My Adoptive Parents Won In Court

We see these types of headlines in the adoption community often. They read “Adoptive Parents vs. Biological Mother” where the circumstances leading to an attempted adoption are questionable, but the prospective adoptive parents have the upper hand in most cases. Either the adoptive parents “win” on a technicality or they have more money to pursue a lengthy court case or know the right people and eventually, those of us that stand on the side of adoption ethics must accept that another adoption moves forward though there were many reasons it should not have.

My adoption was one of those cases. Thankfully, there were no headlines about it.

Adoption Truth

It was a long road to obtain reliable answers in my own story. For the record, I was raised in an open adoption. That did NOT lead to answers. There were, however, many perspectives. There was my adoptive mother’s perspective, my biological mother’s perspective and a few relatives who made offhanded comments that lead me to question what exactly had happened to lead to my own adoption. But there was nothing I considered to be an answer that was objective. I thought I’d just live my life not really having answers.

Then, I decided to pursue getting a copy of my original birth certificate. That was the action that changed everything. I had heard, sort of as a footnote, to also request all adoption records in my adoption file. In my letter I included the sentence, “I am petitioning to inspect all records retained.”

It took over six months to receive my original birth certificate and a couple of weeks after I received it, I finally received the remaining contents of my adoption file. There were over 30 pages.

Within those 30 pages, there was the petition for adoption, amended petition for adoption, judgment of adoption (among other documents) and most importantly, a confidential report from the social worker in which she details the events of several years leading up to the petition for adoption.

Throughout the report, the social worker identifies the unethical and illegal actions taken by my adoptive mother to manipulate my original mother. These include lying, creating an unsafe environment for my mother and siblings, escalating the situation to a full blown crisis, attempting to influence those involved in the investigation and attempting to financially gain from the adoption.

At the end of the report, the social worker wrote:

“I am concerned with the manner in which this child was initially obtained and with the false information which Mrs. (adoptive mother) gave the birth mother regarding this so-called “Adoption”. Knowing the feelings of the birth mother and having been personally misled by Mrs. (adoptive mother) on so many important issues, I could not in good conscience recommend that this adoption be finalized.”

My Adoptive Parents Won In Court

In the Judgment of Adoption, the judge wrote:

“The Petitioners are of good moral character, of reputable standing in the community, and of sufficient means to be able to properly maintain and educate the infant defendant herein; and that the best interests of the infant defendant will be promoted by the adoption prayed for and that the infant defendant is suitable for adoption.”

One may wonder how an adoption moved forward when there were so many red flags, questionable actions and causes for concern. It moved forward for the same reasons that unethical adoptions today are finalized. There were technicalities, my adoptive parents had the means to pursue a long court case and they knew the right people. These things were true to the extent that my adoptive parents were declared to have “good moral character.”

Forgive me if I don’t include lying, stealing, coercion and manipulation in “good moral character.”

I’ve heard it said that once adoptees realize that their adoptive parents fought the biological parents to obtain the adoptee, the adoptee will hate them for it.

How do I feel?

When I think of those months my biological mom must have felt diminished, scared and small, unable to fight back against a well-established family in the community, it angers me. When I think of my adoptive father, who I held close to my heart as a protector, provider and friend, it saddens me to know that he stood by and watched such evilness take place without stepping in. When I think of the years I invested in trying to find a place in my adoptive family, the very people who had waged a war against my biological mother, I feel saddened and betrayed.

They told my mom she was too young to be a good mother.
They told my mom she was too impoverished to be a good mother.
They told my mom that they could provide a better life, better education and the finer things.

When none of that worked, they turned on her. They were hostile toward her while she was still in the hospital recovering from my birth. They tried to evict her. They reported her to CPS. They told her that she should not only relinquish me, but also my sister. They were motivated by a financial incentive to finalize my adoption when I was 8.

Then, when all else failed, they took my mom to court and “won”.

My adoptive parents may have won in court, but I would never call them winners. And they certainly haven’t “won” a place in my heart.

28 thoughts on “My Adoptive Parents Won In Court

    1. Roni Skipworth

      Clicking on this link adoptionrealities dot weebly dot com came up with ‘Page Not Found’. Just thought I would let you know Linda Smith

  1. Chelsea

    I am a natural mother who experienced almost the exact heartache your natural mother did. I fought for almost two years for my daughter back starting the day after i signed in the hospital while on medication. Of course i lost because they were better off and knew the right people. I couldn’t appeal the case when i wanted to because of funds. I will never be able to forgive them. I can hope my daughter will see the truth one day lile you did without me influencing her. I dont want her to hear i hate her parents its not fair to her. If she sees the truth and feels like you and so many other adoptees do, bretrayed, she will hopefully find me and we can reunited like we were supposed to the day after i left the hospital.

    1. Kat Post author

      I’m so sorry, Chelsea. I hope you will be reunited. Huge hugs to you and all the first moms and dads that this happened to.

  2. Liz

    This is just devastating. I would love to hear how you feel about your adoptive mother now, and if you have been able to forgive her or if she even sees that she did anything wrong.

    I agree, something seems off if people have to fight birth parents to get an adoption to go through. Adoption should not be forced.

  3. Liz

    Also, could you clarify, who did you petition for the adoption records? Who was keeping the 30 pages of records? For some reason I thought the state had the birth certificate and other records would be held by the agency.

  4. Mirah Riben

    THANK YOU for sharing this! We need to reblog this and make it go viral so all who even THINK of attempting these callous, ruthless acts to obtain a child think again! You child WILL find out and hate you!!!

  5. Pingback: Adoption File Questions | Sister Wish

  6. Mirren


    Thank you so much for providing a much-needed perspective. We need open-adoption adoptees to write about their experiences because too often, open adoption is painted as the perfect answer to all that was wrong with closed adoption. Without hearing from people who have lived it, it will simply be more of the same glib assumption of happy endings.

    I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your writing.

    And I freaking hate National Adoption Awareness Month.

  7. Myst98

    Wow, sounds very similar to the case with my daughter and I. I signed the papers following being threatened I would lose my daughter anyway if I didn’t and a promise from the then prospective adopters that if I still wanted to raise her following a three day ‘trial’ period, they would return her. Of course, I had no idea or knowledge about the law and what I could and couldn’t do but the adopters did and they used this to their advantage. They were informed on day three that yes, I did still want to raise her but they did not honour their agreement. I took the matter to court and won the main case and my daughter was to be returned to me. They then took the matter back to court and through what I have learned since, a corrupt court case ensued which saw me lose my child forever. She is now 16 and has only learned a little of the truth of what happened but has chosen to have no contact with me. The whole thing has been heartbreaking and soul destroying although I am much more confident these days about myself compared to the first 10 years. Thank you for sharing your story. I can only hope one day my daughter will see the situation as you do and stop being manipulated and used by her adopters. They have played games her whole life and made everything about them, showing no care about her except where it makes them look good or bad. It’s a horrid situation for a child to grow up in. Bless you xxx

    1. Kat Post author

      Myst98, Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am sorry for what you have been through. Nobody should have to go to court to fight for a child like this. It was very difficult to find out that the people I had placed my love and trust with had done this. Even as a young adult, there are just so many perspectives to take into consideration that it wasn’t until I saw my adoption file for myself that I knew I had the truth.
      I wish you the very best. Huge hugs. <3

  8. Pingback: Adoption Isn’t Like That Anymore | Sister Wish

  9. Cindy A.

    Someone that steals a child or receives a stolen child is -not- a mother/father.. they are a thief and a kidnapper. Yes, if you (or the procuring agents) take a child without the mother and father’s ***WILLING***!! consent, or you rush/push ”consent” at birth (or sometimes before) or within the first days/weeks after birth (because you’ve got a bad case of the gimme, gimme’s going on) or you refuse to give the child back to the mother/father because aaww I don’ wanna’) .. you are a thief and a kidnapper and covetous (for those of a ”religious” persuasion).
    If the ”adoption” hasn’t ”finalized” (finalization date should not be less that 6 months)…. give the child back to their mother/father. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU (or me)! There are ***many**** other** people** that you are affecting/effecting for GENERATIONS to come and not in a -good- way when you do things this way. Is it really that bloomin’ hard to understand? How much hurt, harm and damage do –you– want to be responsible for?
    I do understand and have lived the heartache and perceived shame and loss from infertility. Do you want to make things worse or ‘bad’ for so many others? Does misery really love company? It won’t make you feel any better once the ‘new’ wears off or the reality of parenting a child that is not truly yours sets in… you, with all your painful losses will still be there. Adoption is not a cure for infertility. Deal with your reality. Let others do the same. Open adoption records. Make believe and pretend should not be part of a mature adults life. I know miracles can and do happen. I believe.

  10. Pingback: Sisterwish: My Adoptive Parents Won In Court - All In The Family of Adoption

  11. Lori

    I too was adopted. I’ve always wondered why my adoption wasn’t finalized until I was 7. My birth mother says we were stolen but she’s full of lies and it’s hard to know what is real with her. She claims it was all my father but he has been deceased for over 10 years now. My adoptive mom says she knows nothing about it. She says he handled all of the legal stuff while she took care of us kids and the house. I would really love to know who exactly I should write to in order to petition my records. I was born in Louisiana and adoption finalized in Alabama.

    1. Kat Post author

      Lori, I can’t say for sure, but definitely encourage you to give it a try. If you have your original birth certificate, you may be able to use it to get your records. If not, your birth mom may need to sign for you to gain approval to get it. When you decide to petition, make sure you ask for “all records retained” in your adoption file. You want to try to get everything they’ve kept, not just the original birth certificate. Start by calling vital records in both states and ask them what the process is. I wish you the best in your attempt to get the truth.

    2. Mirah Riben

      MANY birth moms feel their child was stolen. Some actually were. Many were taken under duress and coercion, manipulation, etc.

      So her saying you were stolen may be less a lie and more a reflection of her FEELINGS….

  12. Daizy

    I often wondered about myself. I was told mom couldnt care for me. But i was 2&1/2 so i kinda knew what was happening. I found later my adoption was never finalized. Turns out mom refused to sign her rights away. But my father had sided with his uncle(who raised me)& threatened to testify about her alcoholism if she pushed to get me back (she had asked when i was 4). I heard bits and pieces of this over the years. But hearing mom say it when i found her broke my heart for her. Single, struggling financially& in the army ..she didnt have much choice. I cant imagine my doing this. He has passed away. But i KNOW was behind this. She once admitted trying to get one of her nieces kids. But the mom wanted to take her in too& refused. And then she asked if they would help while she finished college&they told her no. If they took in the baby they were gonna keep her. Whrn i heard this, i was soooo angry. I never forgave her. And after reuniting with mom, i will never view the same. We always had issues but part of me really despises her now. Buy she is. 89&i am all she has or else i wouldve cut her off years ago.
    With that said..i am also a mother of loss ro adoption. I left my son at birth because i had horrific circumstances. And i went back to court to get him. But his foster parents were “perfect.” they were married college sweethearts, had good jobs, house with the white picket fence (literally), and were about 10yrs older than me with a super sad infertility story. Judge disliked me.right off. They paid a good lawyer who drug the case out forever. And long story short “they were the only family my son ever knew

    1. Kat Post author

      So sorry for the late reply Daizy! Your comment was hidden over in the spam section and I just found it.
      Your story sounds similar to mine. It’s so difficult when we discover the truth so late. I mean, how do we confront people who are now in their late 80s / 90s? I can’t do it though part of me wishes I could. Like you, my Adad was such kind soul, I can’t imagine him having an active role in all of what happened, but I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think that there’s so much truth to they saying that bad things happen when good people stand by and do nothing. Without our Adads standing up for what was right, our Amoms got away with so much. (Though for me, after having seen the social worker’s report, I’m convinced that my Adad wasn’t as kind and gentle as I had grown up thinking and that to some extent, he actually did take an active role)
      I’m sorry that you and your mom have been through all of this. Hugs.

  13. Chanell

    My heart hurts to read this. This really should not be called “adoption.” I am so sorry for you and for your first mother that this happened. Truly heart-breaking and unacceptable.

  14. Amber Rose

    I am a Birth mother who placed my child openly to an adoptive family. My sons father fought the adoption and it was up to a jury to find him unfit, which they did. He did not want the child, he wanted me! My adoptive family spent a lot of money to fight in court to keep the adoption going and for it to be finalized. I am proud they did because my child is safe and so are the other children I parent solely on my own from an addict and abuser.
    I hope my child never hates me for walking into a court room to fight to keep him safe from his birth father!


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