Kimberly Rossler gave birth to a baby boy, Elliott, at the end of May of this year. Since Mirah Riben broke her story on the Huffington Post, there have been some people coming forward, in comments and on her GoFundMe page with vague references to Kimberly’s criminal history and how she isn’t deserving of her child because of it. In addition to this, Fox 10 TV in Mobile, Alabama featured Kim’s story and the Adoption Rocks response to it. The spokesperson for Adoption Rocks states, in the video, “Adoption is a legal process and Adoption Rocks is not about that part. We want to put people with people to make an informed decision.” Adoption Rocks is not about the legal part of adoption? Wait, isn’t Donna Ames the President and founder of Adoption Rocks? Isn’t she also the attorney who represented Kate Sharp through this whole thing? Isn’t Donna the one who stood to make money off the adoption of little baby Elliot? Isn’t Judge Don Davis the one who terminated Kimberly’s parental rights while she thought she was just signing papers to get her “monthly gift?” Isn’t Judge Don Davis sitting on the advisory board of Adoption Rocks? How is Adoption Rocks not a part of the legal process? The attorney and judge that handled the entire legal process work for Adoption Rocks! One of them is the President! For Adoption Rocks to make a formal statement that, “Adoption Rocks in not about that part [the legal process]” is absurd and it is a lie. Yet, a mother who was tricked out of her baby has her credibility under scrutiny. Can anyone spell C-O-N-F-L-I-C-T O-F I-NT-E-R-E-S-T? As a matter of fact, Adoption Rocks, as all non-profits who have to file a form 990, was required to address a conflict of interest policy per the IRS rules as being a non-profit agency. There answer to how they avoided conflicts of interest is this:
“The Organization, on an annual basis, asks each member on the Board of Directors to review the Conflict of Interest Policy to verify that they do not have any conflicts of interest with the Organization.”
Hmmm. Since I do not know what, exactly, Adoption Rocks’ Conflict of Interest Policy says, I will have to judge by the standard and widely accepted definition of “conflict of interest” in a legal sense: “A situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests (financial, emotional, or otherwise), one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation of the individual or organization.” Do you think that making a living off of adoption as an adoption attorney, as Donna Ames is, would be a conflict of interest to Adoption Rocks? Let me remind you again who sits on their Board of Directors.
Now, I know on the form 990 it doesn’t say that advisory board members are given a copy of the Conflict of Interest Policy, but you would think that they would still be held to it, being as this is a non-profit organization. Judge Don Davis is also a part of Adoption Rocks. He is the one who approved the initial termination of parental rights to secure an infant that had yet to be born, at the time, for a client represented by the President of an organization (a non-profit at that) that he sits on the advisory board for. I’d say this qualifies as a conflict of interest in the legal sense. I won’t even get into Donna Ames and her connection to Judge Don Davis’ campaign for re-election. What we have here is quite enough, thank you very much.
What about Donna Ames? According to the article on Fox 10 she states:
“Recent news reports have misrepresented certain facts regarding my former representation of an adoption client. Please allow me to set the record straight. I wish I could go into full detail, but I am limited by my ethical duties to my former client to keep certain matters confidential.
First, my work on this matter was as a private lawyer and Adoption Rocks has no involvement in the matter. Published reports have wrongfully suggested that Adoption Rocks was involved as an adoption agency, which is patently false. Adoption Rocks is a non-profit organization which simply provides a venue (an office) where birth mothers who are experiencing a crisis pregnancy, can gain awareness of the adoption process and review profiles of families wishing to adopt.
Second, my representation in this matter was always limited to the prospective adoptive mother, in this case. I have never represented the birth mother in this case. At the Hearing for Pre-birth Consent, the Probate Judge advised the birth mother, in private, of her rights and her options regarding the Consent to Adoption.
Third, I had no indication that the birth mother had plans to back out of the adoption until May 20, 2015, a few days prior to the birth of the child. As soon as I learned of the possibility of a problem with the birth mother, I tried to determine her intentions. On May 21st, I was informed by the biological mother of the birth mother, that the birth mother intended to keep the child.
Because it was apparent there might be a problem with the adoption, I withdrew from further representation of the adoptive mother in this matter on May 23. Since May 23, I have had no involvement in this case. I suggested to the adoptive mother that she retain new counsel, and I understand she did so. I have had no involvement in the matter since the birth of the child. Any suggestion that I was involved in the custody proceedings is false.
I continue to pray that his matter resolves itself in the best interest of the child. Adoption is a wonderful alternative for a woman in a crisis pregnancy. While the process can be difficult in some cases, it is a very rare occurrence, when an adoption becomes adversarial.
Adoption Rocks is able to provide adoption information to both birth mothers and potential adoptive parents through its efforts to promote adoption. Adoption Rocks helps hundreds of birth mothers and adoptive couples find resources that provide positive solutions to crisis pregnancies. Hopefully, this unfortunate incident will not affect Adoption Rocks good efforts at promoting adoption.
Donna Mes [sic: Ames]”
Donna claims that Adoption Rocks was not involved in this matter at all. Browsing through Donna’s personal website for her legal practice shows many associations with Adoption Rocks. And we’ve already gone through how Donna is associated and connected with Adoption Rocks. Secondly, Donna claims her services were limited to the prospective adoptive mother. However, from conversations given to me by Kimberly, it is clear that Donna was highly involved with Kimberly and advising her. If you did not hold a law degree, and had the same conversations with Donna that Kimberly had, you would probably assume she was representing your best interests as well. Especially since you came to know her through this organization she runs called “Adoption Rocks!” which claims to be “dedicated to loving, embracing, and enabling women with unplanned pregnancies and supporting those who seek to build families through adoption.” Why would Kimberly assume she wasn’t looking out for her best interests as well as Kate Sharp’s? Not only that, on Adoption Rocks own website they say,
“Do I need an attorney/lawyer?
You do not need an attorney and there are no costs to you. The adoptive family or the agency involved will handle all the legal details on your behalf.”
And then we can go right to Donna Ames’ website for her legal practice and see she says, “PREGNANT, AND NEED ADOPTION HELP?
Overwhelmed? Confused? Not sure where to start or what your options are?
You can contact Donna Ames, adoption attorney, to help you understand your choices and there are no costs to you!”
So, tell me again, Donna, how it was clear to Kimberly that you were not representing her best interests as well. In fact, the ethical thing that an attorney would do, you know, one that has ethics, would be to withdraw the pre-birth consent upon being told by a pregnant mother she does not wish to continue with an adoption. Instead Donna withdrew herself from the case to keep her hands from looking dirty, well, in my opinion. I don’t know exactly why Donna didn’t withdraw the pre-birth consent for Kim, who was obviously unaware that it needed to be done. I can only assume it’s because she has no ethics. Other people seem to agree with that opinion.
Kimberly received a message from someone claiming to be a former client of Donna Ames. Here is what they had to say:
Kimberly is now waiting for court which will occur on July 24th. The kicker? Judge Don Davis is officiating. Yes, you read that correctly. Let’s spell conflict of interest again. Kimberly’s attorney is working hard to get Judge Davis off this case and let’s hope that the judicial system works and that happens since he has no business, legally, officiating this case.
As for Kimberly’s “history”…..
Let’s say there is nothing she could have done, unless it was something that would make her a danger to her child (which is not the case) that would make any of this right. Who are you to say who is deserving to parent their child? Should someone come take your feeding infant from your breast because you made mistakes in your life? Does that make it right? Kimberly admits to just getting off of probation for public intoxication. How many of you have ever been drunk in public? How many of you were caught? Let’s also remember this was before she was pregnant and before she was a mother. As far as Kimberly’s other “offenses” she has been committed as a child for emotional issues. She also admits to being suicidal while she was pregnant and attributes it directly to the prospect of giving her child up for adoption. Any adoption “expert” will counsel you that the act of giving your child up, emotionally, is the emotional equivalent of your child dying. The grieving process for these two things are almost identical. It is not so far-fetched to say that just thinking about the time she would have to say goodbye drove her to have suicidal thoughts. The shame she felt about going through with an adoption plan, especially living in a small town where everyone knows everything, was like a fan to flames to fuel her depression while pregnant. She did her best to hide the fact she would be giving up her child so as not to face that shame. All of us first moms know that shame. As for me, only a select few people in my family knew about my adoption plan. I even moved to a different state to hide that I was pregnant. I felt shame. Immense shame and immense depression. For more about this birthmother shame please read the article Claudia from Musings of the Lame has written HERE. Kimberly was not trying to scam anyone and there is nothing that she has done in her past that would justify what has happened to her and Elliott. Kimberly has been nothing but forthcoming with me. Any other accusations or exaggerations are false and only being used to better serve the evil that has occurred.
In regards to Kimberly accepting “monthly gifts,” let’s just clarify here. Buying babies is illegal. That is called human trafficking. If Kimberly was accepting “monthly gifts” in exchange for her infant then that would be human trafficking. If she is to pay back that money because she didn’t give her baby to Kate, that would also equate human trafficking. Those who choose to use this argument to justify her infant being snatched and, essentially, legally kidnapped, should do some serious soul-searching. Besides, Alabama has a statute for that in which it clearly states that relinquishment papers cannot be signed in exchange for money or gifts. So why were relinquishment papers signed at the same time as an approval for “monthly gifts” while Donna was telling Kim that it was necessary to complete so her “monthly gifts” would be approved? Read the law for yourself:
Payments to parent for placing minor for adoption; maternity expenses; receipt of financial benefits by father.
“(a) It shall be a Class A misdemeanor for any person or agency to offer to pay money or anything of value to a parent for the placement for adoption, for the consent to an adoption, or for cooperation in the completion of an adoption of his or her minor. It shall be a Class C felony for any person or agency to pay money or anything of value to a parent for the placement of a child for adoption, for the consent to an adoption, or for cooperation in the completion of an adoption of his or her minor. This section does not make it unlawful to pay the maternity-connected medical or hospital and necessary living expenses of the mother preceding and during pregnancy-related incapacity as an act of charity, as long as the payment is not contingent upon placement of the minor for adoption, consent to the adoption, or cooperation in the completion of the adoption.
(b) It shall be a Class C felony for any person or agency to receive any money or other thing of value for placing, assisting, or arranging a minor placement. This section is not intended to prohibit legitimate charges for medical, legal, prenatal, or other professional services.
(c) Surrogate motherhood is not intended to be covered by this section.”
Timeline of Events:
February of 2015 – Kimberly goes to court for approval of her “monthly gifts” she is told. She signs a preliminary termination of parental rights to get her “monthly gifts” or so she is led to believe.
April of 2015 – Kim informs all parties she intends to parent and will not be going through with an adoption.
May 28th, 2015 – Elliott is born.
End of June 2015 – Baby Elliott is taken from her by a court order signed by Judge Brown who later admitted he did not know it was about an adoption. There was no legal evidence but Kate Sharp and Donna Ames claimed Kim would endanger the baby.
July 24, 2015 – Pre-trial with, so far, Judge Don Davis officiating.
ONE FINAL POINT
If Adoption Rocks is not involved with this “situation” at all, why is it that Kate’s new attorney, after Donna removed herself (without filing a withdraw of consent for Kim’s relinquishment, by the way), is the second attorney listed on the Adoption Rocks website – David Broome. He’s listed right under Donna Ames.
If the pre-birth consent was, indeed, VALID, why did it take 3 weeks? And why did they need to go before a different judge, not mention an adoption, and claim child endangerment? Because it wasn’t valid. That’s why.