Alabama mom speaks out after newborn is given up for adoption, says her pleas to keep baby were ignored

It was while Kimberly Rossler was breastfeeding her 3-week-old son that she says sheriff deputies arrived at her Alabama home and took him. The 25-year-old woman had previously agreed to give up her baby for adoption but a little more than a week before giving birth in May she announced that she had changed her mind. Apparently no one cared. "They let me finish breastfeeding him, and I put him in his car seat, as I screamed and cried and watched them take my child away, with no answers whatsoever," Rossler recalled her excruciating heartbreak to WALA. That agonizing moment has since stretched into what the Mobile woman fears will be a never-ending nightmare with her baby, James Elliot Rossler, having since vanished from her sight. It all began last fall, she told the Huffington Post, when she realized she was pregnant and her on and off boyfriend insisted that she have an abortion. Rossler instead reached out to a local agency called Adoption Rocks, which she says connected her with a prospective adoptive mother and an adoption attorney. Everything ran smoothly from there, she said, as she was relieved to find an alternative solution. But as the baby grew inside of her, so did her doubts about giving the child away. Eventually she decided she wanted out of their agreement. She wanted to keep her baby. "I tried to tell her numerous times and she just brushed it off like this was nothing, like this happens," Rossler told WALA of the adoptive woman's attorney, identified as Donna Ames. Instead of helping her, Rossler says Ames dusted her hands of the whole case that was already in motion. In a statement released by Ames to WALA, that's something the attorney doesn't appear to deny. Ames defends that she was never Rossler's attorney and her representation was "always limited to the prospective adoptive mother, in this case." She further states that on May 23, three days after first Continue Reading

Utah Law Allows Children to Be Given Up For Adoption Without Fathers’ Consent

A class-action lawsuit claims that Utah’s adoption laws make it “nearly impossible” for biological fathers to gain custody of their children before the mother gives the baby up for adoption. Utah law allows children to be put up for adoption with the consent of just one parent. William Bolden is one of 12 men in eight states who are suing to change Utah’s adoption laws. Bolden’s girlfriend disappeared two months before the birth of his son, and she gave him up for adoption at LDS Family Services, which is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder-Day Saints. Boy Who Asked Churchgoers to Adopt Him Spending Christmas With New Family Some say the law hasn’t changed due to the strong influence of the Mormon church. The Church of Ladder-Day Saints’ handbook reads, “When the probability of a successful marriage is unlikely … the unmarried parents should be counseled to work with LDS Family Services to place the child for adoption.” Meanwhile, Bolden continues to fight for custody of his son, who will be 3 years old in March. Coincidence or Something More? Amazing Reunion Story Will Make Your Jaw Drop! Watch Alicia Acuna’s full report above. Continue Reading

Army veteran closer to winning custody of child his ex-girlfriend secretly gave up for adoption

While Chris Carlton was serving his country in Afghanistan, a former girlfriend gave his baby up for adoption without his permission. Four years later, Utah’s Supreme Court has given Carlton another chance to win custody of the four-year-old child his girlfriend initially claimed was dead. “I’m very ecstatic,” Carlton, who lives in Williamsport, Penn., told Fox 43. “This is the happiest I’ve been in four years. It feels like it is justice slowly being served.” Carlton was working as a military contractor in 2010 when his girlfriend Shalanda Brown disappeared during her seventh month of pregnancy. Although the two had broken up, Carlton had been trying to keep in touch so that he could be involved with his child’s life. Several weeks after her due date, the woman resurfaced and sent photos of the baby to Carlton’s phone, saying it was a boy. When he returned home to Pennsylvania, Brown claimed the baby had died. “I`ve never felt that kind of pain,” Carlton told WNEP. “And I believe no parent should feel that pain. And for the people that have already felt the pain, God!” The devastated soldier tried to find out where his son was buried, but the woman refused to share the information. But during a courtroom testimony, Brown finally broke down and told Carlton the truth: his baby was alive. His ex had flown to Utah, delivered a baby girl, and given her up for adoption through the Adoption Center of Choice in American Fork, Utah. She refused to name Carlton during the adoption procedures, telling the ACC that the man was abusive — a claim that Carlton roundly denied. When the child was placed with a family, the dad was never given notice. The Adoption Center of Choice had its license revoked on Feb. 21. Carlton is now involved in two separate lawsuits challenging Utah’s Adoption Act. The state’s laws gives a birth mother fraud immunity, even Continue Reading

Utah man sues ex for $130 million for ‘secretly’ giving their baby up for adoption

A Utah man is suing his ex for $130 million, claiming she "kidnapped" their child and gave him up for adoption the day after he was born. Jake Strickland, 24, alleged in the suit that he and the baby's mother, Whitney Pettersson Demke, agreed to share parenting duties before the boy's birth in 2010, even though they were no longer together. They'd settled on a name, Jack, Strickland said, shopped for baby toys and even hosted a baby shower together at Strickland's family's home, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. According to court documents, the boy was born on Dec. 29, 2010, a week before the date Strickland believed was the due date. Demke put the boy up for adoption the next day, but didn't tell Strickland until days later, he alleged. In the suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, the duped dad slammed the adoption as "illegal and deceit-ridden," and claimed Demke and other defendants, including the adoption agency, participated in human trafficking, fraud and racketeering. The suffering would-be papa, who admitted the pair talked about adoption beforehand but believed they ruled it out, has blogged about the ordeal at a website, Get Baby Jack Back. In a video, Strickland speaks while sitting in front of cartoon wallpaper in what he hoped would be the boy's nursery. "The moment that I found out, I filed for paternity, which was already too late," Strickland says. "I know I should have filed earlier, but I trusted her." "My son doesn't deserve to through this. I don't deserve to go through this," he fumes. "This has been very heart wrenching for everyone involved." At issue in the case are Utah's laws regarding the rights of unmarried fathers. Strickland never signed up with the state's putative father registry, a crucial step unmarried men must make toward getting parental rights, the Tribune reported. Another wrinkle: Demke was still legally married to her estranged Continue Reading

N.J. woman relives painful past after child she gave up for adoption reaches out

Kathleen Hoy Foley was 16, alone and pregnant from a rape in 1964 when she decided to put the baby up for adoption, intending to forever close that chapter of her life. “The day I walked out of that hospital, it was the day it ended for me,” Foley, now 65, told the Daily News. “I was emancipated. I truly believed I was free.” She wasn’t. More than 30 years later, the child defied the odds and found her, shattering the life Foley had created and forcing her to reveal a dark piece of her past that she had wanted to keep hidden from her grown daughters and husband. “It was beyond devastating,” said Foley. “My life before that and after that are two different things.” Abortion was illegal in the early 1960s so Foley had settled on a closed adoption with Catholic Charities — the only feasible way she could relinquish ties to the rapist, a senior at her high school. “I was just trapped,” said Foley, who did not report the abuse. “This was before rape was invented. I had no way of identifying the violence.” A closed adoption, which seals birth certificates to prevent adoptees from learning the names of their birth parents, seemed like the best option. But the adoptee found Foley anyway and repeatedly reached out, despite Foley’s efforts to make it clear that she didn't want any form of relationship. Foley, who is currently writing a follow-up to her book “Woman in Hiding: A True Tale of Backdoor Abuse, Dark Secrets and Other Evil Deeds,” said the adoptee “stalked” her by obtaining information from a private investigator — and reaching out to Catholic Charities, where Foley said an employee unlawfully released a great deal of private details regarding the adoption. Catholic Charities did not return The News’ request for comment. The adoptee, Foley said, then went even further and began Continue Reading

Photos: Iowa student documents her tough decision to give her baby up for adoption

At least 38 percent of pregnancies in every U.S. state are unintended. Twenty-five-year-old Callie Mitchell could have ended up a part of that statistic. But when the University of Iowa journalism student found out last March that she was pregnant, she turned to photography to deal with the stress. Her camera followed her through all the twists and turns, from the moment she realized she was pregnant to the moment she gave her child up for adoption. Then, she went one step further. She shared her diary and her images with hundreds of strangers, in a raw and intimate photo essay that is picking up steam online. “These situations aren’t nice, they’re not clean. They’re messy, full of emotion and it’s hard,” Mitchell told the New York Daily News. “But if I was going to tell this story and tell it right, I needed to tell everything, even the mistakes.” Mitchell was in love with her baby’s birth father when she got pregnant, but questions about the baby’s paternity drove a wedge between the couple. They broke up less than a month after her pregnancy test came out positive. Then, the birth father brought up adoption. Abortion was never an option for Mitchell, but adoption was also pretty unthinkable. She struggled with the decision for some time. “I can’t give all of that love and just give it away like nothing happened,” Mitchell writes in the photo essay. Last June, Mitchell reached out to Graceful Adoptions, a local adoption agency. Over the next few months, she wavered in her decision, becoming depressed and losing herself in sudden bouts of tears. “Is it reckless of me to trust two complete strangers with my baby based on a four-page profile and an hour-long phone conversation?” she asks in the essay. On the day her son Leo Arthur was born, she invited Rachel Jessen, a photo editor from her school paper, to the Continue Reading

Houston mom puts toddler up for adoption on Craigslist

A depressed Houston mom put her toddler up for adoption on Craigslist because she was off her meds, police said. Stephanie Christine Redus — who is pregnant and so unable to take her regular medication — turned to the popular website to seek a new home for her 3-year-old son. "Hi. I'm trying to adopt out my 3yr old son. I'm not in a good place in my life and don't feel like I can care for him properly but I don't know where to start," the 29-year-old wrote. She added: "If you or know anyone who is interested in caring for him please let me know. I'm a single mom and can't do this. Thanks, Desperate." The anonymous post was traced to Redus after Craigslist was served a grand jury subpoena ordering her to be identified. She was arrested and charged with the misdemeanor crime of advertising for placement of a child. Redus reportedly confessed to placing the ad but said she never intended to actually give him up. She claimed she had taken a turn for the worse because she was banned from taking her usual medication to treat depression and anxiety. The ad listing, she said, was just a way to help with her anxiety. Her bail was set at $1,000. The child is now in the care of his father. On a mobile device? Watch the video here. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Court rules for adoptive parents in Baby Veronica case

WASHINGTON -- A sharply divided Supreme Court sided with a 3-year-old girl's adoptive parents over the legal claim of her father Tuesday in a case that revolved around the child's 1% Cherokee blood.In doing so, the justices expressed skepticism about a 1978 federal law that's intended to prevent the breakup of Native American families -- but in this case may have created one between father and daughter that barely existed originally.While four justices from both sides of the ideological spectrum found no way to deny the father his rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act, five others -- including Chief Justice John Roberts, an adoptive father himself -- said the adoptive parents were the consistently reliable adults in "Baby Veronica's" life. They ordered the case returned to South Carolina courts "for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion."That the nation's highest court was playing King Solomon in a child custody dispute was unusual to begin with. It had jurisdiction because Veronica is 3/256ths Cherokee, and the law passed by Congress 35 years ago was intended to prevent the involuntary breakup of Native American families and tribes.In this case, however, the first family to get broken up was the adoptive one in South Carolina, led by Melanie and Matt Capobianco. They had raised Veronica for 27 months after her mother put her up for adoption. The father, Dusten Brown of Oklahoma, bjected to the adoption only after the fact.Brown won custody 18 months ago after county and state courts in South Carolina said the unique federal law protecting Native American families was paramount. The Capobiancos' attorney, Lisa Blatt, had argued in court that the law was racially discriminatory -- in effect banning adoptions of American Indian children by anyone who's not American Indian.Associate Justice Samuel Alito ruled for the majority that the law's ban on breaking up Native American families cannot apply if the family didn't exist in the first place. He Continue Reading

President Barack Obama’s father considered putting him up for adoption, says new book

President Obama's feckless father once considered giving up his unborn son for adoption. The revelation that the elder Barack Obama weighed a decision that could have changed the course of U.S. history appears in a new book about his life by Boston Globe reporter Sally Jacobs. "Subject got his USC (U.S. citizen) wife 'Hapai' (Hawaiian for pregnant)," states a memo obtained by Jacobs, which was written by a Honolulu-based U.S. immigration official. It stated that the Kenyan student and Obama's then 18-year-old mother, Ann Dunham, are married but "they do not live together." "Miss Dunham is making arrangements with the Salvation Army to give the baby away," the official, Lyle Dahling, wrote. It is unclear how serious the elder Obama, then a 24-year-old sophomore at the University of Hawaii, was about giving up his son. Both of the President's parents have passed away. But Jacobs reports in "The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama's Father," which hits stores next week, that Barack Obama Sr. was a "playboy" and possibly a bigamist. University and immigration officials said they were alarmed by the Kenyan's catting around - and his refusal to clarify basic things on immigration forms like whether he was born in 1934 or 1936, of whether he had another wife in Africa. When the randy student tied the knot with Dunham in 1961, school administrators redoubled their efforts to find out the truth. His student advisor, Sumi McCabe, told immigration officials that Barack Obama Sr. "has been running around with several girls since he first arrived here." McCabe "cautioned him about his playboy ways," Dahling wrote in his memoir. Obama "replied that he would 'try' to stay away from the girls." Instead, he began dating Dunham. The elder Obama vowed to investigators in April 1961 that he had divorced his wife in Kenya and that he and Durham planned to give up their child. Dahling didn't buy it. In another memo, he raised the Continue Reading

‘Orange is the New Black’ star Kate Mulgrew reveals she gave child up for adoption at 22

In the memoir “Born With Teeth” actress Kate Mulgrew, who plays Galina “Red” Reznikov in “Orange is the New Black,” reveals she had a baby daughter at age 22 and gave her up for adoption. The father of the child was David Bernstein, a directorial intern Mulgrew met while performing in Stratford. Mulgrew, who was raised in an Irish-Catholic family, said she slapped Bernstein across the face when he suggested she get an abortion. The actress even offered her mother money to provide for a nanny while she worked but her mother, who had recently lost a daughter to cancer, thought it would be too difficult and counseled her eldest to place the baby up for adoption. At the time, Mulgrew was gaining fame as the headstrong Mary in the soap “Ryan’s Hope.” After telling a producer her predicament, it was suggested that the show write the pregnancy into the storyline. When it was time to give birth, a kindly nurse let Mulgrew have one peek at her newborn. Three days later, she was back at work. The 59-year-old actress, who also bravely opens up about being raped at knifepoint in 1982 in the vestibule of her New York apartment building, eventually married actor Robert Egan and had two sons with him. Mulgrew went on to play Captain Kathryn Janeway in the television series “Star Trek Voyager.” However the actress admits she almost lost the role because of a lousy audition in which she was preoccupied with meeting the love of her life, her future second husband, Timothy Hagan. (As it happens, Mulgrew was not the show’s first choice. French actress Genevieve Bujold quit two days into filming, leaving producers scrambling to fill the role). Over the years Mulgrew attempted to find out about the daughter she gave up. It wasn’t until a chance encounter at a charity event where Mulgrew bumped into the nun she had implored over the Continue Reading