Independent Adoption Center Goes Belly Up Without Warning

Yesterday and today, without warning, hundreds, maybe thousands, of prospective adoptive parents checked their email and found that the adoption agency they had been working with (see: paying) was no longer in business. Some were near the end of the adoption process and already have children in their homes and are just waiting on finalization, some had just began the process and didn’t have too much invested quite yet, and others were somewhere in between. When they went to their website at http://independentadoptioncenter.org/ they found this:

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When you click on the links entitled “News Release” and “To Our Families” you get this:

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Independent Adoption Center boasted 34 years of agency experience helping to facilitate over 4300 adoptions in those 3 and a half decades. They were fully licensed in California, Georgia, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. They were HUGE.

There’s a few key sentences you should pay attention to.

“The IAC has worked tirelessly to adapt to this changing environment, but the many efforts we implemented were ultimately unsuccessful.”

The “changing environment” referred to is in reference to the lack of “potential birthmothers” that is cited earlier. Just how did IAC work tirelessly to procure more “potential birthmothers” to meet the demand of the clients they took on.  Apparently WAY too many clients as well. As one birthmom friend said, this being the agency she worked with while pregnant and after giving birth, she was coerced and pressured by IAC beyond belief, ultimately relinquishing her child even though she didn’t want to.

“As everything will be under control of the trustee and the court, IAC will not be involved with determining how any remaining funds in the account are utilized.”

So this wasn’t something that just popped up yesterday. This has been in the works for some time if there is already a trustee for their chapter 7 bankruptcy. Then why weren’t families warned? Why was IAC still accepting PAYMENTS at least FIVE days ago? If you know you’re in the process of filing for bankruptcy, why are you drafting people’s bank accounts for payments of services you know you won’t be rendering because you’re shutting down? ALL THE WAY DOWN.

Calling their lines gives you an automated message pretty much telling you the same thing that is shown here. Emails have gone unanswered. As I said earlier, their website is all but gone, their Facebook page has disappeared.  They’ve gone off the grid as much as one CAN go off the grid, filing bankruptcy and leaving people in the lurch.

(I’m getting to a point, I swear I am)

Hopeful adoptive parents with home studies through IAC are no longer valid. The home studies they paid for are worthless and they have to start again.

Hopeful adoptive parents that have been making payments? Same thing. That money is gone.  Wait for something to come in the mail from the courts to prove your claim against the “estate.” If there’s anything left to claim that is.

Hopeful adoptive parents who already have a child in their home but haven’t finalized? Their states don’t care that their agency went belly up. The law still says a certain number of home visits must be conducted by a licensed agency for a judge to grant finalization.

Adoptive parents and first parents who have already utilized this agency and finalized? The records will probably be sent to the state making it even HARDER for an adoptee to access them.  Making it even harder for a first parent to access them. Furthermore, some adoptions were only open in the capacity that IAC was facilitating all contact as a third-party. Those first parents and adoptive parents have NO WAY TO FIND EACH OTHER TO CONTINUE CONTACT. (So much for that open adoption IAC promised)

Lots of sensitive information and documents are in the hands of IAC and many people are wondering what will be done with that. IAC failed to talk about that in their “News Release.” This isn’t sensitive information like where someone works.  We’re talking FBI background checks and medical records.

Let’s not forget that promised “lifetime support” to first families and adoptive families. Just another way to bring in business, get the goods, and turn a profit. Obviously that “lifetime support” is no longer available to those it was promised to.

Where am I going with all of this?

A couple of days ago I wrote an article about an agency administrator as an admin in an adoption support group.

I received a lot of support and a lot of backlash.  As a matter of fact, I receive a lot of backlash all the time from hopeful adoptive parents and adoptive parents alike. Here’s my point.

The adoption industry SCREWS you too.  They don’t care. If they aren’t making money they DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU. They will leave you in the lurches, close their doors, and tell you to see ’em in court. Do you NOT understand how important reform is? Don’t you know WHY adoption costs what it does? This adoption agency went bankrupt. BANKRUPT. And not a word was spoken until the day before they shut their doors totally cutting off all communication with their clients. They were still collecting payments until days before. They were still going through the motions making their clients believe everything was okay. It’s the same thing they do to expectant moms.

Do you think that an agency that acted as unethically with their bankruptcy as they did acted ETHICALLY when dealing with expectant mothers? Not a chance. There is a HUGE uproar in the adoptive parent/hopeful adoptive parent community over this. Yet, most of you look away when people like me say “Hey! This agency is bad! This industry does this! They aren’t ethical!” I’m just an angry bitter birthmom. But when it happens to you – oh the shame!

You’re fooling yourselves if you think that IAC is an exception. Independent Adoption Center is not an exception. They just happened to be one of the larger ones to conduct themselves this way. Smaller agencies are closing all the time leaving similar destruction in their wake.

Furthermore, with the awakening of those of us who were tricked or coerced, the creation of Saving Our Sisters, and the endless hours dedicated to TRUE reform and protections of expectant parents and their children, agencies like IAC will no longer have a place in today’s society.  We’ll make sure of that.

I’ll leave you with Independent Adoption Center’s Form 990 from 2014 tax year. I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out how a “non-profit” with $2,262,074 in NET assets goes belly up in 2 years.

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Desperation in Mobile, Alabama: Kimberly Rossler & Underhanded Legal Tactics

This post was composed at the end of July 2015. I have waited until now to publish it.

For those who aren’t aware of what a gag order is, I’d like to do a quick informational session.

Gag orders can also be called protective orders. They are typically used to prevent parties in a trial from discussing anything pertaining to the trial with the public. It is supposed to protect potential witnesses, jury members, and other people. Usually gag orders are used in criminal trials in order to assure the defendant receives a fair trial. People can only shelter themselves from the media so much and with some highly publicized cases it could be next to impossible to find jury members that have not been swayed by an article they’ve seen on the Internet or something they’ve seen reported on the news. There are different types of gag orders and they can cover different things but, usually, anything that was discussed before the gag order took affect is fair game. For instance, say there is a trial for a famous murder suspect. This would be a highly publicized case. National, if not international, attention would most likely be attracted to it. If the suspect in the case had discussed A, B. and C with the media before a judge instituted a gag order for trial participants, then A, B, and C can still be discussed and reported on in the media. Gag orders used to be applied to journalists but that was found to be unconstitutional and directly violated freedom of the press. To bypass this, judges just began silencing the participants.

Gag orders are very controversial and some have been challenged with success in the court room. I have not been able to come up with any cases of gag orders being applied for circumstances such as Kimberly’s except for the case of Carri Stearns, whose story is similar to Kimberly’s. Personally, I believe gag orders for cases where there is no jury trial are just another way to shut people up. Unfortunately, cases like these need to be publicized so people are aware. Going through comments after comments on article after article I would estimate 90% of the public has no idea how adoption or adoption laws even work. It’s sad.

Since gag orders have no authority to stop reporters from reporting on cases, the media and journalists are free to report on it and find other sources to gain information. I have been working on this for a little while so that I can try to give some sort of update to all of Kimberly’s supporters. No one is as frustrated as you all that we are not being informed with what is going on.

To do this, I took to social media. Scouring through comment after comment on all the news articles that were posted on Facebook as well as individual websites I stumbled across something. Remember, gag orders apply to ALL parties in a case. So, since Kimberly isn’t allowed to talk about the case, neither is Kate Sharp or her associates. I found a comment on one of the articles from a [name hidden to protect the identity – we’ll call him C]. C commented about a car accident that Kimberly had caused 4 or 5 years ago that involved rear-ending him. C was upset because nothing ever came of it and made some allegations that maybe the police were involved in helping Kimberly lie, or something like that, and that Kimberly had given the police a false name and ID when they arrived at the scene of the fender bender. He never recouped costs. If I were in C’s shoes I would probably be a little perturbed about that as well. Kimberly is not at liberty to discuss the case, but she is at liberty to tell me anything else she wants unrelated. So I asked her. We had previously talked, before the gag order, and I had asked her to tell me all the dirty little secrets. Sadly, when you case becomes publicized, everyone will pick you apart and find reasons why you shouldn’t have your baby. It is quite amusing, however, because it is a very rare person, indeed, to not have any “skeletons” in their closet. I digress. Kimberly gave a general breakdown of the things she had done in her past. She didn’t disclose this accident but had disclosed a charge for underage drinking. I’m sure you’ve seen her mug shots when you google her name. This was her past, however. She was young, even a teenager for some things, and this was not who she was today. I must point something out. Kimberly works at a day care center. Federal law does not allow people with certain criminal records to work with children. You are also required to take a drug test and pass a background check to do so. Let me repeat, Kimberly works at a day care center. Where were we? Oh yes, I asked Kimberly about C’s claim in the comments section of the Fox10 Facebook posting. She said, flat out, “He has a right to be mad. I’d be mad. What I did was wrong and I never repaid him. But that’s not who I am now, that’s who I was then. That was like 5 years ago.” She’s right.

I decided to visit C’s personal Facebook page and saw a public posting he had made in regards to Kimberly. He claims he has a decision to make and asks his friends to help. He goes on to tell about his run in with Kimberly those years ago and says he has been approached to be a character witness for the opposition in this case. He tells his friends what she had done to him and asks if he should do it. You know, since she wronged him in the past. He does not know Kimberly personally, and admits to this in the comments. His only knowledge of her is based on this one incident, almost 5 years ago.

The comments that followed were a mixed bag. Some said don’t’ get involved, others said to go for it and use it as a means to “get your revenge.” C commented here and there, made some jokes. It really was quite the show.

This leads me to believe that C has been approached by David Broome, legal counsel for Kate Sharp, and has been asked to be a character witness because he has “dirt” on Kimberly. I’m no lawyer, but I’m also wondering if David Broome may have broken the gag order by discussing this with C. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. This also tells me something else. They are grasping for straws. This tells me they can find nobody that actually knows Kimberly that will attest to her character in a negative light. They are desperate and are seeking out someone who has no relationship with her, never has had a relationship with her, to testify to her character based on one wrong thing she did to him. Top that off with his possible “revenge” testimony and he isn’t very credible.

From this one Facebook post I can go out on a limb and gain some pretty good information. Of course, none of it is 100%. He could be some whacko who wants attention. I’m going to choose to believe that this is not the case.

Here’s another good thing. If they are seeking character witnesses that means that Kimberly’s rights were NOT terminated at that court date on the 24th.  I scrolled some more through C’s profile. Most, if not all, of it is public. I took the proper screen shots in case they were needed to show the character of the “character witness.” His post mentions how he detests people who drink alcohol and then eludes to the loss of his father in some kind of accident. I’m wondering if his father wasn’t killed by a drunk driver which would also fuel his need to get revenge on Kimberly because of the incident between them almost 5 years ago. Punish those who are like the person who killed his father? I don’t know. This is all pure speculation.

There you have it. The best update that I could come up with. I hope it’s enough for now. I know it’s definitely better than nothing and it does seem hopeful.

Thank you all for your support and patience!!

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And some of the comments:

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Update to Kimberly Rossler Case; More of the Same

Some new stuff in Kimberly Rossler’s case this evening.

Sources report that Judge Don Davis has recused himself, which is good. As you may remember, he was the judge who approved Kimberly’s pre-birth consent. There were also huge conflicts of interest as he sits on the advisory board of Adoption Rocks, the agency that isn’t an agency who Kim initially contacted in regards to a potential adoption for Elliott. As you may also remember, from my previous posts, Donna Ames is the President and founder of Adoption Rocks AND the attorney who represented Kate Sharp for the adoption. She also, coincidentally, campaigned for Judge Don Davis last year, along with several of her associates from the Mobile Bar Association. Lastly, she is the one who brought Kimberly before Judge Don Davis for the pre-birth consent and was advising her throughout her pregnancy, even though Donna Ames admits, in her official statement, that she never represented Kim. Kimberly, however, didn’t get that memo.

Judge Don Davis recusing himself is, indeed, good news. However, from what I’m hearing, that isn’t the end of the story. I’m not quite sure, but after reading Alabama’s code, I THINK Judge Don Davis was able to appoint someone to take his place in this case. That appears to be J. Michael Druhan.

Druhan is the President of the Mobile Bar Association – you know, the one whose many members are associated with Donna Ames. The Bar Association who has donated funds to Adoption Rocks in the past. Also, the Bar Association who has many members that also campaigned for Judge Don Davis last year – and you’ll never guess what else Druhan has done. Have you figured it out yet?

Yes, Druhan is also part of Judge Don Davis’s campaign committee for 2014.

Since Judge Don Davis’s association with Adoption Rocks and Donna Ames is considered a conflict of interest, why would we not think that Druhan’s association with Davis wouldn’t be one?

And here’s the cherry on the cake. He also represented Davis when he was sued (and lost) for refusing to grant a petition for an adoption for a lesbian couple, even after being ordered by a federal court to do so.

To say that Druhan is a close associate of Davis is putting it mildly. Is this another case of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours?” What the heck is REALLY going on in Mobile, Alabama? Why hasn’t an actual JUDGE been appointed from a different county? One who has NO associations with the key players in this case? Is this how your government conducts themselves down there? Who is going to hold these people accountable if the people of Mobile County won’t?

How can justice truly prevail when the people calling the shots and making the decisions have their hands in every single dirty pot?

Its time a higher power steps in and forces these people to abide by true justice. Do you agree? Please let the Governor Robert Bentley, of Alabama, know how you feel about this.