A: A Class Action Law Suit and Tons of Negative Publicity?
“What can we do to change the way adoption is practiced in this country? What is there that we can do?”
I get asked this a lot. And usually my answer is a truthful I don’t know. I’m still pretty much stuck on “step one” which is talking about the problems in adoption, gathering the facts and researching, and making folks aware that there ARE problems and issues. Lord knows it is impossible to solve anything if the general population refuses to even acknowledge that there is a problem. It’s the drug addict who insist they are fine or the alcoholic who claims they can stop any time or the battered wife who says it’s not his fault.
But suddenly, it seems that there is an answer! A massively public class action lawsuit against the unethical adoption agency industry seems to do the trick! Or does it?
Utah’s Adoption Center of Choice Lost its License to Practice Adoption!
But here’s the thing. The state was aware that “The Adoption Center of Choice” was already behaving badly.
The Adoption Center of Choice was founded in 1995 and claims 1,300 adoptions.
Yet, at least five of those “adoptions” led to rulings by the Utah Supreme Court or Utah Court of Appeals. As Utah adoptions often begin based on the completely unethical laws regarding father’s rights, all of the cases involved unmarried fathers whom were unable to stop the adoptions of their biological children. Victor Johnson, Frank Osborne, Buddy Pruitt, Cody O’Dea and Bryn Ayers.. all victims of THIS AGENCY.
The agency is being sued for nonpayment of fees by the law firm that represented it in the cases contested by unmarried birth fathers.
That was before 2012 when the agency made international headlines after Terry Achane successfully sued to have his daughter returned to him. It is one of the few cases where a father ‘s rights to his child is honored. In this case, Terry had been married o the mother of his child and had paid expenses in “support” of the pregnancy, so even in Utah, they had to side with him. The other dads? Not married.
Choosing to Screw Over Fathers and Prospective Adoptive Couples and other Lawyers, too
A Florida couple paid the agency more than $41,000 in April and May of 2011 and claims The Adoption Center of Choice negligently misrepresented charges and is operating a “Ponzi scheme” and shifting funds between prospective adoptive couples.
A Georgia woman alleges in another lawsuit she is out $37,850 paid to adopt a baby through the agency.
In January of 2013, Wes and Becky Jones , another prospective adoptive couple, filed a lawsuit that The Adoption Center of Choice was negligent and reckless in its handling of their adoption. The couple already have won a partial summary judgment for $39,275, the sum the center agreed to pay in a settlement, but then failed to honor and is now appealing.
Seventeen Pages of “Adoption” Problems- 17 PAGES
The agency had been given seven corrective action notices since August 2004; six were issued in 2010 or later.
In September 2012, it was placed under a corrective action plan because of documentation problems in its case files. That probation period was extended in January 2013 and again in September 2013. Utah already said they could not open any new adoption cases for six months or until it met state requirements.
The agency was working under a conditional license since September 2013 because of numerous operating deficiencies. I don’t know what the earlier “corrective action plans” looked like, but the one linked above is seventeen pages long!!!!
I’m not sure how long an adoption agency should be allowed to thumb their noises at carefully spelled out rules and laws especially when dealing with the welfare of human beings especially children, but ten years and 17 pages is way too much for me.
In February, the state informed the center that it planned to revoke its license for violating that order and failing to fix numerous problems, including improperly documenting expenses paid on behalf of birth mothers and failing to show how those expenses were consistent with fees charged to prospective adoptive parents.
But How About “The Adoption Center”?
There was also a “potential conflict of interest” because the adoption agency was representing both birth mothers and adoptive parents and requiring clients to pay fees to a marketing service also owned by Webb. The agency claims they have not billed clients the MANDATORY 10 thousand dollars for “marketing fees” for Blue Sky Choice Marketing since February 2013. Funny thing; besides being registered as an LLC, there is NOTHING to be found for “Blue Sky Choice Marketing,” not even a website.
One might think we could applaud that after ten years of corrective measures, “The Adoption Center of Choice” will have to close it’s doors and stop these atrocities, right? Nope. See, Blue Sky Choice Marketing also filed a failed trademark for “The Adopting Center” which also has running website!’
- Adoption Center of Choice: http://theadoptioncenterofchoice.com/
- The Adoption Center: http://theadoptioncenter.com/
What is the difference between these two agencies? The Adoption Center URL is owned by Blue Sky Choice marketing which is owned by James C. Webb who owns The Adoption Center of Choice, but the Adoption Center of Choice URL is owned by Brian Nichols. Neither one is registered as a “non profit” adoption agency in Utah, though that means little except I cannot pull their financial records. If you look carefully, the Adoption Center is the glorified branch of the Adoption Center of Choice and reads like a freaking country club for the knocked up and unwanted.
“Our expecting mothers can elect to stay in their own city/state with support from The Adoption Center – or they can choose to come to our Expecting Mother Living Center in Orem, UT. Each Expecting Mother receives her own 2 bedroom fully furnished apartment. This modern Living Center is nestled in the foot hills of the Wasatch Mountain Range in beautiful Orem, UT
Expecting Mother Amenities
Each birth mother will receive:
- All travel and expenses paid for – to and from facility
- All pre, during and post natal medical appointments covered by The Adoption Center with an excellent Doctor
- Weekly financial living assistance for food and personal needs
- Provided cell phone for personal use
- Transportation for local outings
- Transportation to all medical appointments
- Assigned a trained case manager to directly assist you in making a successful adoption plan<
- Provide scheduled weekly trips to do your shopping
- There will be a caring staff member available during your labor and delivery
- Your information/adoption plan will remain strictly confidential
So mom’s to be get seduced with the country club life, adoptive parents get tempted with fresh babies, numerous father’s lose their children, James Webb goes after the money and the state of Utah just lets it all keep going for over ten years? Really, this feels like a slap on the wrist and a sad act of doing “something” just to save their own skins. It’s a PR move; too little, too late. If they really cared, they would have pulled The Adoption Center of Choice‘s license years ago.