- Why did church officials in Alaska fly Mary and Jonathan to Utah, rather than facilitating an adoption in Alaska?
- What Alaskan adoption laws, especially involving Native children - might have prevented LDS from wresting Jonathan away from Mary?
- Why didn't LDS Social Services comply with the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) in arranging for Jonathan's placement across state lines?
Since its establishment in 1960, it has been enacted into law by all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands(Emphasis added.) The Compact is made up of 10 articles that enumerate the responsibilities of "sending" and "receiving" states in the completion of home studies for child placements and, later, in the supervision of children in interjurisdictional placements. In addition, it includes regulations, reporting requirements and specific guidelines for the interstate child-placement process. The current Compact applies to any child placed for foster care or adoption across state lines, including international adoptions and domestic infant adoptions, as well as to delinquent children sent to institutions across state lines.
- Four involve LDS.
- Six involve Utah attorney Larry S. Jenkins.
- Seven involve Utah agencies, either directly or through their satellite offices in other states.
Some that got away, but demonstrated LDSFS stong-arming practices
(Excerpt) Anyway, at that point I told the LDSSS guy no - not interested. My 'foster' family, fortunately supported my decision and helped to put me in contact with other adoption agencies that took a more reasonable approach. I didn't want to be any part of such a farce. But, the guy wouldn't leave me alone! Kept calling, showing up at my work. Even told me I would need to move out of the foster family's house, as I wasn't involved with the church program anymore. Of course the family told him where to go and I stayed with them up to and even a few weeks after the delivery.
Long story short - the LDSSS tactics are deplorable. My heart aches for the girls who have given up babies through this process. Did they have any real choice in the matter?
I had had a child outside of marriage before joining the LDS church. Two months later my bishop called me into his office to tell me that I had to give my child up for adoption because by keeping him I was not truly repentant of my sin (fornication) and that no man would want to marry me because I had a child outside of marriage.I informed him that I would not give my son up and that my mom had kept me even though her parents tried to tell her the same thing when she was pregnant with me and that I was going to keep my child. He bullied me to put my son into foster care but after a week I was so upset and my son was sick that I did get my son back. This son is now 31 and has 2 beautiful little girls."
I read this article over breakfast this morning, and then talked about it for a few minutes with my 25 year old daughter. She is a single mom. Her son is a four year old who challenges her; anchors her; motivates her; sometimes makes her miserable; etc. - in short, a normal mother-child relationship. She made an anguished decision as to whether to keep him or not; had selected his adoptive parents and did not decide to keep him until the day she went into labor. In fact, it seemed that her body was waiting for that decision befor being prepared to deliver the baby. He was about two weeks overdue.
She suffered significant damage at hands of the LDS social services in particular and well meaning Mormons in general during the process of deciding whether to give the baby up for adoption. This played a significant role in my post-Mormon awakening.
When I became pregnant with my son, I gave the church one last chance. When I refused to give him up for adoption, the bishop said I would be excommunicated or disfellowshipped. He made it clear it was for keeping my baby and not for fornication. I decided to save them the trouble and had my name taken off the records. I've never regretted my decision.
Here is another example: Our tenth child is adopted. He is our beautiful grandson by birth and we raised him from Day One. We were still LDS when this transpired. My oldest son's girlfriend (now his wife, praise God!) was pregnant. My son had been "inactive" LDS and his girlfriend had no religious background at all. She asked me how I felt about abortion and I told her frankly I thought it was murder. I told her I would adopt the baby or help her find an adoptive family if she did not feel comfortable with that.The Bishop called us in to talk to us about the situation. He insisted that the Prophet said babies should be given up for adoption rather than be raised by single parents and that we should allow the baby to go to another LDS family. I strongly believed this did not apply to us and our situation. The baby would not be raised by a single, unwed mother. He or she would be raised by a loving family: US!The Bishop told us "the spirit" was telling him we should give the baby up. He showed us a movie put out by the First Presidency (the Mormon prophet and his two counselors) that portrayed middle-aged parents having to raise their grandchild and being resentful. It was nothing but propaganda. I WANTED the baby! I WANTED to raise the child! Well, praise God we did not take the bishop's counsel, but went by what the "the Spirit" was telling US……
I am no longer active, it doesn't sound like the church has changed much either. In 1991 I became an unwed mother at the age of 18. I was told by the stake pres. that the only way I would be guaranteed a 99.9% chance of going thru the lds temple would be to give the baby up for adoption thru ldsss. 13 years later I still have my first born, I didn't go thru the temple, but I am alive (thanks to my son) and I came to understand what a hard decision it must have been for my bmom. I know if I would have given my child up for adoption it would have been the end for me.
As time wore on ... the pressure grew. At first it was subtle, but then it became almost outright at the end. The lady from LDS Services told me that she thought I should give my baby up, as I was too young and couldn't care for it properly - besides that, my baby needed a good two-parent home with temple worthy parents. Even the Bishop himself told me that I needed to give my baby up for adoption.Soon everyone was pressuring me, telling me what to do, or at least telling me behind the thinly veiled guise of "advice" and assuring me it was still my "choice". I began to look for adoptive parents. I looked through books and books of parents that had been screened carefully by the church. Somehow it just didn't feel right - but I felt that I HAD to find the right set of parents.It was God's will, I convinced myself. I looked and looked but could not make a decision. The pressure from everyone grew and grew until it choked my very being. Time was running short as the pregnancy grew further - and I soon began to feel desperate.............Finally I chose an adoptive couple. They were both young. The mother was pretty, the father was handsome, and they had 2 adopted children already. They had been on missions to Japan, spoke Japanese, were wealthy with great jobs, and had the PERFECT LIFE so it seemed. These were the people, I was sure of it!I gave my permission to contact them and they were notified of my decision. One of the things that bothered me though, was that they had specified that they were only willing to take a child that was 1/4 Native or Asian, no more.So had all the other parents ... they only wanted Caucasian children, or children that were specifically no more than 1/4 of such and such a race. Some even specified they didn't want any non-Caucasian children. Such racism boiled my blood and disturbed me (hence we see the racism in the church playing out again!!).My soul cried out in agony. I prayed and cried to God and begged him to affirm to me that I had made the correct decision. I had no idea what to do, and I told God that I only wanted to do what was right. Whatever the decision ... it needed to be the right one, and the best one for my child.Things began to move forward and it seemed that this couple would adopt my baby. As I imagined the thought of them at the hospital, taking my baby from my arms and taking him home ... I would cry for hours nonstop. It felt so wrong ... and yet it must be God's will, right?........I got down on my knees and I prayed to God for hours. I prayed like never before in my life. I said that I knew it was wrong to ask for signs, but that I NEEDED a sign to tell me that this adoption was the right course and the will of God. That it was "meant to be".Only about 3 days later I got a call from LDS Family Services. I was told that the adoption could not go through. The couple had pulled out citing personal problems and a family emergency and needed to relocate to the United States right away. Due to many reasons, the adoption was not possible. I KNEW THIS WAS MY SIGN. Looking back on it all these years later, I realize that may have been a sign true ... but the real sign was the feelings in my heart and my soul that told me NO and fought against it every breath of the way................They told me that it didn't matter whether Steve agreed with the adoption or not -- they had ways to coerce him to agree, or to guilt-trip him or force him to agree. And if that did not work they told me, then they could secretly sneak me into Alberta (as I live in British Columbia) where I could give birth to the baby and give it to an adoptive couple. There were loopholes, I was assured, that could make sure Steve could never see his baby, or at least never get custody.There were many sympathetic judges and cities where the Mormons always won custody battles and there were "many ways" that were told to me of how I could sneak off and deceive whomever I wanted.
I had no idea. Really, truely (sic) I had no clue. I had always suspected there were shady dealings with the whole adoption process through LDSSS, after reading these posts I feel validated . . . finally.I too was forced into the adoption. Told the whole line, "This isn't really your child, this is the only way this child could come to it's true and forever family." What is unfortunate is my mother still spouts that belief whenever I am sad or missing my daughter. No wonder the Social Worker assigned to "assist" with my case not only moved from the area, but I later found out left the church shortly after my baby's adoption was finalized.I asked questions, very thoughtful questions about reunions and obtaining non-id info prior to the adoption. I hit brick walls then, I suppose they don't ever want you to have what is rightfully yours. I never received the "exit counceling" post adoption. My father signed as the witness and I never was offered legal councel, ever. Nor was the BF.It is a long and weary road. My heart breaks for all of you.It took me several years to actually contact LDSSS where the adoption took place for the copies of my relinquishment papers. I did have to meet with the local LDSFS director to retreive (sic) them, but it was odd. I have the papers, I distinctly remember hand writing in the baby's legal name, as I had given not only to the hospital but to the LDSSS. This was not on ANY of the documents it all read "baby girl _______." As if LDSSS ALTERED the documents post signing!!! Isn't that ILLEGAL!?
LDSSS had my mom witness the adoption papers which in Oregon is illegal - they have to be witnessed by an independent third party. They also had me sign the papers less than 24 hours after delivery when I still had the medication in me - that also is against the law. I also called and wanted to stop things and they went ahead anyway. In essence, and this is what I tell everyone - LDSSS stole my baby.
Church leaders treated me very poorly during my pregnancy and even went so far as to call the young man they thought was the father into the Bishop's office and let him know about my pregnancy...behind my back. He wasn't the father, I had never implied that he was and he made my life a living he!! when I returned to my small town after I placed my child. Talk about a lack of privacy and confidentiality.
...Peggie Hayes, 34, said Romney, then a lay counselor for the local church, came to her home in 1984 shortly after she gave birth to her son, Dane. At the time, Hayes was divorced and had a 4-year-old daughter."He told me it was really important to give the baby up," Hayes said. ''He told me he was a representative of the church and by refusing I was failing to comply with the church's wishes and I could be excommunicated."Hayes said that, though she was shaken by the incident, she rejected Romney's advice and eventually dropped out of the church.