Beaches Adoption Agency Halts Program Complaint Leads to End of Dealings with Vietnam

Article excerpt

Byline: Dana Treen, Times-Union staff writer

A Neptune Beach adoption agency is shutting down its program to place Vietnamese children with parents in the United States after a Massachusetts couple complained they were lied to about a child they wanted to adopt.

Tedi Bear Adoptions, a 5-year-old business involved in international adoptions, halted the program Monday, said executive director Tedi Hedstrom.

Hedstrom said the Massachusetts couple, Lori and Shane Grace, were interested in a child that was instead adopted by an Australian couple. Hedstrom said a bureaucratic mix-up by the Vietnamese government allowed the child to be adopted by the other family without telling Tedi Bear's coordinator in Vietnam.

"Unfortunately, the same child was offered to another family," she said. "They did not bother to tell our coordinator."

The Vietnamese government has since said there was a mix-up in medical records with two children who have the same name.

The Graces, who have complained to the Florida Department of Children and Families, said they believe they were misled and that the child was never available for adoption. Lori Grace said she believes the infant girl was offered in a bait-and-switch ploy in which the Graces would be told they could have another child or have to pay more than the nearly $11,000 they had already invested, she said.

Grace said the couple does not trust Tedi Bear and want their money back.

"That's like selling a house that was never there," she said. …