A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

April 16, 2007

Stephanie’s Case: There is What’s Right, What’s Wrong, and the Law

A 17 year old girl, Stephanie Bennet (the family is PLEADING for the public to know about this case) recently has been involved in a case where she was coerced into surrendering her baby to an overzealous adoption agency, who had 15,000 reasons to be “concerned”. That’s adoption agency codespeech for their profit margin on human trafficking. This case has boiled over to three separate counties, each of course having their own rules regarding adoption law. so of course this case is wrapped so tightly in red tape, that it would make the most officious government toadie smile in delight at the impossible task of untangling the mess, but what the hell, it’s only a child of 17 who has had her child taken away by some of the slickest sales people to come down the pike since the “Snake oil” salespeople of legend. Is that a coincidence that the adoption agency foresaw as a contingency plan, I think so.

I’m a father of 44, and I have three daughters (23, 21 and 16), and this article kind of hits me at home, because it could be my daugther thrown into this mess. In a way it is my daughter, it’s everyone’s daughter, and that is the only way to change a societal view is to see this child, Stephanie as your own.

Consider this your daughter’s timeline.

11/05/06 – Stephanie found that she is pregnant and hid it from her parents until 3 weeks prior to delivery. She is tall, this is a first pregnancy and the popular baggy clothes worn by young people made that possible.

What 17 year old wouldn’t do the same. She made a choice, which took tremendous courage and told her parents and delivered the child.

4/17/06 – Stephanie delivered Baby Evelyn Joann Bennett and named her for her Great Grandmother and her Grandmother and her Mother. The plan is that, with her family’s support, Stephanie will raise the baby.

In a world where families are so often fragmented and where typically young people fritter away their responsibilities, Stephanie shows character. Yes, she had sex, most of you reading probably did when you were 17 also, or wished to have done so. She maybe exercised poor judgement; and there’s a pile of stones for you to throw if you are without sin to toss at mother and child.

Stephanie’s parents are not wealthy people and Stephanie and Evelyn go on Medicaid. This is an example of Title I monies being well spent. This won’t likely be for a lifetime, but to see her and the child through the understandable tough patches. Those who are pro-life had better understand that responsibility for society doesn’t end with the child being born. If you want young, unwed mothers not to opt for abortion, be willing to support her with tax dollars, and not just from private charity.

4/06 – Stephanie told her parents that the father was a school friend, with whom she had never had sex. She was desperately trying to protect her family. She lied to her parents because she was afraid of the real father who had been making serious and repeated threats against her family. Stephanie attempted to protect them from him and what he would do to her family, to her and to Baby Evelyn.

I don’t know the details yet about “daddy” but odds are he’s either married and most likely facing a statutory rape charge, but I’m just guessing here. If either is true, I hope he ends up on one of those MSNBC shows about life in prison, or that HBO brings the series “Oz” back to life, and he’s prisoner #305985 – child rapist pig.

9/07/06 – After 5 months of repeated and serious threats to her family’s health and safety and emotional abuse from the putative father of her child, Stephanie approached Thomas Saltsman, a Guidance Counselor, at Glenoak High School. Stephanie originally went to discuss a schedule change, but mentioned adoption. As soon as Stephanie mentioned adoption, Mr. Saltsman turned, got a brochure from his desk for A Child’s Waiting Adoption Agency and arranged a meeting for the next day in his office.

Now, I work in the public schools, and hope to become an administrator. I am going to be poring over my school law text book later on about this case, because my question is “What the hell is a member of the school doing discussing adoption or abortion or anything else of that nature without the consent of a PARENT or a LEGAL Guardian.”

9/8/06 – Stephanie signed the initial paperwork that began the process. Mr. Saltsman signed as witness, in his office, at the high school, this was the ONLY meeting between Stephanie and the agency people, until the agency worker came to take Baby Evelyn on 9/12/06. There was no counseling nor protection offered to Stephanie. An attorney was present, as Stephanie’s “independent counsel”, but she also handled adoptions for A Child’s Waiting Adoption Agency on a regular basis.

Again, am I missing something here? Where are the parents? Why has the school opted to play a parental role in this situation. Now, Stephanie has to be asked what is going through her mind, but this is all the more reason to not allow MINORS to enter into contracts, such as adoption AND abortion without parental notification and consent. The “independent counsel” is a laugh, and this child abduction agency will hopefully be investigated, and even more hopefully, and this is wishful thinking due to the obvious political patronage they enjoy, will be the alleged child-rapist’s new cellmates in the soon to be showing MSNBC Prison Diary, or even better in the reairing of “Oz” as new guests of “Em City”.

9/12/07 – As a policy, Medicaid demands the name of a father, or they require DNA testing on any possible ones. The young man that Stephanie claimed was the father in order to protect her family’s safety from the real father went to have his DNA tested. Stephanie was to bring Evelyn in for her test to see if they matched, but Stephanie never came. She had already run away, as directed by the agency rep in the school guidance counselor’s office, to avoid the DNA testing. The involvement of a father in the proceedings would complicate things for the agency. Proven fathers have rights that require protection. DNA evidence is proof of paternity. No proof and there are only putative fathers, who legally need not be consulted. Evelyn was not tested, as she had already been taken from her mother by the agency.

This information was the inspiration for an earlier post of “What About Daddy“. In this case it may be some individual that is lower than whale feces, but as a policy, this is about as odious as they come. Doesn’t the biological father of this child have not only the responsibility but the right to be a part of his child once born? In my 44 years, I have never heard of such unethical behavior by the self-righteous child abduction industry. I am typically a sane and controlled man, but these people get my ire up to as Samuel Jackson’s character’s level in Pulp Fiction said – and I’ll delete the expletives – “I’m a Mushroom Cloud Laying Mother******” Again, I know the law, and they may say this is legal, or at least in some counties, but I see some pretty shady deals here, and would love to prosecute these saccharine Mother Theresa’s.

9/12/06 – Stephanie and Evelyn ran away (at the agency’s suggestion, in the Guidance Counselor’s office, to Carrol County where Stephanie’s parents could not interfere). Also the last time Stephanie saw baby Evelyn. The agency rep came to this place and picked up baby Evelyn.

Is there any point in commenting? What do you expect from pigs but grunts?

10/2/06 – Judy and Ranza Bennett got temporary custody of Baby Evelyn; went to the agency in Copley Township in Summit County accompanied by Copley Police. Agency told the police that they had spoken to the 17-year-old but told her that they could not do business with her while she was a minor and that neither child was at the agency.

I’m done commenting…

10/16/06 – Judy and Ranza notified by Canton police that they were to appear in court on 10/17/06. Not informed as to why.

10/17/06 – Went to court, still no information as to reason. Stephanie appeared accompanied by A Child’s Waiting. Court placed Stephanie into a Respite Home due to allegations of abuse made against Judy and Ranza Bennett by the putative father who had been making the threats against Stephanie and her family, which stated that there was neglect and abuse against both Evelyn and Stephanie. A case worker came to their home to investigate the charges of abuse.

10/18/06 – Stephanie ran away from the Respite Home and called a friend, who called the caseworker who advises him to take Stephanie to Family Court. While in court, Stephanie tells the judge that she wants to return home to her parents and her sister. The Lawyer for Child Protection told the Judge that there was no sign of neglect or abuse in the home. Evelyn’s pediatrician stated that he had no concern about Evelyn being in the home.

10/18/06 – Stephanie then told her parents who the father actually was (there is no more information about the father available beyond this as yet, as charges are pending and any information leaked could jeopardize their case).Attempted to find an attorney who could handle the case and would work for payments that could come later, for Stephanie and the baby.

Dec. 31, 2006 – Rick Armon’s article appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal. His original article is no longer available on the website.

Early January, 2007 – Sandy Young called the Bennett family to offer help. They said that they could use it.

Jan of 07-. Hired Paul Reiners to defend Stephanie. He agreed to work on a pro bono basis, unless they won the case. In that event, they would owe him standard fees.

1-19-07 – The first time Stephanie went to court in Summit Co. with Mr.Reiners, and was not allowed in the court room. Paul Reiners came out of the court room and told Stephanie that the Magistrate, Diana Stevenson, had put a gag order on all parties involved in the case.

2/2/07 – Judge in Stark Co. ruled that the custody order of Ranza and Judy Bennett was no longer in effect; That another court had precedence.

02/03/07 Canton grandparents’ adoption motion denied

2-21-07 – Stephanie went back to court in Summit Co, where she is still fighting for the return of her daughter Evelyn. This date was to determine if the Surrender could be overturned. The judge was to rule on this matter on March 27, 2007. The briefs were to have been turned in on the 23rd and she would rule several days later. Paul Reiners had said that he would have several witnesses subpoenaed including the putative father. He also had indicated that he would depose Joe Soll to testify to the effects of the coercion, the loss of her daughter, the psychological impact of the threats and the emotional abuse that Stephanie had been subjected to. He did none of the above.

March of 07 – Fired Paul Reiners


March of 07 – hired Jennifer Lowry, who obtained a continuance on the ruling by the judge and obtained the court transcripts. She could find no evidence of any gag order on any party to the case. She still prefers to have Stephanie remain silent, as a matter of choice, and to protect her, but her parents and the attorney are not so bound.

April 07 – Obtained copies of the complaint filed against the agency in the matter of Stephanie Bennett by her mother. The agency was found to be not in compliance in numerous areas. A copy of the findings is attached. So far, no actions have been taken against the agency by the state, despite being out of compliance.

April 9, 2007 – Meeting with Jennifer Lowry. She was excited about the Bennetts having a copy of the complaint. Also has started to plan a reunification.

If you read this, thank you. Stephanie and her parents deserve it, and if you’re ever in this hell on earth, so would you.

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8 Comments »

  1. Well done! Thank you so much for stepping up to the plate for the Bennetts!

    Comment by Julie — April 17, 2007 @ 1:25 am | Reply

  2. Well, thank you.
    I am not an adoptee, nor have I ever adopted, so I don’t have a dog in this fight, but don’t we all when confronted with such a vile mixture of forces. So distasteful to read and to see how children are becoming pawns in a world where the only force that gains is the amount of pain inflicted upon all parties.

    Comment by avoiceofreason — April 17, 2007 @ 1:30 am | Reply

  3. Bravo – thank you for speaking out!

    Comment by Margie — April 17, 2007 @ 3:31 am | Reply

  4. Am happy to do so. Some things are just so wrong, the words don’t come to mind. All that can be said is WTF?????

    Comment by avoiceofreason — April 17, 2007 @ 3:48 am | Reply

  5. you said exactly what I was thinking in regards to the father

    Comment by mommyinmaking — April 18, 2007 @ 1:03 am | Reply

  6. At this time, I take no stand on the merits of the mother’s case. But from what I heard from Ms. Lowry’s appearance on the adoption show, the issue is whether the surrender agreement was valid or not; specifically, whether the mother was under duress or unduly influenced, defrauded, or misled by the other parties, or whether there was PREJUDICIAL illegality. Nothing you state here speaks to that. Instead, you talk about reunification plans and the need to support the grandparents. Has something changed? And you state nothing about how the agency’s alleged non-compliance, or the putative father’s alleged threats, invalidate the surrender agreement. Presumably, the mother appeared before the juvenile court, who then approved the agreement after questioning the mother. Did the court err somehow, or fail to cure any potential defects in the permanent surrender agreement? If you cannot divulge certain facts, then I understand. I do not know all the facts of this case, and I offer no opinion. I can only say that, as it stands, your allegations do not seem to support the merits of the mother’s revocation claim.

    Comment by Erik L. Smith — April 20, 2007 @ 3:35 pm | Reply

  7. A real problem I have is with a 17 year old entering into a legally binding contract and agents of the government, (the school) participating with a private adoption agency which profits from the exchange of the commodity, the child, working in collusion to pressure a child into questionable activity – running away from home.

    I guess I expect more of my public schools than that, and that issue from a moral vantage point is the least of my questions.

    Comment by avoiceofreason — April 23, 2007 @ 4:05 am | Reply

  8. […] legal age to enter into a contract is typically 18 but in some states it is 21.  Interestingly, Stephanie Bennet, and thousands of other young girls are manipulated and allowed to enter into rather serious […]

    Pingback by Madness in Teen Laws "The Wedding of the Deliverance Cast Extras" « A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World — April 23, 2007 @ 5:16 am | Reply


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