Report: #112231

Complaint Review: Center For Family Building

  • Submitted: Sat, October 09, 2004
  • Updated: Thu, August 16, 2007
  • Reported By: IL Illinois
  • Center For Family Building
    1740 Ridge Ave
    Evanston, Illinois

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

My name is Rebecca and 4 years ago I was pregnant. I was 19 at the time and in a bad position. I looked into adoption as a last resort. Although I didn't want adoption I decicded to look into as a just in case, what a mistake that was! I met with a family who was looking to adopt a healthy white infant and although they wanted a girl they said that they would settle for a boy.

Throughout my pregnancy I was brainwashed I was told repeadtly by the adopters and Tobi the owner of the agency and Jennifer (so called birthparent advocate) that I was doing a good thing that being unwed and young I had no bussiness raising a child. I was told that if I didn't go through with the adoption I was being selfsish and my baby would be taken from me anyways. They made me feel like an awful person for even thinking of keeping my baby. On the night I gave birth I did not want the adopters there but they insisted.

Julie sat there the whole night while I was in labor and refered to the baby as her son. She told me countelss times I hope your not changing your mind because were wasting alot of time. When my son was born I wanted to hold him and Bill and Julie just about lost their minds Julie did not want me to touch "her baby." When I held my son I felt like I could not do give him away and I fell apart after that is pretty blurry. I was given pain medication I did not want and I passed out. Right as I was waking up Jennifer Pedley came in my room and thrust some papers in my hands and said sign these very groggy and I did they were surrender papers.

Before my son was born I was promised a fully open adoption names numbers visits ect. the works. Shortky after the adoption was final they adopters dissapeared I never got there real firstnames or any info about them. They have decided not to tell my son hes adopted saying "its in his best intrest." After this happen I contacted the agency and they told me its not longer there problem Tobi and Jennifer both told me "go on with your life you will forget this will seem like a bad dream." I have been called names like s**t, bitter and crazy by the agency owner Tobi and Jennifer the so called birthparents advocate.

If I want pictures or any info I have to fight with the agency for months to get anything at all. They told me I would forget I haven't they told me its in his best intrest its not. Im angry that this agency its still at large telling lies to young naive scared woman. They don't tell woman there options they dig there claws in and start there brainwashing right away. They are baby brokers they hunt down young woman and then tell them the fairy tail of adoption. They outright lied to me and tell me its not there problem. How sad that they are allowed to still be in bussiness how sad there bussiness is ruining lives everyday how sad. Beware of this agency or baby may be the next baby on the auction block.
Rebecca firstmom to Ben searching since 6-15-00

IL, Illinois
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/09/2004 05:55 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Response to L from Oklahoma

AUTHOR: Dani - (U.S.A.)

I am not the borthmother in this story but I am a birthmother to a very similar story. I was 15 when I got pregnant, 16 when I had my daughter and the adoption agency I went through was very good to me. I got to interview parents, pick them, spend time with them, and we all agreed on proper visitation and pics. They also kept part of her birthname. We write letters every year to agree on a day to visit. She was born the 4th of July so it's a holiday get together. Her parents already had one boy and adopted two more (twins) after her. They have a big family and they are excellent people.

I have never regreted that decision. She and I are both better off now than we would have been if I had kept her. I was still living with my parents and I didn't want to be one of those kids who's parents raised their kids because they were young and stupid and thought it was too embarrassing to buy condoms or get on birth control.

Her father is a completely different story. I did inform him of the pregnancy, advised him that I could not keep her and I was giving her up, he argued with me then hung up on me. He never called me after that. I called him as soon as I had her. She was born early and he was a reatard because he told me he didn't believe me because she wasn't due yet.

I hope she doesn't take after him. he dropped out of high school 3 days before graduation. He never showed up to the hearing to terminate his rights and she became theirs. I graduated high school (diploma NOT GED), am in college and I have a little boy now. I see my daughter once a year on her birthday and it's awsome.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion


AUTHOR: Marilyn - (U.S.A.)

Dear Rebecca: I am very sad to hear about all the suffering you have lived. The previous suggestions are very good: contact for free the public advocate and the attorney general of your state, they will refer you to a powerful legal advisor and they will be able to help you as well. Secondly, try to locate the biological baby's father since his right were violated because he should have being informed before giving his son for adoption.

Rebecca... when I was 21, I wasn't married and pregnant by my boyfriend. He was very abusive and I decided to raise my daughter by myself. When I left him, I didn't know that I was pregnant because I always have irregular periods. People told me to have abortion/adoption, but I refused. When I found out I was pregnant I was afraid to go back to him, so he never met her until a year ago.

Now she is 20. I got married when I was twenty two to another man and he recognized my daughter putting his last name. (we have a second child). I always told my daughter that I left her biological father because he was abusive and that I would help her find him.

He moved from PR to NY and I didn't know. I found him using his birthday by (((link redacted))). I PAID $100, but I finally introduced him to my daughter. He regreted that he was abusived and he tried to get back to me, but I am married and definitely I DON'T LOVE/WANT him anymore.

My daughter saw him once but they don't have a relationship because he wants me back and we don't want that. I regreted that I never showed him to my daughter before but his uncle refused to give me his address 10 years ago, so we couldn't find him before.

Dear Rebecca you already gave up your child for adoption, yes it was illegally taken away from you... I am not judging you... but I am afraid that you will have to wait until he is 18.

So live with faith, go to your favorite church, there are support groups for biological moms, get a life, get a higher education, get better. You have the right to get married and have more childrens. Get better because someday you will met your son.

Adoptive and biological mothers all want the best for the childrens. Do not feel bad. Nobody is perfect. Never lose faith. A BRIGHT TOMORROW WILL BE WAITING FOR YOU. BEST WISHES AND THE BEST LUCK FOR YOU ALWAYS. GOD BLESS YOU. SINCERELY YOURS,


CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

I've lived this story

AUTHOR: Lorraine - Geek Consumer Advocate :-) - (U.S.A.)

Rebecca, I am sitting here and can't stop crying and cursing the people that did this to you and your son. I don't know you and I'm not even sure if I have any suggestions for you, other than to get a good lawyer and the birthfather to help you find your son. What I do know, is you just wrote out the same exact story my birth mother told me .. 34 years after my birth when I was finally reunited with her. I know the 'drug them, then wake them up and make them sign the paperwork' trick was used in the 50's, I'm living proof. I did not know it was still being done today. I'm more than horrified.

If I can be of any comfort or help to you as you go thru this horrible time in your life, please feel free to contact the EDitor of this site, including the URL to this report so he sees I will allow contact and get my email address from him. Sometimes it helps to have someone who's been thru all sides of the triad to talk to, vent at, whatever is needed that day. I'm here if you need me and my experience thru the years, of a situation so totally similar to your's, I felt I was reading my own life story.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Adoption Doesn't Have to Be This Way

AUTHOR: Elizabeth - (U.S.A.)

Dear Rebecca & L.

I'm sorry that you have such a negative view of adoption, and I'm especially sorry, Rebecca, that you feel you were duped into adoption. You will be glad to know that coercion is not legal. If you can prove you were coerced to adopt, you may have a case against the agency. Please take the time to talk with a lawyer who has handled numerous adoptions to see if you have a case.

When my husband and I adopted our son three years ago, our agency bent over backwards to ensure that no claim of coercion could be made. Our son's birthmother was given every opportunity allowed by the law to change her mind. We have an open adoption, and of course she is sad that she could not care for her child (she was 16 when he was born and in foster care herself). But she tells us that whenever she feels sad, she remembers how much she loves us and knows that we will be good parents to our (hers and our) little boy.

Pregnancy can be a confusing time. That is why the laws are written so that you cannot relinquish your child before he/she is born. Different states require different amounts of waiting time before you can sign over your parental rights. Most are a few days to a week after the child is born. Illinois won't let you sign for 36 hours. Some states allow you to sign right away, but they generally then give you some time to reverse your decision before it becomes final. The point is that while you are pregnant the baby is somewhat of an abstract concept. Once you have given birth, you need to decide all over again whether you can release your child into another parent's care. You have the opportunity to hold this beautiful life in your arms and think about what is best for the both of you.

Although we have not used the Center for Family Building, I have met their staff at educational conferences. They always seemed both caring and aware of the tough decision birthmothers are facing. I know they know the rules about coercion because I've heard them give talks about them. The birthmother representative I met was herself a birthmother to a child placed for adoption.

I know I, for one, would never want to be the mother of a child whose birthmother did not want me to be. We first started talking with our birthmother when she was only 2 months along. We had been referred by relatives. I told her at the time that it was too soon to assert that she was certain she would place her baby. For her well being and the health of the baby she needed to continue to be open to parenting. At 5 months she told me she wanted me to be in the delivery room with her. I thanked her for such a wonderful invitation but assured her that if the time got closer and she felt differently I would understand.

I watched my son come into the world, which was an awesome gift for her to give to meand such a show of trust in my motives. My husband and I spent a few hours with her, her baby and her mom after the birth. I cherish the fact that this newborn heard his birthmother's and our voices happily and lovingly intermingled during that time. She asked my husband and me to come to the hospital the next day to spend time with her and her son, but when we showed up her mom explained that she wanted more alone time with the baby, since the placement would be happening the following morning. I was glad she was showing a healthy interest in and attachment to the baby.

The placement ceremony was beautiful. That was when we announced our son's adopted name. We had not told anyone what the name would be until then to honor his time with his birthmother and his birth name. His new name included connections to all three of his parents, me, my husband, AND his birthmother. The announcement we sent out about our son acknowledged the great love shown by his birthmother in placing him with us.

I share all of this because I want you to know how adoption can be done beautifully and rightly, honoring the birthmother and her connection to the child instead of trying to pretend it isn't there. She is no longer his legal parent but will always be his birthparent.

In response to L. saying that adoption is not good for kids because they always want to know their roots, I would like to point out that adopted children rarely search for their birthparents because they are dissatisfied with their adoptive parents. They search because biological connections are strong and meaningful in different ways than the connections you form as a part of daily life with your forever family. I hope the day comes when my son can have some contact with his birthfather, who chose not to be a part of the placement or openness of the adoption. (As for ending up marrying syblings--I've never seen a reliable report that this has happened. Even if it has, it would be very rare.)

While some adoption practices of the past were horribly wrong, they do not represent how adoption is handled for the most part today. Open adoption is the norm in domestic placements unless the birth families have tendencies toward violence, crime, or harmful addictions. Most adoptive parents I know wish they knew more about or had closer relationships with their children's first parents. Many international adopters originally choose to cross borders because they don't like the idea of the birth families being involved. As their children grow, however, the parents become more and more aware that the birth families will always be a part of their children's lives. Most come to grieve the loss for their children of possible contact with birth families.

Our agency, Sunny Ridge Family Center, does a great job counseling birthmothers. About half of their counselees follow through with adoption. Half choose to parent on their own.

I hope you, Rebecca, can come to a place of peace about this adoption. I hope that your son has a loving family who will be open to his initiating more contact with you when he and they are ready. In the meantime, check out that legal issue and try to find a counselor who can help you deal with your loss. (If you are in the Chicago area, you might try contacting Sunny Ridge. They are in Wheaton and provide counseling--I think it might even be free--to people in your situation. They have a website, so you could start there.) There are also great books about processing the losses of adoption. Check your library or Amazon as adoption sections at bookstores in your neighborhood may have more titles for adoptive parents and adoptees than for birthmoms.

Besides all this, the best thing you can do for your son is to take your own life in a positive direction (if you aren't already--I don't mean to assume) so that when he does try to contact you (which he most likely will) you will be someone he can be proud of and excited to share your genepool.

You will never forget, nor should you!

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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Rebecca! Rebecca! I'm so sorry you've been so misguided!

AUTHOR: L. - (U.S.A.)

Rebecca, have you looked into finding the father of your baby? His rights were likely not considered and it may be a way for you to find your baby. I certainly hope so! I wish you the very best in your search!

I read one report where a child had been raised right down the street from his biological parents but the child didn't KNOW the truth. It was a closed adoption. The mother was not informed who adopted the child nor given any information about their whereabouts. It wasn't until the child fell in love with a neighborhood child that it was learned they were siblings. Children need to KNOW their biological roots!

DHS and various adoption agencies are NOT a good resolution to what is BEST for any child! It's only in THEIR best interest! That's their main saying though ... "It's in the best interest of the child for you to relinquish your parenting rights!" "If you don't sign the relinquishment papers, you're very selfish and do not want the BEST for your little baby." "You know that a more mature and settled couple can better provide for the needs of your little baby." "You do what your little baby to have the best, don't you?" It's over and over repeated statements to make you feel VERY guilty if you DON'T sign the papers. Of course, the adoptive family has paid from $2,000 to $60,000 or more to get your little baby in their home.

Rebecca, I hope the adoptive parents will look for you and help you have some sort of relationship with your little baby. It will be (or should be) beneficial for all concerned.

Rebecca, we had a report in a local newspaper where a woman found, after 40 years, that she DID have siblings. She had been told by her adopted parents that her mother and father were deceased. Her older sister, who was about six years old when the children were removed from their mother and grandmother, finally was able to research and find her baby sister. She remembered her baby sister! She was adopted to people living in another state. She had been able to locate her brother earlier. Their reunion was joyous!

I located a site on the internet where parents, describe all they know about their baby on the site. They give the DOB and place of birth and HOPE that someone searching for birth parents will see the posting. But, in your case, unless your baby suspects that he is adopted, he will not be searching the site. It could be that some of his friends, who know his birthdate, could search and report to him. Then, if he thinks it could be him you're searching for, he would look for you.

Rebecca, I just cannot be convinced that adopting a child outside of the biological family or close family friends is BEST for any child! These little children ALWAYS search for their roots unless, as in your case, they are lied to. Adoptive parents and adoption agencies hide the information through closed adoptions. It's shameful!

When medical reports are developed, the child has no idea of background health of their real biological parents. The family health reports are given by the adopted parents who know very little about the REAL birth family traits.

Rebecca, I hope you'll do what you can to locate the father and see if he can or will HELP you find your baby. In order to adopt the baby, they should have had the father sign the papers, too. If that was not done, you may have hope to have a reunion with your baby through the father.

Hang in there! There are MANY children who have been through closed adoptions. I believe that when the child is eighteen years old, he can request that the adoptions records be opened so he'll know the truth. But, if he never suspicions that he's adopted, he may never request that the closed files be opened.

I hope the adopted parents will tell the child the truth so he CAN search the records and find you.

In the meantime, get yourself a good education and develop a career so that when or if he ever finds you, he'll be proud he finally located you and proud of YOU and your accomplishments! I KNOW you want what is BEST for your baby and hope you find him so you can tell him you really love him!
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