In response to "A Question of Rights," I am a psychotherapist familiar with these cases. I work with many adoptive parents caught up in the legal struggle between adoptive and biological parents, concerning who will parent the child.
To be involved in this situation as an adoptive parent is to face financial and emotional exhaustion. To construe any dispute between adoptive and biological parents as a matter of the economically advantaged versus the disadvantaged is not only grossly inaccurate but also grossly insensitive to all parties.
I have yet to meet the adoptive parents who have not been financially depleted in paying lawyers to represent them in a legal environment in which their rights as parents come last, if at all. Every adoptive parent I have met has been emotionally depleted as well, in coping with the threat of loss and, in numerous cases, the actual loss of their once-adopted child.
In virtually every case, months or years of failed infertility treatments have already shrunk their savings accounts, as there is rarely insurance coverage for such treatments.
The real story is the way on which the absence of legislative guidelines to protect all concerned and regulate the independent adoption industry affects the lives of the biological and adoptive parents and the child caught between. The independent adoption marketplace seems to share the opportunism and fraud found in workers' compensation, auto accident, personal injury, and pain clinic mills. But who's writing about that?
What about the issues surrounding informed relinquishment? Torres is hardly a sympathetic character.
The whole field of independent adoptions is rife with pathology and questionable characters, from parents to attorneys to news writers.
The case sounds familiar enough. However, your reconstruction of this case as a social question involving economic class warfare is cheap grandstanding, tawdry and horribly irresponsible.
STEVEN H. STUMPF