Judge Attacks Social Worker over International Adoption Scandal
Beard, Matthew, The Independent (London, England)
THE LID was lifted on the "evil and exploitative" business of international adoption yesterday when a High Court judge attacked a British freelance social worker for allowing a blacklisted family to buy a baby from a couple in the United States.
Barely a week after the girl was born in Houston, Texas, in January 2000 she was sold by a notorious adoption agency for pounds 18,500 and taken to start a new life in Britain.
But before her first birthday she was placed at the mercy of the courts after her "new" parents, who were barred from adoption in Britain by conventional means, split and her adoptive mother committed suicide.
Yesterday the High Court in London heard that an assessment carried out by independent adoption and surrogacy worker, Jay Carter, was "deeply flawed and grossly inadequate" as it failed to reveal the "obvious and worrying" unsuitability of the adoptive parents.
Sitting in the High Court's Family Division, Mr Justice Munby said he hoped that taking the unusual step of lifting reporting restrictions on the case would help highlight the need for a review of "evil and exploitative" overseas adoption.
Mr Justice Munby criticised previous misleading home reports compiled by Mrs Carter, who works for Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy, which helped the unsuccessful attempt by Alan and Judith Kilshaw to adopt twins via the internet from America in 2001.
The baby girl, identified for legal reasons only as "M", was sold through the now defunct Blessed Trinity Adoptions agency and a Texan judge gave his approval in January 2000. The adoptive parents, both in their forties, paid a reported pounds 18,500 fee although the baby's birth parents received only around pounds 700.
The British mother had been divorced four times and had six children. Mrs Carter made no checks on local authority reports which would have revealed the mother was investigated by social services departments for many years over concerns for two of her children. …