That Catholic Charities of Trenton, NJ mixed up the adoption records does not come as any real surprise. Why should they make sure the right baby was linked to the right mother? After all the records are sealed and it would be unlikely for anyone to ever find out – how could they? No need to have processes in place that really don’t matter – a healthy white infant is a healthy white infant – who cares…that is of course until DNA testing became available.
Today The Baltimore Sun published a wonderful Fathers Day story…a story finally with an ending that didn`t seem possible when it was last told, when DNA testing confirmed that the man Catholic Charities said was the son of Ron Ryba, was not his son after all.
The hard-won reunion came after years of searches, heartbreak and false leads. Ryba’s adoption agency, Catholic Charities of Trenton, N.J., had “reunited” him with another man in 2004.
But four years later they learned through DNA tests that they weren’t related. Before Ryba’s quest ended, there would be an investigation by New Jersey authorities, leaked names and two more DNA tests.
But the last tests proved that Callaghan, a 35-year-old accountant, is the child that Ryba, 53, and Kathy Butler of New Jersey turned over for adoption.
Ryba asked Catholic Charities to sort out their mess and instead they hid behind the privacy laws and a judge agreed. But Ryba apparently did not give up and go away like they most likely hoped he would, he went to the NJ Attorney General who got The Department of Children and Families to investigate the adoption files.
In their report, the investigators said they found that Ryba’s son was one of six similarly aged boys placed at St. Elizabeth’s, the Catholic maternity home and nursery in Yardville, N.J., at around the same time in late 1975. They identified two who appeared to be Ryba’s son and Bloete, and quoted a former Catholic Charities social worker who said “it was not impossible for the children to have been mixed up.”
Infants at St. Elizabeth’s did not wear identification, she told investigators, nor was there any on their cribs. Two staffers ran four separate nurseries, with eight cribs in each, investigators learned. Volunteers, often unfamiliar with the babies, were used to transport them to the Catholic Welfare Bureau for placement.
Catholic Charities acknowledged in 2009 that the mix-up was “tragic.” But “we did everything we were required to do,” said spokeswoman Lisa Thibeault. She added that the state investigation found “no violations of best adoption practices.”
Got to love sorry for the mix up it was “tragic” but we did nothing wrong stance that Catholic Charities took. Mixing up babies means your processes failed. Sorry really does not cut it – you have to fix it not just wash your hands of the affair.
As “corrective action,” the Department of Children and Families said, Catholic Charities “shall make good faith attempts to assist the three complainants [Ryba, Bloete and Butler] in securing answers to their questions should they request searches.” Catholic Charities would also inform the state of its progress, and assume the costs of DNA testing.None of that happened, according to Ryba. But he was not ready to give up.
Ryba got the info elsewhere and kept going until he found his son – read the story linked above – it is well worth the time and shines not a nice light at all.
New Jersey laws open original birth certificates to adoptees this November – you have to wonder what the percentage of mistakes will show up in the future. How many actual birth dates will be wrong? How much mis-information will be uncovered?
No wonder Catholic Charities works so hard lobbying against adoptees getting their original birth certificate. We have always known regardless of what agency processed our adoption not to trust that our story was the truth, that we were born on the day our amended birth certificate says, or even that we were born where it says we were – after all we were just BFA – babies born for adoption. The amended birth certificate is not worth the paper it is printed on as nothing can be assumed to be true – how can it?
It also shows how passive state registries do not work – without the correct information how can either side make a match…The passive registry in New York has something dismal like a 5% match rate – makes sense now why the adoption industry promotes that as a solution doesn`t it? They don’t want their practices and lies uncovered – it would be bad for business.
Shame on them. Shame on the entire industry for playing fast and loose with our information and pretending to be so pious and concerned about us and our mothers.
Shame on all of you – how can you sleep at night?