Coco Warner ReportingA church group and others in Chicago today accused a Utah adoption agency of coercing a 20-year old woman into giving up her three-month old baby.
The grandmother and birth mother of baby Tamia filed a lawsuit this morning against Midvale's "A Cherished Child Adoption Agency." Their claim, the agency took advantage of a woman who was clearly in emotional distress.
Flanked by leaders of her church and Chicago attorneys, Marie McDonald says her daughter, Carmen was coerced into signing away the rights to three-month old Tamia. She says "The Cherished Child Adoption Agency" flew Carmen and Tamia to Salt Lake City on December 4th, and that Carmen agreed to the adoption only because she was mentally unstable and under duress.
Robert Fioretti, Plaintiff's Attorney: "There were false promises, in addition, made to Carmen that she was going to have the child adopted by a bi-racial couple. When she arrived it turned out to be an all white couple."
The licensing department of Utah's Department of Human Services conducted their own investigation.
Elizabeth Sollis, Department of Human Services: "We received a complaint in the regards to the handling of this adoption in December, and we investigated it in that same month and found that the agency was not in violation."
Still, many in Illinois are expressing concern about Utah adoption laws-- that once papers are signed, they become legally binding at that moment, while other states require a waiting period.
Marty Shannon, Division of Child and Family Services: "The counseling for birth parents becomes as you can understand very crucial though-- is the birth parents need to really understand is that it is a final decision that if they have any reservations or any questions-- the point is don't sign."
So far, "The Cherished Child Adoption Agency" has made no public comments and denied our request today for an interview.