Heart to Heart Adoptions; Andy and Melissa Moore; The Taking of Ja’Meka

Oh look.  How could it be? Another father’s rights being trampled on by a Utah adoption agency.  Who would have imagined?

Can you taste the sarcasm?

If this is your first time visiting the dark underbelly of the adoption Interwebs, you may not understand.  Utah is infamous for it’s unethical and immoral adoption laws that virtually give fathers zero rights to their child.  Often times, adoption agencies will move moms to Utah to deliver their babies if they know a father will not consent to an adoption or voluntarily terminate his own rights.  This is because it really takes an act of God to retain your rights as a father, in Utah, due to their archaic, unethical laws that continue to be practiced due to heavy lobbying from Utah adoption agencies such as Heart to Heart Adoptions.  No “pesky” father will get in the way of making that buck off that baby in Utah. Better believe it.

Some representatives in Utah have made attempts to change the laws but, alas, all were thwarted.  Why would anyone who profits off of adoption want to make it harder to get those babies?  In fact, a class action lawsuit was brought against the state of Utah due to their unconstitutional laws by twelve fathers.  It was, of course, dismissed. The whole state of Utah is corrupt to the very core when it comes to adoption and father’s rights.

Read about the father’s who initiated the federal class action lawsuit against Utah.

So it was really no surprise, unfortunately, when I heard about Johnny. 

15073579_1678371149159459_3585579379060881303_n

Johnny with his daughter, Ja’Meka, at the hosptial, when she was born.

Johnny is a father to a beautiful little girl named Ja’Meka that was born on October 18, 2016 in Georgia. Ja’Meka’s mom, while heavily medicated (having had a tubal ligation the previous day) and under duress, on October 19, 2016 was driven to two attorney’s offices by Bonnie Lin Hilton of Heart to Heart Adoptions based out of Utah.  The first attorney’s office was closed, due to being later in the business day.  The second attorney was open and it was there that Ja’Meka’s mom agreed to waive all her rights in the state of Georgia, in regards to her child and the adoption, and instead go by Utah law. She also terminated her parental rights.  Georgia law doesn’t have any waiting period to do this.  It can be done a minute after the baby is born. It was just Ja’Meka’s mom, Bonnie Lin Hilton, the attorney and a notary (Lucinda S. Hand) – signing away her rights while she was medicated recovering from giving birth and a major operation the day before. Let me say that again.  Ja’Meka’s mom signed legal documents that waived her rights and protections under Georgia law and terminated her parental rights to her child a day after giving birth and having a major operation while medicated on opiates. Bonnie Lin Hilton of Heart to Heart Adoptions in Utah arranged this.

Johnny was not aware this was transpiring.  Heart to Heart Adoptions claims that they weren’t aware of who the father was. This is a blatant lie, however. Johnny actually drove Mom to the hospital with labor pains was at the hospital!  There are pictures of him holding his daughter. Regardless, Putative (biological) father law in Georgia is found in Section 19-8-12 of the Georgia Code. This statute requires that a father be given notice and informed of pending adoption proceedings involving his child if one of following conditions is met.:  1.) If his identity is known. 2.) If he is registered on the putative father registry. 3.) If the court finds that the father has either (a) lived with the child, (b) contributed to the child’s support, (c) made attempts to legitimate the child or (d) provided support to the mother during the pregnancy.

Johnny’s identity was clearly known. Ja’Meka’s doctor even checked her vitals while in Johnny’s arms.  Johnny cared for Ja’Meka while her Mom was sedated from the tubal ligation.  While he was not yet on the putative father registry, he had made attempts to legitimize her and provided support to her mother during the pregnancy.  According to Georgia law, notice should have been given to Johnny that his child was attempting to be put up for adoption and he would then have thirty days to legitimize his child – a legal process in Georgia which gives a father rights to his child.

None of this was done and his child was gone the day after her birth.

While Ja’Meka’s mom was tricked into waiving her rights and protections under Georgia law, Johnny did not agree to waive his rights and protections and was very vocal that he did not want an adoption to take place.  His daughter was born in Georgia and all of his rights as well as Ja’Meka’s remain INTACT. 

As much as Heart to Heart Adoptions would like to try to ignore these facts.

That’s probably why Melissa and Andy Moore of Boise, Idaho are purportedly hiding out in Utah. They live in Idaho, have Ja’Meka, and can’t return home because their ICPC paperwork is not complete. They cannot get cleared.  They have not met the requirements to take this child from her home state of Georgia into Utah as prospective adoptive parents. Ja’Meka’s father’s rights were never terminated.  They remain intact.

15146646_1187213258036256_880504071_o

Andy and Melissa Moore, couple holding Ja’Meka illegally.

And just for fun, here’s Andy Moore’s grown daughter, Jessica Mawhiney, congratulating her stepmom and dad for procuring this infant. The post is now deleted or made private, as is Melissa’s Facebook profile.

15152887_10154105767533527_550253398_o

I guess when you unethically and illegally take someone else’s child you kinda have to hide. Andy’s profile, for now, is still active.

So who is behind Heart to Heart Adoptions?

Founded by Donna Pope and Mary Anne Holmoe, Heart to Heart Adoptions is a “smaller” agency in Sandy, Utah.  When looking at their form 990’s as a non-profit, it appears they don’t make too much of a profit at all.  In fact, they’ve claimed to be in the red for at least one year, losing money.  Now, I can’t say for sure, but Duncan Wright is a board member with Heart to Heart, according to their website and their taxes. I also found Duncan Wright as the owner of a non-profit in Sandy, Utah called “Rotary International.” It claims it has zero income and is a social welfare organization with an affiliation of being a subordinate in a group ruling. A quick Google search will bring you to this page, Sandy Rotary. When you go to the members page, Duncan is listed last and described as:

“Duncan Wright
Club Treasurer

teaserbox_4099084284

Duncan Wright has worked for Wells Fargo Bank since he graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Finance in August of 1985. He was a Branch Manager of several branches prior to working in his current position as a Relationship Manager in the Wells Fargo Business Banking Group. He has worked in his current position for 20 years. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Sandy Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the Chamber Finance Committee. He has served as the Sandy Rotary Club President and currently serves as the Club Treasurer. He is also a member of the Sandy Honorary Colonels.”

Marney DeVroom is also listed as the Chairman of Heart to Heart Adoptions.  She is also the founder and owner of Spectrum Academy in North Salt Lake City, Utah. According to their form 990’s they are doing a little better financially.  After salaries, expenses, and revenue, they profit just above $700,000 per year. What’s interesting about Spectrum Academy is, they have med182a366ical forms for their students on their website. This is a school that consists mainly of pupils on the Autism spectrum from grades K-12. A private, non-profit charter school.  Of about 36 forms for various different conditions, there is a pregnancy form. While that in and of itself isn’t TOO unusual, the wording at the beginning is.  And give that the founder, director and owner of Spectrum Academy is also the Chairman of an adoption agency, well, let’s just say skeptical cat is skeptical. As an afterthought, Marney is also some sort of counsel for oil companies.

 

The wording is:

“- Three-quarters of a million teens between 15 and 19 become pregnant each year.
– Very few teens who become mothers plan on doing so. Out of all teen pregnancies, 82% are unintended. Teen pregnancy accounts for 20% of all unplanned pregnancies annually.
– Two-thirds of teen pregnancies occur among teens 18-19 years old and teen mothers account for 11% of all births in the US.
– Out of all teen pregnancies, 57% end in birth. Another 14% end in miscarriage.
– Nearly a third of pregnant teenagers choose abortion.
– Black teens have the highest teen pregnancy rate.
– Teens who become pregnant are less likely to attend college
– US teen pregnancy rates are higher than those of other developed countries.
– Teen pregnancy rates declined between 1991 and 2005 but are on the rise again.

Statistically the obstetric hazards for adolescents and their infants include increased
mortality and morbidity rates. Health care priorities for the student include promoting the optimal physical / emotional well-being of the student, concern for fetal well-being, providing information and review of available options, assisting student in positive adaptation to new and changing roles, encouraging family / partner participation in problem-solving.”

This is on a page called “Pregnancy Care Plan” and asks for a medical release for Spectrum Academy to have access to any pregnant student’s medical records. Why would a pregnancy care plan have the above information stated? Why would a school need access to a student’s medical records. There is also a form for Asthma. My daughter has Asthma.  I have never once been asked to release her medical records for her school to have full access to at any time.

The medical release on the pregnancy care plan reads as follows:

“AUTHORIZATION / INFORMED CONSENT / MEDICAL RELEASE
1. I have reviewed and am in agreement with the Health Care Plan and I authorize school officials to provide my child with health care services in accordance with this plan. I understand that my student’s health information will need to be shared:
A. To benefit the student in terms of health maintenance and academic progress.
B. When necessary to accommodate the safety and well-being of student and staff.
C. With the discretion of the school nurse to determine what is shared and who should          know.
2. I understand that consent for sharing of health information will remain in effect as long as my student is enrolled in Spectrum Academy and may be revoked at any time in writing by parent / guardian.
3. I understand if clarification of the health information is needed, my signature authorized the school nurse to contact the medical provider and authorized the medical provider to release information.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hmm.

Donna Pope, the President and Founder of Heart to Heart Adoptions. Let’s be clear.  She is not a licensed social worker.  She is a former respiratory care nurse. She is also the one who was engaging with Johnny in the comments section of his review on Facebook of Heart to Heart Adoptions (which has now been disabled). Heart to Heart does have an active license as an adoption agency that will expire, if not renewed, in 2017.

img_2032

Bonnie Lin Hilton, social worker that facilitated all of this. She does hold a current license in the state of Utah as a social worker. She does NOT hold a current Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) license for the state of Georgia – where she was conducting herself on behalf of Heart to Heart Adoptions. img_2038Her current license in Utah is an endorsement license.  In other words, she transferred her license from the state of Tennessee where she apparently worked for an organization called “Adoptions Plus” which I can find virtually no information about, besides the fact that her license as a social worker was tied to that organization and the address of that organization was 2211 Berrywood Dr., Knoxville, TN, 37932.  It wouldn’t be going out too far on a limb to assume that Bonnie may have been trying to run her own adoption agency but failed. hope-zettler Interestingly, Bonnie is also listed on the Heart to Heart Adoption agency website as Hope Zettler, LCSW.  I am stumped as to why this is.  But I think it further proves the deception of Heart to Heart. Was Bonnie Lin Hilton once going by Hope Zettler?
Appears that way on the website. For the record, I found no LCSW license for any Hope Zettler in Utah or Georgia.

img_2036

Last, but not least, when Johnny was pleading with them to return his baby, via the comments of his review on Facebook, Donna admitted that the paperwork of relinquishment was incorrect (possibly fraudulent as times were entered incorrectly – on purpose??) and was dismissive to Johnny.  She also either lied, or was unaware that Bonnie knew that Johnny was the father as he was clearly at the hospital. The exchange is painful to watch.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Another man, Michael Ash, has a similar story to Johnny’s with Heart to Heart Adoptions. His daughter was also taken for adoption without his consent or permission using the same fraudulent and unethical practices that Utah and Heart to Heart are notorious for.  You can read his story here.

So where does Johnny stand?

I’d like to reveal our hand but I think it’s in the best interests of Ja’Meka and Johnny to keep that a secret.  The best thing you can do right now is to show your support of Johnny. A Facebook page has been set up to keep everyone up to date with what’s going on. He’s going to need all the support he can get.

Please head on over to BRING BABY JA’MEKA HOME and show your love  and support for Father’s Rights!

Finally, this is a message to Heart to Heart Adoptions, Donna Pope, Bonnie Hilton, Melissa Moore and Andy Moore.

This is NOT the story you want following you around. We will not stop.  We will not rest. Ja’Meka is Johnny’s daughter and she rightfully belongs with him. You cannot go to Idaho because you’re in violation of ICPC. No court is going to grant your adoption once they find out you have violated this. Furthermore, this is not your child. How are you going to look at yourselves in the mirror knowing you stole someone else’s child? How are you going to look that little girl in the face (if the rare rare chance that you actually get to keep her comes to be, which is doubtful) and say, “Oh, we ran with you. Your Dad wanted you but we wanted you more.”

Heart to Heart – you’re on my radar. You’re on a lot of people’s radars now. You’re business doesn’t seem to be going too well, either. I’m not sure how the IRS, and proper licensing authorities will feel about the dirty dealings you’ve been conducting. I highly suggest you get your stuff together and conduct legal and ethical adoptions instead of stealing other Father’s babies for profit by ignoring their rights.

To all of you involved with this serious miscarriage of justice – RETURN JA’MEKA TO HER FATHER.

Advertisements

Complete and Total Transparency: Saving Our Sisters is Attacked

UPDATE:
Since this post has been published, a few things have changed. The transaction from the Gofundme account was reversed so that money never posted to Lynn’s bank account. If you are seeking a refund you will have to go directly through GoFundMe. This, however, also reinforces that Lynn stole nothing. Even though SOS is still being accused of scamming on the updates section of the Gofundme page.

Additionally, Beverly (sister) requested that Lynn’s payment of $400 for her care be reversed. One can only speculate why. 😉 So Lynn HAS recovered that money! Yay!

A portable crib arrived at the house yesterday thanks to one of our generous donors. Yet, the Gofundme page was updated today saying the money would be used for a crib. Something is definitely not right.

image

image

The attack on SOS continues but all it has done, thus far, is gather more support, for which we are eternally grateful for.

Original Post about this: SOS Update: Mom in Georgia

Saving Our Sisters Interim Page

I really hate that I have to do this. It’s ridiculous, but now it’s necessary. Since publicly announcing that we are no longer endorsing the campaign for the mom in Georgia, we have had a lot of accusations thrown our way all over the internet. Most of these come from the family and friends of the mom. One person, however, is Beth S. Brock. Beth is a member of the adoption community and had signed up to be a volunteer person for Saving Our Sisters. Since she lived close to the mom in Georgia we utilized that as our local contact person. Since then, Beth has, regrettably, participated in a smear campaign and has decided that she no longer supports SOS. She has accused us of fraud and keeps claiming the FBI is now investigating us as well as there being “pending charges.” Honestly, I believe it is a lot of “fluff” since this all supposedly transpired on a Sunday evening. Because of the actions of others, and a slanderous statement about SOS on the now stalled GoFundMe page, SOS finds it necessary to put out there, for all to see, exactly what transpired through texts and messages. We did not record phone calls, as we don’t think we’re going to have to defend our actions when we are helping a mother, but I did listen in on the majority of calls that transpired between Lynn, sister, or mom.

Here are the texts and messages that transpired over the past few days. You can see for yourself that these accusations are ridiculous. Lynn did NOT threaten to call DCAFS on the new mom. Lynn DID threaten (and followed through with) to call the police once the lying and games started. She had every right to. Her bank information was now on an account that she was locked out of and that sister could view. Trust was now out the window due to lies and I wouldn’t want my information out there like that either. Not to mention that the money raised for Dana was now going to be used to pay sister’s long overdue bills without the consent of the donors. Lynn did say that she didn’t want to have to call the police because that would not look good for Dana and the ALREADY OPEN DFACS  CASE. Lynn also implied that drama (i.e., car being repossessed) would not be good for the ALREADY OPEN DFACS  CASE. The sister is also claiming she never asked for her car payment to be made or the electric bill. The electric bill request was made over the phone so I have no proof of that. However, I do have the text of her asking for the car payment to be made. Logic tells you that since she lied about this request she is also lying about the electric bill request. Lynn did not take and keep the money from the GoFundMe. As I told you yesterday, Lynn DID initiate a transfer into her bank account per the agreement between her and sister. Upon being locked out of the account Lynn assumed that transfer had been stopped. It wasn’t, as we found out later. This transfer took place, according to sister and mom, at 3:45 am on Sunday morning. Later that day accusations were flying that Lynn had the money in hand and was keeping it. However, that ACH transaction still has not shown up in her bank account. Technically the banks still have the money while it goes through the digital world. There is also a chance that the money will not show up at all. Several people have messaged saying they have reported the campaign for fraud. Since the ACH transaction is still pending, if GoFundMe decides that there is cause for fraud, they may reverse the transaction until they can figure out what to do with it. This is a worst case scenario. What you will see, in the following texts and messages, is confirmation of everything we have said. Confirmation of the email sent out to donors asking permission to use the money as car payments and electric bills for sister. Confirmation from mom and sister that they okay’ed that email. Confirmation that the funds for GoFundMe were voluntarily given to Lynn for SOS to manage to avoid fraud and have complete and total transparency. You will not see anything illegal done on the part of SOS. You will see a lot of pissed off people that SOS removed their endorsement from this campaign. You will see a lot of vile comments directed at myself and Lynn. You will see total chaos and craziness and our attempt to manage it and do damage control to protect the SOS name.

Unfortunately, after this incident, we will no longer be able to help mothers without them first signing a contract for services rendered. This contract will be signed before the vetting process begins. And because of Beth S. Brock’s betrayal, we are also drafting a volunteer contract. These contracts will mean that it may take longer for moms to get services from us. This means that some emergencies may not get addressed in a timely manner. This means there is a chance that some moms may slip through the cracks. I wish it wasn’t this way, but SOS has to protect its members, its assets, and its reputation or we cannot be there for ANY mothers in the future.

Side note: It is very odd to me that Beth would think that SOS was capable of any of the things she is accusing us of. My opinion is that being on the ground with this mom has, obviously, pulled on her heart strings. I also believe she truly thinks that Lynn threatened to call DFACS, which simply isn’t the case. On the other hand, Beth now wants all the money from the GoFundMe, once it posts into Lynn’s account (if it does) deposited into HER PayPal account. She accuses Lynn of committing fraud for having the funds deposited into her account and then tells Lynn to send them to hers. Not sure what to make of that.

This message was sent minutes after getting confirmation from mom and sister that the email composed (asking donors if it was okay that the GoFundMe was used for car payments and electric bills) was okay to send. In order to send out the email to all of the donors, you must be able to log into GoFundMe and send them via that route. This was TIME SENSITIVE as we needed responses from all donors by Monday morning since there was a Tuesday disconnection. Notice the time stamp of the first message – 2:49 pm. When there was still no response, after 15 minutes, and after phone calls that went unanswered and ignored (both to mom and sister) and finding that the password had been changed, things became suspicious. Notice Lynn does NOT threaten to call DFACS. She does say her hand is being forced to call the police. Keep in mind that this was after a couple of hours of opposition, on the phone (I was conferenced in) asking why we need to ask donors permission for the electric bill, accusing of wanting to steal the money, talking over us and not listening to the explanation we were giving about transparency. Still, we kept repeating, “You need to stay calm. We are here to help. We want to help. But we have to protect you and ourselves. We didn’t ask for donations for the electric bill. We need permission from the donors.”

Text messages between Mom and Lynn. Lynn is blue, Mom is red.

1

2

3

Accusing Lynn of changing the password while she’s in the account sending out the emails to donors. The emails that were agreed upon in order to maintain transparency. The password was not changed. It never was. It was only changed by sister. And more accusations. Why do they not trust us? We only asked people for donations, paid the sister’s car payment out of our own pockets, and had tons of baby stuff mailed to them (again, by our request). It isn’t like we asked them for social security numbers, bank account information, or anything like that. They don’t even have bank accounts.

4

So, at this point, we’d had enough. It was becoming obvious that mom and sister couldn’t be trusted. We had given them no reason not to trust us. This is where I start to wonder where this mistrust came from. Was Beth on the ground telling them not to trust us? Are they just paranoid by nature? Did they honestly think we were trying to steal money from donations that we raised? I mean, seriously. Why would we need mom to raise money fraudulently? If we wanted to do that we’d just make something up and save ourselves the headache.

5

At this point, Lynn was still unaware that the ACH transaction she had requested through WePay had not been stopped. She had been locked out of the account and assumed that her bank account information was now in the hands of these people and that the transaction for the donations had been halted. Because of the constant opposition we faced, and the accusations being flung, Lynn then assumed, as any reasonable person would, that this was also untrue and we started to think that maybe these people were a little nuts.

Let’s back track a little. When mom, sister and sister’s fiance (saying he is her husband) reach out to Lynn. Lynn did not contact them.

7

8

9

So HERE ^^^ you can see where it was first suggested to take down the GoFundMe campaign. The prospective adoptive parents had been made aware that mom was trying to raise money. This is not good for a number of reasons but if you throw in using the money raised for mom that was supposed to go for an apartment and baby items and then use it to pay sister’s bills and PAPs get wind of that (as they were already aware of the campaign thanks to someone posting it on their page) then you must be EXTRA careful everything is on the up and up. They have the resources to pursue avenues of fraud. They put her out when she decided to parent. They called DFACS on her. Why would they not try something as far as donations were concerned? This is why it was suggested that donations go directly through SOS and the campaign be taken down. GoFundMe takes 7.9% and 30 cents per donation for themselves for using their service. Direct donations don’t. SOS direct donations also means privacy and accountability. Mom and sister are protected. No one can accuse them of fraud or using the donations for something other than what they said it would be used for (like PAPs).

10

11

Again, reiterated. Not threats to call DFACS, actual concern that the PAPs would cause trouble that way. I remember the conversation between Lynn and I, on the phone, where she worried that having the campaign stating mom was homeless would be used against mom by PAPs if they decided to pursue legal means to have baby removed. This is where we first discussed transferring or shutting down GoFundMe and having SOS handle donations for transparency. To PROTECT MOM AND BABY FROM OVER ZEALOUS ENTITLED PAPS. Also notice that while sister is telling everyone she never asked for her car payment to be made that she is doing just that in the previous text message and the following one.

12

Okay. Notice the time stamps. When requesting to call, Lynn called, hence the gaps. Notice that we said, from the beginning, the agreement, via their phone conversation, was that Lynn would pay the $400 from her personal account to avoid repossession. She would eat that money if donors were not okay with it going for a car payment. The other stipulation, since this was becoming such a mess, was that SOS would manage the funds. Again, to protect ALL parties. As you see here, after she asked for the car payment, sister texts Lynn asking how to transfer the account (per the agreement they had on the phone) and then gives her the log in for GoFundMe and WePay. The account wasn’t transferred totally into Lynn’s hands because we work on mutual trust. At this point there was no reason given to us that we couldn’t trust them. Beth had vetted them, she had reported, and everything seemed fine. Sister OFFERED TO TOTALLY TRANSFER THE ACCOUNT TO SOS. Lynn decided it would be better to just share passwords and have everyone on the same page. Transparency.

13

So what you are looking at here is Lynn actually logging into the GoFundMe and WePay to take control of and manage the funds. When you try to log into WePay from a device that isn’t what it was created on it will send a code to the phone number listed on the account. In this case that was sister’s phone. Lynn needed it to go into the account and initiate a withdraw into her account to manage the funds and, eventually, shut down the campaign so all donations could go directly through SOS (reasons were mentioned above). You will also see that sister had already requested a check be mailed to her for $60 from the GoFundMe account (since they do not have bank accounts).

Let’s go a little ahead into the story. These texts transpire after the meltdown about the electric bill, accusations we are trying to steal money, and after the  disagreement was resolved and it was decided we would send an email to all donors asking if that was okay. You can see the email that went out in THIS POST.

14

And it is with this text message that we leave where we left off before I went into the back story. This is sister confirming that she is okay with the email being sent out asking for her overdue electric bill to be paid. You know, the one she says she never asked to be paid for with the GoFundMe money?  This is also where Lynn learned she was locked out of the account and couldn’t send the emails out because of it. This is where we began to not trust and started to think that sister was royally screwing over mom.

15

So, when mom and sister were both made aware that Lynn couldn’t use her own personal account AGAIN to pay another bill of the sister’s without confirmation from donors that it was okay to use that money to pay Lynn back (to the tune of $1000 dollars if she had paid that electric bill) they are suddenly too busy with company to give the password to the GoFundMe account so the emails can go out and permission granted from donors. Seeing as they were set to be disconnected in less than 2 days you would think this would be something urgent. Again you will see Lynn’s frustration and the trust slipping and all the accusations over the phone (and some in text) starting to weigh on her. She doesn’t threaten to call DFACS, she threatens to call the police. Rightfully so.

16

The call Lynn is referring to is the police. As you can see, everything is now starting to stink. We are convinced that sister is doing something fraudulent. We don’t trust that she will actually email the donors so we insist that we be the ones to send those emails out.

17

And, confirmation that Lynn did not intend to call child services. The police, yes. The “accusations” that sister is referring to are us asking to manage the funds. She did, in fact, call the police and spoke with Sgt. Perez. All of this was to protect mom from sister who repeatedly claimed, over the phone, she had no idea what was going on with the donations or account. All the more reason for us to look out for her.

18

So what you are seeing here is Lynn slowly realizing she may be getting taken for a run by the sister. She decides that is probably best to attempt to have that payment stopped (in which she was not successful). You are also seeing the sister throwing it back in her face that she paid it. This is where I reported the GoFundMe page for fraud. Still not aware any funds had been transferred to Lynn. That wouldn’t have mattered, though. I would have preferred GoFundMe work it out and keep the money. After the campaign was reported for fraud the above message came in. Remember, these past few texts were ALL about us gaining access to DONOR EMAILS TO ASK THEIR PERMISSION TO USE THE FUNDS FOR AN ELECTRIC BILL AND CAR PAYMENT. Why did we face such opposition to ask their permission?

19

The call in which Lynn is referring to here, is the call to her credit card company about the $400 charge on her account for sister’s overdue car payment.

PART 2

In the meantime, the local contact person for SOS starts a campaign of harassment against Lynn. Lovely, right?

First, the initial messages between Beth and Lynn about her being the contact person for SOS.

11783451_871167146307537_1192338317_obeth1beth2

beth3beth4beth5

beth6

beth7

As you can see, Beth and Lynn both discussed the GoFundMe campaign and the concern that the prospective adoptive parents may use it to find a way to take the baby away.

You can also see that Beth was fully aware that the funds would be going into Lynn’s account so SOS could manage and make sure all the I’s were dotted and T’s were crossed.

next1

next2

next3 next4 next5 next6 next7 next8 next9 next10 next11 next12 next13 next14

THIS IS WHERE THINGS TOOK A DRASTIC AND ASTONISHING TURN IN REGARDS TO BETH.

I can’t help but wonder if the mom and sister, upon knowing we wanted permission from the donors to use the money for costs that they didn’t donate for originally, brought Beth into things and manipulated her into thinking we were going to call DFACS on mom. Because they did NOT want to get permission to use those funds for something other than an apartment for Mom and baby items.

next15 next16 next17 next18 next19

next20

next21

next22 next23 next24

beth8

beth9 beth10 beth11 beth12 beth13 beth14

image

In addition to this, there are messages that transpired between myself and mom.

The messages, in their entirety aren’t anything but more of the same of what I’ve posted. Its mom reiterating she has no control over the GoFundMe page and doesn’t know what’s going on with it. What’s important here is that she sent a screen shot of the WePay site saying that they were sending a payment to the bank (Lynn’s bank). And the next message says it was sent at 3:45 am (on Sunday). Since Sunday evening is when I was speaking to her it is proof that it was IMPOSSIBLE for Lynn to have access to those funds when these accusations were flying. And EVEN THEN, we offered for Lynn to pay the electric bill, out of her own personal account, if donors agreed that funds could be used for that, and Lynn would recoup the car payment and electric bill from the GoFundMe funds.

received_868104839891601

THIS is when we found out that the deposit had NOT been changed when we were locked out of the WePay account. Sunday EVENING.

2015-07-27-02-11-29

oneNotice I say “after the emails are in with everyone agreeing to that who donated (which shouldn’t be a problem)”

This is in reference to the email sent out to all the donors. This is me reinforcing to her, as I had before, that there would probably be no problem with the funds being used for the car and electric bill as long as we were up front with everyone. After all of this went down, Lynn checked those emails and found that almost everyone was okay with that. Until they found out about the accusations that were being thrown at SOS. Then they did have a problem with their money going for something that they didn’t donate for – sister’s bills.

two

And here you will see me saying, even after all their accusations, lying and run around, that we could STILL do the deal with the electric bill. You know, the one that sister claims she never asked to be paid. You will also notice that this is when I became aware that the funds were, indeed, in the process of being transferred to Lynn’s account. Because ACH transactions take a few days, Lynn was willing to use her own money, after confirming the deposit was going into her account, to pay the electric bill as well so that it would be paid in time to avoid a shut off from the electric company.

Here it is folks. TOTAL transparency. I have not blocked the email addresses of Beth S. Brock because that is who you will now need to contact if you would like to request a refund of your donation for it being used on things that were not stated in the original campaign. Once the funds have cleared the bank, Lynn will be transferring them to her. This is so she can stop being harassed and so that SOS’s name stops getting drug through the mud. So, if you are okay with Beth having control over the money and what it’s used for, you need not do anything. If you are not okay with this, you will need to contact her directly. Understand, though, it may be a couple of days before Beth has the actual money to refund and the fees that GoFundMe charges may not be able to be returned. You may also attempt to recoup your donation through GoFundMe if you’d like.

It really is a shame that any of this had to be posted. SOS HAS to protect it’s good name, though. We have to. We cannot let accusations continue to persist and not address them. Additionally, the SOS page is not going to be able to be updated on Facebook for a week since Beth, mom or sister (maybe all) reported the page. Lynn also cannot post, comment, or like on Facebook for a week. She can still message. None of this needed to happen. It was unnecessary and counter productive. The sad thing here is that mom and baby will suffer for this. We’ve done all we can to help without putting our own well-being at risk.

My kids have been waiting patiently for the past few hours for me to finish with this so that I can spend some time with them. I cannot even begin to tell you how many hours Lynn and myself have invested in this. The parties that would attack us and create this situation should be ashamed of themselves.

SOS Update: Mom in Georgia

Update: Mom and sister are now attacking Lynn via her SOS page and have had her account removed from Facebook.

Update #2: To request your donation back, for not being used for the apartment and instead for sister’s bills, please contact Beverly directly here: Beverly Oliver Crowson

Sister’s name is Beverly Oliver Crowson

First I need to say that the mother in Georgia’s situation was totally legit. She was put on the streets by the hopeful adoptive parents. She did need money for her own apartment. Her sister did take her in so she had a place to stay. However, and regrettably, Saving Our Sisters is going to have to pull support from this case. It’s a long and drawn out story but I’ll do my best to explain it here. We never want to have to step away and leave a mother without our support system. We have an army of people ready and willing to help and help they do. We have helped numerous people avoid adoption relinquishment and successfully parent. The reason this works is because there is cooperation between the mother and SOS. The reason we are able to help all of these mothers is because of our credibility. You know that when you are donating to SOS your money is going to be used for the stated purpose. You know when you purchase baby clothes, car seats, or diapers that it is going for a child in need to help him stay with his mother.  Our good name stands because of our transparency. We post receipts, we post all of our contributions, and we are totally honest with our donors. In exchange, we expect totally honesty from the mothers we are helping. It doesn’t matter what outlet is being used to gather the money (PayPal, Go Fund Me, personal checks, etc) the actual solicitation of donations comes from SOS. People give because we ask and that is so very awesome of them. Because of this, and to protect our credibility, SOS needs to be able to manage these funds and show total transparency to its donors and sisters. Without this there will be no more moms to help and how sad would that be? We do not use any donations for personal gain. As a matter of fact, many of us dig into our own pockets to help and spend hours of our time doing so. Our families suffer when we are not present because we are working on a case. Our bank accounts are that much smaller because of the gas money spent or the phone bill we ran up. At the end of the day, though, it is worth it and we will continue to do it. To imply that SOS is trying to obtain funds for personal gain or to use someone’s sob story to raise money for moms other than the mother in question is absurd. We have nothing to gain by doing so.

When the Georgia mom’s story was brought to the attention of Lynn an myself, we immediately jumped in to help. Her Go Fund Me account only had $60 raised and it seemed her situation was an emergency, and it was. Lynn immediately started to ask people for help and I composed a blog post pleading with urgency for help for this mom. What followed was the magic of SOS. People began to contribute to the campaign (which was linked in my blog as well as on various Facebook groups and pages per the SOS request) as well as offering to send baby items to the mother. That evening we had boots on the ground in Lagrange, Georgia with a local sister running to Walmart to purchase baby essentials and drop them off. Everything seemed to be running smoothly. The local sister reported that baby and mom were healthy, home was safe and clean, and mother passed the initial “vetting” that we do for all mothers. The vetting process is just to assure no one is trying to scam SOS. By the following morning over $1000 had been raised in the Go Fund Me account. Did I mention our network of people rocks? However, by that evening there was a problem.

There were some things that had not been initially disclosed. Nothing too big but definitely pertinent to the long-term success of this mother. Upon changing her mind Mom had child protective services called on her by the prospective adoptive parents. Yes, I know….despicable. Because of this mom is now on a care plan. CPS deemed her safe to keep the baby but she needed to have someone with her for now to help care for the baby. I won’t divulge why because that is her personal information but I will say its not due to neglect, abuse, drug use, or any of those things. Because of the care plan, baby is expected to be in a safe household that includes functioning utilities and baby is expected to be transported to all doctor appointments that are scheduled. Here is where the problem came in. Mom’s sister makes a frantic phone call to Lynn explaining they are about to repossess her car. The car is needed to transport baby to doctor’s appointments as it is the only working vehicle in the family, according to sister. While there is a good amount of money now in the Go Fund Me account, that generally takes 2-5 business days to complete the ACH deposit. The other glitch was that the Go Fund Me campaign that was set up did not disclose that the funds raised would be going to make sister’s car payment. Technically, using those funds for this purpose constitutes fraud. Lynn agreed to pay sister’s car payment right then and there on one stipulation. The Go Fund Me account and the We Pay account attached to it would be transferred to SOS for us to manage donations. Since our name was now on this, and we were the ones who asked our community to donate, it seemed only fair. There was some resistance initially. We had to calm down sister and mom and explain to them how this works. We had to explain that we would make sure the funds we had raised would be going to mom for expenses related to what it was originally raised for. Sister agreed and shared passwords with Lynn.

It must be noted, at no time did Lynn change any passwords. Sister still had access to all the accounts. SOS works on mutual trust and transparency. There was a verbal agreement between sister (campaign manager) and Lynn to let SOS handle the funds. This is always how we operate. Typically, however, donations are made directly to SOS via PayPal. This is not out of the ordinary. Any charity organization that participates in fundraising does not give cash to its beneficiaries to use at their discretion. Energy assistance makes payments directly to your power company. Catholic Charities will make payments directly to your landlord, so on and so forth.

As discussed between Lynn and sister, Lynn set up the We Pay account to manage the funds that SOS had raised. Like I said before, sister created the Go Fund Me but SOS raised that money. We put our name on it and asked for donations. We are accountable for it.

Lynn made the car payment for sister and things moved ahead. This morning there was another glitch. Sister calls again, frantic, because the electricity is going to be shut off on Tuesday if $600 is not paid. Keep in mind that mom has only been living with her for a few days. This is not mom’s bill. Yes, electricity needs to remain on in order for baby to stay with mom, but that is not what people were donating to. Sister is advised to call energy assistance, first, to see if they can help and we can go from there. This is also met with opposition and angry comments and accusations towards SOS. We devise a plan to make everyone happy. To avoid being accused of fraud, for them and for us, we decide that we can compose an email and send it to every donor on the Go Fund Me page. This is the email that was sent to everyone that had donated:

(names have been changed to Baby, Mom and Sister for privacy reasons)

“Dear Generous Donors,

In order to be as transparent as possible we are writing to each of you with a private update about Mom and Baby.

When Mom’s sister started the Go Fund Me campaign the intentions were to raise enough money for Mom to secure her own apartment. However, due to a change in circumstances, we need to ask your permission to apply the funds already raised to something else.

As you already know, the prospective adoptive parents involved DFS when Mom decided to parent. For this reason, they are checking in with her frequently to be sure everything is okay. Mom has a care plan in place and as long as everything goes smoothly she will successfully complete that plan.

As you also know, Mom’s sister generously opened her home to Mom. Without this it is almost certain that Baby would be in the care of DFS and Mom would be homeless. Because of Mom’s care plan, for now, Sister must be with Mom when she cares for the baby because [private]. This means Sister cannot work. Her fiance is pulling the weight, right now, for 7 children and 3 adults.

This is all temporary, but it is imperative that DFS see food in the refrigerator, utilities turned on, transportation to doctors appointments, and a functioning home environment.

We are writing today to ask if it is okay for the donations you supplied to be applied to something other than a security deposit and first month’s rent. There is a $600 electric bill and $400 car payment that needs to be made to avoid shut offs and repossessions. If the lights are shut off and the car is repossessed it is almost certain that Mom will lose Baby.

As far as a permanent plan, one is in place. Mom will be returning to work shortly and Sister, her sister, will be caring for Baby. Once Mom has successfully finished her care plan, she will be able to take more steps forward on the path to becoming entirely independent.

As stated before, we are writing to you to ask your permission, the donors, to use this money for these items. We want to maintain transparency and need you to know how appreciative we are for your generosity. It is because of you that this mother and baby are going to be able to remain together.

As this is an urgent matter, we request that you send an email to Wsbirthmom@gmail.com and include the following:

-The name you used to donate to Go Fund Me. If you donated anonymously please include it here.
-The amount you donated to Go Fund Me.
-If we have your permission to apply funds for expenses we mentioned, or if you would like your donation refunded. Depending on the timing of your response, we may be able to refund your donation via the Go Fund Me website. But, if we are not, please let us know if a PayPal refund could be sent or another means.

Saving Our Sisters will now only be handling direct donations for this mother through PayPal at Wsbirthmom@gmail.com

The deadline to pay the electric bill is by the end of the business day Monday. We are asking that a response be received by Monday morning, if possible.

Again, thank you all for your continued support of Mom and Baby. You are making a difference in the lives of a mother and child. We cannot do what we do without your support.

For continued updates on this case please see the Saving Our Sisters Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/adoptionS

Sincerely,

Saving Our Sisters
On Behalf of {sic} Mom”

We ran this by Mom and she gave the go ahead to send it out. We were hoping to gain the permission of the donors to use the money they had donated to pay the electric bill and car payment since this is not what the money being raised was supposed to go to. However, these were things that would indirectly benefit and help Mom, albeit not directly helping her as she would now have no money left from the fundraising for her own place. There are 2 reasons for doing things this way. 1) If anyone accused them or SOS of fraud we had a paper trail to show that wasn’t the case. 2) It was unlikely that the funds from Go Fund Me would be available, after transfer, before the electricity was set to be shut off. Because of this Lynn was going to have to, once again, use her own personal funds for the $600 electric bill. This time, however, she couldn’t afford not to be paid back. If the donors agreed, she would pay the electric bill out of her own money and recoup that and the car payment from the Go Fund Me funds. If the donors did not agree she would eat the $400 and process a refund to the donors. Honestly, we didn’t think anyone would have a problem with this but honesty and transparency has to be of the utmost importance here. We set out to log into the Go Fund Me page to gather the emails of those who had donated and found the passwords had been changed. We were unable to log into Go Fund Me or We Pay.

We questioned sister and mom about this. Mom claimed she has nothing to do with the Go Fund Me and it’s all on her sister. Sister said someone else must have changed passwords (insinuating SOS had) which was not the case. Eventually sister admitted she had changed the passwords and again questioned SOS motives. She wanted to know why we should manage the money that we had asked people to give. Lynn asked about the $400 she had given out of her own pocket based on trust and a mutual understanding and sister basically told her “too bad so sad.” We reiterated that we wanted to help mom but needed trust and cooperation from them. We reminded them that now our names were on this and if there were any accusations of fraud that we could help no other mothers in the future. We were still met with opposition. Finally, we told them that we did not want to have to contact the authorities but sister was forcing our hands as what they were doing DOES constitute fraud. The money raised was for an apartment and baby items. The money was going to be spent on car payments for sister and sister’s overdue electric bill. Reluctantly, and eventually, sister gave up the password. The email above was sent to all donors. We Pay was locked still because a code had been sent to sister’s phone in order to proceed in which she would not provide.

At this point it is assumed that sister has stopped the transfer of We Pay funds into Lynn’s account and that she is just out $400. We go into “damage control” mode in order to figure out a way to fix things so our donors still have faith in us since we have no way to account for how the money we asked for is going to be used. It is then that Lynn begins to get several text messages and phone calls from sister and mom.

As it turns out, We Pay did process the money from the account, per the original agreement between Lynn and sister (campaign manager). We were now being accused of stealing, scamming and fraud. The funds were not in the We Pay account but they are not yet in Lynn’s bank account either. Typically ACH transfers take 2-5 business days. I tell mom that we can still wait on the emails sent to donors to see if they’re okay with the payments being made and Lynn can still pay the electric bill tomorrow if they’re okay with that and recoup her costs from the Go Fund Me funds. This isn’t good enough. There were a whole slew of accusations and me reiterating much of the same stuff I’ve already said here. After going around and around with this mom tells me she wants to see proof of refunds to people who donated directly to SOS. SOS is a charity organization. If people donate and want their donations going to a specific mother, the money goes to that specific mother for items she needs at SOS discretion. This is how we operate. If donor wants a refund and no items for mom have been purchased with their donation we will comply. Typically, when someone donates directly to SOS and the money isn’t going to a certain mother they will ask that it be applied to the next mom in line. It is at this point that I gave up. After being accused of trying to scam a mother, when we are the ones who asked people to donate to her for baby items and an apartment, and being threatened with police and FBI it was decided that we would let the donors decide. If they wanted a refund of what they donated we would refund it. If they wanted it to go to Mom knowing it wasn’t going to an apartment we would do that too.

This is where we are currently. Working out what the donors want done with their money. In the mean time, Lynn is out $400. Her family is out $400. She will not be keeping that money from the Go Fund Me to cover this as that is not what people were donating for.

It really is a shame that some people would try to use the charity of others as a cash cow. I believe mom has no choice as her hands are literally tied. Sister is taking advantage of all this generosity. Where would they be had SOS not stepped in and asked people to give? A repossessed car and the lights turned off. Where will they be after this? The car payment is good for a few weeks and I’m not sure about the electricity. That depends on the donors. There is also a new portable crib coming via mail with sheets and baby clothes thanks to a good birthmom friend. Many other baby items were also mailed. Had we not stepped in they would not have these things and it really is a shame that anyone would try to discredit the work we do. This helps no one, including future moms. There has to be accountability for stuff like this. People don’t donate if they don’t trust that it will be used for what it says it will be used for.

In the future, we will not be dealing with or helping any moms with Go Fund Me accounts. Before receiving our assistance any campaigns like this will need to be taken down and donations will need to go directly through SOS to be managed.

I thank you all for your continued support with SOS. If you happened to be one of the one’s who donated via Go Fund Me look for that email. (see update #2 at the beginning of this article) If you donated through SOS directly please contact Lynn to discuss what you would like done with your funds.

If anyone is interested in screen shots because they don’t believe what I’ve written I’d be happy to share. Shoot me or Lynn and email.

musingsofabirthmom@gmail.com

wsbirthmom@gmail.com