000 from the Lowell-based agency over a period of seven years.

Natalie Fleury, who worked for 19 years at the agency as a bookkeeper and office manager, is scheduled to be sentenced next week after pleading guilty to 15 counts of mail fraud and five counts of tax evasion. Her husband, Thomas Fleury, pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion in the case.

Ilze Keegan, executive director of the agency, is looking forward to putting the ordeal behind her. The past two years have been difficult, she said, as the agency tries to rebound from the financial strain and the pain and shock of the embezzlement.

“I wish I had been more suspicious, but I wasn’t,” said Keegan, who has worked at the agency since 1981. “I am so angry. It was so needless.”

Natalie Fleury had been stealing from the agency since 1998, authorities said, but the theft wasn’t discovered until April 2006, when the agency’s auditors noticed $12,000 missing from one of its accounts.

Keegan said when the auditors asked Fleury for deposit slips, she got upset and quit a few days later. The agency then asked the bank to go through the accounts.

Investigators found that Fleury would make out a check to a vendor and ask Keegan to sign it, then erase the vendor’s name and write in her own. When the bank statement came, she would alter it to reflect payment to the vendor, agency officials said. When there wasn’t enough money in the agency’s operating account to cover the checks, money was moved from a savings account.

During that time, Fleury bought a new home, a recreational vehicle, and an annuity, said Keegan, who says she hopes the agency can recoup some of that money.

Officials said no adoption was ever stalled or put at risk, but the embezzlement has left the agency in a precarious financial situation. The theft put a big dent in the savings account that had been built up to provide a safety net. The reserve was there to help the agency survive periods of declining adoptions, which it has seen in the past year, Keegan said.

Adoptions typically decrease during tough economic times, she said, but the agency also isn’t seeing as many adoption opportunities. Fewer countries are allowing foreign placements, and those that do have instituted stricter guidelines, Keegan said.

In a busy year, the agency arranges between 30 and 40 adoptions, mostly from China and Russia. Last year, it completed 15.

Keegan has had to lay off a part-time office worker and cut back on support services and programs for adoptive parents.

“If we had our safety net, we could have done more for people,” she said. “We could have had more speakers, more events, be more nurturing with clients. Now we have no safety net, and it’s scarier. We’re still open. We’re still trying.”

The agency has taken several steps to improve its operations and financial accountability since the theft.

David Ponte, who was president of the board when the fraud was discovered, said his priority was making sure the agency was stable moving forward. The board hired a consultant to examine the agency’s operations and to recommend improvements. A computer system was put in place, replacing the task of bookkeeping by hand. Keegan now opens all the mail herself, and checks require two signatures, not one. And the agency has been open and honest about the incident, Ponte said.

“I think we did everything we could,” said Ponte, who for reasons unrelated to the scandal no longer serves on the board. “We looked at where we were and what we needed to do. I think we were headed in the right direction.”

Families served by the agency apparently haven’t lost faith. Many say they are fully behind Keegan and will do what they can to make sure the agency survives. Keegan had written to families in May, explaining what happened and asking for donations. The families have sent in more than $26,000.

Stephanie and Vernon Sewade of North Andover, who adopted a daughter in 2003 from Russia, has stayed involved with the agency and makes an annual donation.

“Our experience was so positive,” Stephanie Sewade said. “We’ve donated to help keep the agency going for other prospective parents. At other places, you were a number. Florence Crittenton personalized it.”

Sewade said she feels betrayed by Fleury, who she says knew the emotional and financial struggles families go through in the adoption process.

“People refinance their homes, take loans on 401ks,” Sewade said. “She knew them. She befriended us, we trusted her, and she stole our trust.”

William Levitsky of Westford, who was 3 when he was adopted 13 years ago, said he is forever grateful to the agency.

He was born in Belarus with a club foot, and no one knew early on how well he would walk. Today, he’s an avid soccer player who says he’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t make a pro team someday.

“I’m so lucky to be adopted and to have such a great family,” he said. “For someone to take that chance away from a child is inhumane. Honestly, it’s just an unbelievable thing to do to a nonprofit organization that helps people.”

Sewade and Levitsky both said they plan to attend Fleury’s sentencing hearing next Tuesday.

Fleury faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count of mail fraud. She faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count of tax evasion.

Attorneys for the Fleurys did not return calls.

Jennifer Fenn Lefferts can be reached at jflefferts@yahoo.com.

DOCUMENTED PROOF

July 24, 2008

I think this was the first article out. I am however seeing it everywhere on google alerts. I feel for all of those involved. Hopefully they will pop not just the “mafia” but also the agency involved.

Here is the story. Here is the link.

Evidence of Guatemalan baby trade

Officials in Guatemala say they have the first irrefutable evidence that a child was stolen and put up for adoption in the state system.

The National Adoption Council used genetic evidence to confirm the account of a mother who recognised her baby in the company of an American woman.

The baby was abducted by armed men last year but tracked down by her mother.

A false birth certificate and a bogus DNA test were used to indicate that the baby was born to another woman.

Toddler Esther Sulamita was reported stolen on 26 March, 2007.

She was in the process of being adopted by an unidentified US couple when her mother, Ana Escobar, recognised her in the National Adoption Council’s offices.

Widespread abuse

Jaime Tecu, director of a team of experts reviewing all pending Guatemalan adoptions, said the DNA test results represent the first time officials have been able to link a baby reported stolen by its mother to the adoption system.

“This is the first time that we’ve been able to show, with irrefutable evidence, that a stolen child was put up for adoption,” Mr Tecu said.

Ana Escobar said armed men had locked her in a storage closet at the family’s shoe shop north of Guatemala City and abducted six-month-old Esther.

Mr Tecu said officials will investigate the lawyers who handled the adoption, the doctor who signed the falsified DNA tests, and anyone else associated with the process.

“This was run by a mafia, and we are going after them,” he said.

The Guatemalan congress tightened laws on adoption in December, to try to prevent abuse of the adoption system.

In May the authorities suspended the adoption of some 2,300 children by foreigners and are reviewing each case to check if the babies were genuinely being offered for adoption by their birth mothers.

Guatemala is second only to China as the source of babies adopted by US parents, and intermediaries can be paid thousands of dollars to arrange an adoption.

Last year, more than 4,700 Guatemalan children were adopted by Americans.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/7522678.stm

COA STANDARDS – HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

July 24, 2008

Here is the Human Resource Management portion of the COA standards. There are some issues with this one that I wonder about. Since many agencies use CPCs to attain “product,” many of those folks are volunteers. Many CPCs are also a front for the adoption agency. I do also know that states regulate adoption differently. They also have different requirements.

Introduction:

In the social and human service field, an organization’s workforce is its greatest asset. Since employee and volunteers perform the tasks and provide the services that fulfill the organization’s mission, it is incumbent upon Human Resource Management to develop and implement strategies, plans, and programs necessary to attract, motivate, develop, reward, and retain the best people to meet the organization’s goals and objectives. The significance of Human Resources Management is that the capacity to attract and retain a stable, qualified workforce is the foundation for achieving positive results for the people the organization serves.

Human Resources Management also holds important implications for risk management. Sound, consistently applied human resources practices help reduce the risk of employment litigation and costs. Sound practices help protect another of the organization’s most important assets: its reputation in the community.

Work Environment.

The organization provides an equitable work environment that is supportive of organizational productivity, diversity, and stability.

  • The organization does not unlawfully discriminate against any person or category of persons.
  1. Policy prohits personnel from engaging in any form of harassment as defined by federal, state or local law.
  2. The organization prohibits preferential treatment and nepotism with regard to hiring, supervision, and promotion.

Got major issues with this one. Aren’t they discriminating against adoptees? Oh yea that is right only six states have adoptee access. However they actively fight against those rights. What about their policies of denying rights to parents? By humilating, coercing, stealing. Oh that is right. Hard to prove. What about the gay community? Many of the religious based religions deny gays the privilege of parenting. Oh that is right. They only believe in married couples. Gay couples in most states can’t get married. There are too many agencies that have couples or family members working for them. These people will cover each others proverbial behind.

Human resources planning.

The organization assess its workforces as part of annual planning and prepares for future needs by:

  • Comparing the composition of its current workforce, including the number of employees, skills and demographics with projected workforce needs.
  • Determining how to close gaps when possible, through recruiting, training, or outsourcing.

Recruitment, selection and deployment.

The organization hires enough qualified personnel to meet the demands for services.

  • Job descriptions and selection criteria:
  1. State qualifications, job expectations, essential functions, and responsibilities.
  2. Include sensitivity to the service population, culturally and socioeconomic characteristics
  3. Are reviewed and updated regularly.
  • Recruitment and selection procedures include:
  1. Notifying personnel of available positions
  2. Verifying references and credentials of personnel and independent contractors.
  3. Providing applicants with a written job description.
  4. Giving final candidates the opportunity to speak with currently employed personnel.
  5. Retaining hiring records for at least a year.
  • Screening procedures for new employees, contractors, and direct service volunteers include appropriate, legally permissible, and mandated reviews of state criminal history records and civil child abuse registries to determine the appropriateness of hiring prospective personnel who will work:
  1. Work in a residential programs.
  2. Provide direct services to children, the elderly, or other persons determined by the organization to be vulnerable or at risk.
  • An organization that recruits and selects personnel with specific cultural traits or other characteristics establishes that selectivity is:
  1. Legally permissible
  2. Reviewed and approved by the organization’s governing body.
  3. Appropriately considered a bonafide qualification.
  • Organizations that deploy volunteers to provide direct services specify their roles and responsibilities.
  • The network has a uniform and fairly applied credentiality process that accesses and confirms the qualifications of licensed independent contractors /providers who provide network services and are not employed by a member or a community partner that includes:
  1. Verification of licensure, education, and other relevant board certification, where applicable.
  2. Experience delivering services to the populations served by the network.(Again, is this anyone who has performed adoptions? What about those agencies that have been shut down? What about people like Jeannene Smith who bounced from agency to agency? )
  3. The professional judgement of at least three peer professional references with regard to competence and prior satisfactory levels of performance.
  4. Information about pending challenges, provisional status, previous suspensions or denials of licensure to practice.(Does this include Jeannene Smith? I don’t know how many agencies have shut down and reopened under another name and still get accredited.)
  5. Publicly available information or official information regarding professional liability actions or ligation relevant to the provision of network services.
  6. Information about involuntary termination, reduction of professional staff privileges, or discharge from professional employment obtained prior staff affliations or employers.
  • The network verifies that personnel of network partners and network provider organization who provide clinical services to network clients.
  1. Possess relevant licenses and for credentials.
  2. Are receiving appropriate supervision.

Satisfaction and Retention

The organization promotes a high level of personnel satisfaction and retention. ( I wonder if this applies to CPS situations. They are still failing this in many states. I wonder if it also is affecting the agencies that are working in the states where privatized foster care exists.)

  • The organization promotes open communication and collaboration among disciplines and staff levels by:
  1. Holding regular team, organizational and divisional meetings as appropriate to the organization.
  2. Appropriate feedback to personnel about their suggestions and recommendations.
  • The organization enourages initiative, creativity and innovation and rewards and recognizes the contributions of employees.
  • The organization establishes personnel satisfaction and retention goals and measures rate of personnel turnover and personnel satisfaction.
  • The organization takes action to address staff satisfaction and retention concerns.
  • The organization establishes a formal mechanism through which employees can express and resolves grievances which includes:
  1. How grievances are filed, to whom and who will make the final determination.
  2. Timely written notification of the resolution and explanation of any further appeal, rights and recourse.
  3. Documenting responses and actions taken.
  4. Maintaining a copy of the notification of resolution in the personnel record.

Human Resource Practices

Human resource practices are equitable and consistenly applied.

  • The organization complies with applicable laws and regulations governing fair employment practices, and contractual relationships
  • All personnel receive and confirm in writing receipt of an up to date employee policies and procedure manual that articulates current:
  1. Conditions of employment.
  2. Benefits.
  3. Rights and responsibilities of employees
  4. Other important employment related information.
  • Total compensation and benefits are reviewed regularly in relation to industry practices and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • The organization analyzes employment practices, and when the cultural characteristics of its defined service population, the organization implements a plan that:
  1. Establishes goals for recruitment, employment and promotion. (Congratulations on the number of babies you sold.)
  2. Includes a timetables for correction.
  • To ensure compliance with legal requirements the organization reviews its use of contingent workers, including independent contractors, leased workers, volunteers, and temporary employees with respect to tax law, wage and hour laws, and other applicable employment and labor laws.

Performance Evaluation.

The organization holds personnel accountable for their work performance.

  • Every full time and part time employee and volunteer receives a written annual performance evaluation conducted by the person to whom he or she reports.
  • Performance evaluations assess job performance, and emphasize self development and professional growth, in relation to:
  1. Specific expectations defined in the job description.
  2. Organization-wide expectations for personnel.
  3. Objectives established in the most recent evaluation and objectives for future performance as they relate to the organization’s mission and goals.
  4. Development and professional objectives.
  5. Recommendation for further training and skill building.
  6. Knowledge and competence related to the characteristics and needs of service recipients, if applicable
  • Personnel have the opportunity to sign the performance evaluation, obtain a copy, and provide comments.
  • The organizaiton monitors quality of services provided by independent contractors.

Personnel Records.

The organization maintains personnel records.

  • Personnel records are updated regularly and contain:
  1. Identifying information and emergency contacts.
  2. Application for employment, hiring documents including job postings, and interview notes, and reference verification.
  3. Job description
  4. Compensation documentation as appropriate.
  5. Pre-service and in-service training records.
  6. Performance evaluation and all documentation relating to performance, including disciplinary actions and termination summaries if applicable.
  • Personnel records contain health information or preports for annual physical examination, appropriate to the job position or when required by law.
  • Access to personnel records is limited to authorized personnel on a need-to-know basis.
  • Personnel may review, add, or correct information contained in their records, in accordance with applicable law. (Oh they get to look at their own records but adoptees can’t.)
  • Personnel who leave the organization voluntarily have the opportunity to participate in an exit interview.
  • The network maintains a record for independent providers that contain:
  1. Identifying and contact information.
  2. Documentation related to the network and credentialing process.
  3. Documentation of quality monitoring of practioner performance.
  4. Documentation of relevant training.
  5. Performance evalutions and all documentation related to performance, including disciplinary actions and termination summaries if applicable.

With adoption agencies having so many of their employees being related to someone on the governing board, how can they do a fair and equitable performance evaluations? What about the many agencies that have closed shop and opened up in another town under a new name? These agencies are still being accredited. An agency director recently told me that Texas and other states are forgoing actual licensing of these agencies because they are COA accredited. That is a scary prospect. There isn’t an independent party giving these agencies a license. These agencies seem to be paying for the licensing and accreditation without following the rules.

A FRIEND IN NEED

July 24, 2008

I met someone new today. Granted we spoke a few times via email but we spoke for the first time today. The phone call was a couple of hours long. She holds three positions on the footstool of adoption. That makes her particularly interesting to me. She is a complex and very caring woman.

Her name is Jill Ekstrom. I can tell you that she was worth the wait. Yes she is a confidential intermediary by legal terminology. However she is not the confidential intermediary by my standards or for that matter, many adoptees’ and mothers’ standards. I have spoken with five CIs in my journey. Four of them are people that are good people. She however tops the others. I asked her reunion rate. As I figured, it was high.

Her situation was a set up all the way around. It is not the way that I thought. Her fingerprints were not found in the area that the records are kept. They never found a single record that was supposedly stolen in her possession. Their proof was that she reunited a mother with her supposed son. She didn’t have any records of that adoption file.

The police sting had gotten an adoption file. They basically stole an adoptee’s first identity. They even got a copy of his current driver’s license. Neither the adoptee or the natural mother had a clue what was going on. The so called $850.00 fee goes between court costs and a private investigator that works with her. This investigator is prior law enforcement. They moved jurisdiction from Davis county. Why? Jill had worked with many of the judges in that area.

Here is the set up. Jill had been in reunion with her brother for ten years. He had shall we say fell into a bad path. He raped her nineteen year old daughter. She quized her daughter about the incident. She then questioned and confronted her brother. He admitted that he raped her daughter. She then took it to the Davis County prosecutor. This prosecutor chose not to pursue the rape. He set up this sting operation. Why? Her brother in wanting to avoid being charged caluded with the police on this. He said that she stole the records. So the prosecutor, still peeved at her for pushing the issue, set up the sting. There were originally 21 counts. It was dropped to 5 counts. It was one sting operation for one case. Enquiring minds want to know how one natural mom being found led to five counts.

When she was arrested, she was rear ended by a federal marshal. She re injured her neck. She has health issues which are all well documented. The other bad part is that the public defender didn’t want to defend her. She visited with three different ones. She didn’t fire them. The county send in a new one every time she had a court date. She was told that the public defender wouldn’t call in witnesses and would not take this to a jury. She had three minutes to decide whether or not to plea no contest or hire an attorney.

What really irks me is that this woman’s civil rights to a jury trial were violated. The court now wants to have her get a medical evaluation. The prosecutor of Davis County got away with the set up. There would not be another state that would have allowed this to go further. Only in Utah. Only in Utah.

Now her story will be on the internet. Her story will not be silenced. Hopefully the judge will see this post and realize that she was telling the truth.

Just another reason why adoption needs to be changed.