In 2000 I left my sister in law and her husband adopt my four year old daughter. I did it because I did not feel that at that time I could give my daughter all the things she deserved in her life. My sister in law begged to adopt my daughter so she would still be part of our family. We agreed. They promised us the world for our little girl. They had two new cars, money in the bank, a nice warm home, it seemed perfect for her.
Before we went through with the adoption I had all parties sign a noterized paper because I knew after the adoption I was the "out sider" and if my husband and I broke up I wanted to make sure they would give me the same rights they would give my husband. We put in the paper that they would send us pictures and updates and that when she started school we would get copies of her report card etc. They promised us we would always have contact with her, they promised so much.
When we went to court to make the adoption final, we gave the judge the noterized letter of things that both parties agreed to. I had no lawyer, and I had no one there to ask me, what if this goes bad and you're daughter ends up with less, what if they lie and don't let you see you're daughter anymore, and I can't say I thought of any of these on my own at that time. I just thought I was doing what was best for my child. The Judge told me he could not make it legal for them to do the things we all agreed to but he would keep it on file and he would make the record that they promised us the things we asked for "on good faith"
Now seven years later, though it has been off and on, I have maintained a relationship with my daughter. She knows I am her birth mother and she understands that Tyler (the son who lives with me) is her brother. The adopted parents have divorced, and my husband committed suicide. The adopted mother lives in a tiny apartment where the ceilings are falling in and have holes in them, she don't work just collects Social Security and has been in and out of rehab and mental health institutions time and time again. The adopted father drives around in a 200.00 car and can not even afford to put cable in the house. Since the divorce my daughter was living with her adopted mother FT and her adopted father every weekend.
Last year after a long fight and not speaking to her for months the adopted mother called me on my cell phone and told me she had to talk to me about my daughter and it was urgent, could I come right away. I was on my way back from a business meeting in Baltimore and told her I would come the minute I returned, I asked if my daughter was ok but she told me to just get there as soon as possible.
When I arrived at her house my daughter was not there, just the adopted mother and her new boyfriend. They told me to have a seat. The adopted mother told me that she has been thinking about this for awhile and she thinks it would be best if I take my daughter back to live with me.
She said she felt I could provide more for her and she felt that my daughter knew I was her real mom and that she wanted to be with me. She told me if I wanted her back it would only happen under one condition, she was being evicted from her home so she wanted the 550.00 her rent was behind and she said she was getting ready to go back to school and she needed a laptop computer. Though I knew I was being bribed I wanted my daughter back so bad, I have wanted her back from the day I signed the papers, I see what she is living with and it breaks my heart because it's not what I wanted for her nor what I was promised. The adopted mother told me that she spoke with the adopted father and I had to do this before he changed his mind.
I went back the next day and I told her I would give her 100.00 but that would be it till she went back to court and legally gave me my daughter back. I took all my daughters items and moved them back into my home. The next day when my daughter returned to her adopted mothers from her adopted fathers, the adopted mom sat down and told my daughter that she was going to live with her real mom again, to my surprise my daughter was so happy about the news, her and her brother would be back together and my life again would be complete.
I had her at my home for a week while I tried to find out what my legal rights were to my daughter (which I now know are NONE) While my daughter was with me she told me stories about her adopted parents that would make many people sick. Stories about abuse from her adopted mother and father. She told me she always wanted to be back with me and her brother and she said she felt like she was now part of a family. She begged me to never send her back.
After I contact an attorney they told me to call the adoped father myself and find out where he was with all this since at that point I had no conversation with him at all. When I called him he had NO IDEA that my daughter had been returned to me. He came and picked her up a week later but during that time I did everything in my power to keep my daughter back with me where she was safe.
I went to Ephrata Boro police department and spoke to Officer Wolf who told me I should consider the money I gave the adopted mom cherity and I should give back my daughter and leave things go, move on with my life. No help there, they would not even go to the adopted mothers house and question her about trying to sell me my daughter back.
I then contacted Children and Youth and told them some things the adopted mother told me the adopted father did to my daughter such as punch her in the mouth, shoot her dog in the head in front of her and still at age 9 made my daughter sleep in bed with him. They did not even pick up the phone and call the adopted father, they told me it sounded like excuses to not give her back.
I then went to the lancaster county court house to file a PFA because my daughter cried to me that she was afraid of him, they told me I had no right to file because I was not her parent so I asked if I could file as her aunt since legally that is what I am and they told me I could. When I went in the back with the pfa lady she told me I could report abuse and get a PFA on him for my daughter but they would not remove her from the home because I am just a aunt, but they would send him a letter and tell him he is not allowed to abuse her while the PFA is in place, ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
When the adopted father came to pick up my daughter and take her back, my son, me and my daughter were all sitting at the kitchen table. My daughter told her adopted father she knows I am her mom and my son is her brother. She told him she felt loved and she felt like part of a family and she begged him to stay with us but he tore her from the place crying and screaming. She asked me to promise that I would not give up the fight to get her back. She has tried to run away from adopted dadas home to come find me and no one is willing to listen to her cries.
What if adoption goes bad? What if the adopted parents don't offer you're child what they promised you, what if you're child ends up being abused, according to our law IT'S FINE. No one will step in or go out of their way to help this little girl, I am going to take matters into my own hands if I don't get help soon. Even the adopted father told me last time he seen my son and daughter outback playing together that he NEVER SEES HER THIS HAPPY ANY OTHER TIME.
Children and Youth you are failing this little girl, Ephrata Police, you are failing to protect this girl and Lancaster County Court is doing the same. What next? Don't anyone care any more.
With every other law there is an exception to the rule. When you get married you go to court in front of a Judge and you make the promise that you both agree this is till death do you part, a LIFE LONG COMMITMENT, and then when they have problems they go back to the Judge and say " we know we signed papers and promised to be together forever but we changed our mind, can we have a divorce now?" Does the Judge say no you signed a paper and now you have to stay together forever, no he grants them the right to change their mind and realize they made a mistake.
Why is it adoption is the only law that has no exception to the rule? I got my life back and it was then again ripped away and NEITHER of the adopted parents have to answer for what they put my daughter my son and myself through and continue to put us through. What if you don't get what you were promised, should adopted parents not be held just as accountable? Where is justice for my daughter who never did anything wrong.