Michele Gentry Hinz
Washington Adoption Attorney
With a Personal Touch
HOW THEY FOUND EACH OTHER
Independent Adoption Networking Examples
(Adapted from Actual Cases)
Many of these scenarios are somewhat complex and convoluted. Although I have tried to make them understandable, I have left in the complexity so you can get a feel for the twists and turns that successful adoption networking often involves.
Cindy was having some legal problems concerning her relationship with a former boyfriend. She went to a neighborhood legal clinic for advice. During the course of her consultation with a volunteer attorney, Cindy mentioned that she was pregnant and considering adoption. The attorney, who was not an adoption lawyer, told Cindy she had friends in another state who were hoping to adopt. Cindy asked for more information, and eventually ended up choosing that couple to adopt her baby.
Sarah was pregnant and considering adoption. She went to her friend Bev for advice. Bev was a hairstylist who worked at a shop owned by Grace. Grace’s sister Lynne was a lawyer. Knowing this, Bev asked Grace to check with Lynne to find out where Sarah should go to explore adoption as an option. Lynne was a business lawyer, but she had recently run into a former co-worker and law school classmate who was an adoption lawyer. Lynne gave this adoption lawyer’s telephone number to Bev and Sarah. When Sarah contacted the adoption lawyer and described the type of adoptive family she hoped to find, the lawyer provided Sarah with information concerning several of her clients who were prospective adoptive parents. Sarah did not feel drawn to any of those families and asked to see information about others. At that point the lawyer recalled conversations she had had in the past year with two of her cousins. Those cousins were both acquainted with Mel and Mary, a couple who hoped to adopt. Both cousins had repeatedly spoken to the lawyer about their hope that Mel and Mary would be able to adopt. It occurred to the lawyer that the description of Mel and Mary she had heard from her cousins was very much like what Sarah was looking for in a family. The attorney contacted one of her cousins, who contacted Mel and Mary. Information was exchanged and Sarah eventually chose Mel and Mary to adopt her baby.
Carolyn and Linda worked together as waitresses. Linda and her husband Jay were hoping to adopt. Carolyn became pregnant. She quietly considered her options until she was nearly ready to deliver. Knowing that Linda was hoping to adopt, Carolyn approached Linda and asked if she would like to adopt her baby. Several weeks later Carolyn placed her newborn daughter with Linda and Jay. Carolyn attended both the temporary custody hearing two days after the birth and the finalization hearing several months later.
Dave and Cheryl were hoping to adopt, as were Cheryl’s cousin Bob and his wife Karen. Both couples networked actively in pursuit of this goal. As a result of Dave and Cheryl’s networking, the mother of a toddler approached them and ultimately decided to place her child with them. About a year later, a doctor called Dave and Cheryl. One of his patients was pregnant and had asked for his help in finding a childless couple to adopt her baby. The doctor had dusted off Dave and Cheryl’s letter to him (sent over a year before) and was calling Dave and Cheryl to see if they were interested in adopting his patient’s baby. Dave and Cheryl told the doctor that they were ready to adopt again, but that they were no longer a childless couple. They suggested to him that if it was critical to the birth mother to find adoptive parents who did not have a child, the doctor might want to contact Cheryl’s cousin Bob and his wife Karen, who lived in another state. The doctor did call bob and Karen and his patient decided to place her child with them. When Bob and Karen were literally walking out the door to pick up their new baby, they received a call from a young woman who was pregnant and had heard that they were interested in adopting. Bob and Karen told her that although they were no longer seeking to adopt because a child was being placed with them that same day, Bob’s cousin Cheryl and her husband Dave, who had one older child, were ready to adopt again. They gave this young woman contact information for Dave and Cheryl. She called them and ultimately decided to place her daughter with them.
Tom and Sue adopted a little girl whose ethnic background was part Hispanic. When they decided to try to adopt again they began networking. One of the people they contacted was their adoption attorney. One day their attorney received a call that was a result of another client’s networking. Shelli, the caller, reviewed information from the family she initially called about, but they were not what she was looking for and she asked the attorney to show her information about other families. One of her criteria was that she was looking for a childless couple. The attorney gathered information from at least five childless couples. However, because this young woman’s child was expected to be half Hispanic, the attorney also included information about Tom and Sue, telling Shelli that although they did have a child, Shelli might be interested in seeing their information because the ethnic background of their child was similar to the ethnic background of the child Shelli was expecting. Shelli reviewed the information on all of the families and was strongly drawn to Tom and Sue. Several months later she placed her newborn son with them for adoption.
Michele Gentry Hinz
33035 52nd Avenue South
Auburn, WA 98001
(253) 740-0667 - 24 hour phone
(253) 322-4769 FAX