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Were Parents Right to Give Up Adopted Daughter?

Living 2010/09/27 22:33:06
Related Topics: Pregnant, Family, Marketing
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Lori and Craig Gertz were faced with the hardest imaginable decision a parent could ever make: Give up one child or jeopardize the safety of the others.

The Gertzs' 7-year-old adopted daughter Ellie was diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder three years after the couple took her home from the hospital as a newborn, according to ABC News.

Early on, Lori noticed Ellie's inability to bond. She also began hurting her siblings and even pushed her eight-months-pregnant mother down the stairs. At age 6, she was trying to commit suicide by running into traffic.

"Our family was being destroyed," Lori said after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to help Ellie. "Our savings is gone. We have paid out of our pocket everything to take care of our daughter."

In the first few years, Gertz went through eight nannies, one of whom quit the first day on the job.

"The other children were compromised," she said. "We had three birds in our nest, not one."

So three months ago, the Illinois couple sent Ellie, now 7, to Washington state to live with a foster family.

"I just never, in my life, could imagine even associating with having to let my baby go," said Gertz, 47, a marketing specialist. "I will always love my Ellie."

Ellie's fate won't be officially decided for a year. And while we sympathize with the Gertz family, we have to wonder if they made the right decision.



Read More: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/illinois...

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Top Opinion

  • jenlduu 2010/09/28 00:57:09
    Yes, they had no choice
    jenlduu
    +8
    These parents are to be commended. They tired everything possible to help this child but it would have been the wrong thing to do jeopardize the other children. None of us can say what we would do in this situation. All parents are just human and not infallible.

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  • sami 2011/04/06 14:20:49
    No, the child was their responsibility
    sami
    Adopted or not... they still took on the responcibility of that child. Yes, she was adopted but so what! What if Lori did birth this child? Would she send her away cause she was acting up or do what had to be done to take care of this child.

    This is disgraceful.
  • Baby911 2010/09/29 21:16:48
    None of the above
    Baby911
    If they knew this childs parents history, then they sholdn't have adopted her. I have seen babies that were born in the hospital, and watch them go through withdrawl. The adoption agency suppose to tell these parents when they are adopting these kids, if there is a problem with them and the history of the mother without the name.
  • Liliana 2010/09/29 19:52:01
    Yes, they had no choice
    Liliana
    Definitely, I probably wouldn't have been able to go a day after the diagnose was given. It's a heroic enough challenge to adopt a normal child, even more so if the child is sick and endangering people around. I feel bad for the family.
  • Andrea 2010/09/29 19:21:00 (edited)
    Yes, they had no choice
    Andrea
    +1
    Tough call, but there is no way I would allow one child to hurt another. You love your kids, but not at the expense of the others. This kid needs help.
  • Loctia 2010/09/29 19:09:59
    Yes, they had no choice
    Loctia
    All this talk about "Well it's their responsibility" and "Humans are not throwaway" things. Probably by people who have never had a problem child in their life, let alone to this degree. She was attempting committing suicide. She was hurting her mother and siblings. They adopted this child as a baby. They weren't expecting things like that.

    In my opinion anyone who goes "THEY'RE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY" and insists they keep the child are selfish, because obviously they don't have the skills needed to deal with a child like that. And everyone going "YOU CAN'T THROW HER AWAY", they aren't. They have just realized they don't know how to deal with her disorder and want her to be in a place where she can be safe and happy. They might the best decision for EVERYONE. I'm sorry that YOU have a hero complex and would rather the child kill all your other children first and leave your family in shambles because you are too much of an egotist to realize when you can't do something, but this family is actually smart and actually CARES ABOUT THE GIRL.
  • Bye =) 2010/09/29 19:04:56
    None of the above
    Bye =)
    THEY HAD TO SHE WAS A DANGER TO THE OTHER CHILDREN AND THEY WERENT GOING TO COMPROMISE THE OTHER CHILDRENS HEALTH FOR HER THEY TRIED TO HELP HER THEY DID EVERYTHING THEY COULD SO WE ALL MIGHT OR MIGHT NOT MAKE THIS DECISION BUT ALL WE ARE IS HUMAN
  • Arya 2010/09/29 13:12:34
    Yes, they had no choice
    Arya
    +1
    They did what they felt was best for Ellie and their family. I can't judge them for that.
  • 0000 2010/09/29 05:47:55
    No, the child was their responsibility
    0000
    the mother shouldn't have been drinking while pregnant. I know it's a sad story which is the case with any family that has a child with some disorder, but they did it to themselves. I bet their decision to get rid of one kid will linger in the minds of the others. I know I wouldn't feel right watching my parents get rid of one of my siblings just because they were a perfect little angel they dreamed of having. They try to make seem like they're saints by supposedly spending their savings on treatments, but that's only word of mouth. They ruined whatever chance this kid could have at a normal life by not taking care of her during her conception and then discarded her to be someone else's burden. I really believe we haven't heard the last of this.
  • 0000 0000 2010/09/29 05:57:02
    0000
    +1
    just noticed pic, wasn't aware they were adoptive parents. I guess they did go above and beyond by accepting the child knowing she had a disorder. They were the ones being burdened by someone else's thoughtlessness. I am not sure I agree with just giving her up because things didn't work out exactly as plan. They aren't aware that going from foster home to foster home can be very damaging to a child's self esteem. I remember my sister was a true hellion in her early childhood (no disorder mind you.) My mother didn't put her up for adoption she kept emphasizing how much she loved my sister and kept showing her kindness, it's all about repetition and patience. Giving the girl up and putting her in a new environment is just going to confuse her and make her lash out even more, because all that she knew from age 3 to 6 is gone.
  • Arya 0000 2010/09/29 13:19:59
    Arya
    The birth mother should be prosecuted, but I can't fault this couple for doing what they felt was best for Ellie and their family. It must have been a heartbreaking decision and I hope that Ellie isn't put through the foster system. I've heard horror stories about what those poor kids go through at the hands of their often abusive foster parents.

    I have a seven year old who is Autistic, and he can be difficult at times, but he isn't violent to others...only to himself and not to such a degree as poor Ellie. I will never give up on my little guy, he is a special little person and I love him very much. Your mother is a good person, sometimes kids just need a little extra TLC and attention...sadly sometimes they need much more.
  • Cat 0000 2010/09/29 22:22:12
    Cat
    +3
    Read it again....they adopted this child. The biological mother drank. Not the mother that raised (or tried to raise) this little girl.
  • Paranormal♥Spirit 2010/09/29 02:02:20
    Yes, they had no choice
    Paranormal♥Spirit
    They really had no choice, even though they loved the child. She was hurting the family and herself. If a family can't deal with it, then they would have no choice but sent her to a foster home. I'm sure another family would know how to take care of her. I don't know what i would do if i had a child that way, i would probably try to get her some help instead of sending her away.
  • Mystical♥Gleek 2010/09/29 01:52:39
    Yes, they had no choice
    Mystical♥Gleek
    She was physically hurting her family and probably herself. Maybe they could've just sent her to an institution to try to control her behavior. She could have gotten better but maybe not. It's worth a try.
  • Toria 2010/09/29 01:28:29
    Yes, they had no choice
    Toria
    Fetal Alcohol spectrum disorder can cause mental retardation in wildy varying levels. assuming the child was on the tough end, No I don't blame them one bit. With 3 other kids to raise, I'ed find an approprate program/living arrangement that offered a positive outlook for her life and give the other kids the most positve home I could.
  • Toria5637 2010/09/29 00:43:19
    Yes, they had no choice
    Toria5637
    I know it wasnt really her fault she had the disease.. but it wasnt really her parents' either.. they didnt give her up for no reason.. they gave her up because they had to.. to save her and everybody else. They had no more money to care for her OR anybody else! They didnt have a choice.. they love her.. obivously they spent so much time trying to help her.. but they cant do anything anymore.. and its not their fault
  • Dana 2010/09/29 00:21:07
    Yes, they had no choice
    Dana
    I know a grandma who lives close to me, she has adopted her 4 grandchildren, fathered by her druggie son and his even worse druggie girlfriend... these kids were all drug babies, and the one boy at 3 was enjoying killing animals, trying to kill his bigger sister, and was pure hell on wheels... Thats when the state came in and took the kids, then she had 2 more. I baby sat for these kids numerous times and that boy was hell.... angry, hateful and destructive. Now he is about 9.. has had to be in special ed, constant meds, counceling and learning to behave... and while he is much improved, he is still dangerous to himself and everyone around him. I have tremendous kudos for the Grandma for taking them all in, and she has been a miracle worker, but you could not pay me a million dollars to do what she did... no way....

    So that rant said.. :) As sad and heartbreaking of a story as this one posted is, that family simply had no choice.

    It really ought to be, if it is not already... a criminal act to give birth to a drug baby. felony... because they are chancing ruining a child's life by their own stupidity.
  • Phoenix 2010/09/28 23:58:01
    No, the child was their responsibility
    Phoenix
    +1
    Disgusting! A child not like a pair of shoes that you can return if you change your mind. These people don't deserve children if that's how they behave. What if one of the others is diagnosed with a mental illness or a debillitating physical illness? Will they be sent away too? Truly appalling behaviour!
  • Sapphireluvsadam 2010/09/28 21:56:35
    None of the above
    Sapphireluvsadam
    idk
  • boberry 2010/09/28 21:48:26
    None of the above
    boberry
    +1
    I can't answer one way or another. I don't know how being in a foster home will help the child. I do feel for the parents and their natural born kids. To have the family dynamic threatened by bogus claims of abuse is incomprehensible. The state should be legally bound to cleanse the family record in cases like that.
  • Rebecca... boberry 2010/10/02 08:08:01
    RebeccaHerman
    +3
    She was put in a foster home where the foster parents were very experienced with caring for children with FAS. The adoptive parents were unable to afford a residential treatment facility.
  • hulk1234 2010/09/28 21:39:44
    Yes, they had no choice
    hulk1234
    They did the right thing.
  • Huki68 2010/09/28 21:00:05
    None of the above
    Huki68
    +2
    I would never have left go one of my boys because of that, I would of stop having children just to take care of my son if that was the issue. I don't know really her fully history,I am noone to judge, I personally never will gave up of my kids, I have a ADHD kid that sometimes I want to pull my hair off, yet I never, I mean never will gave him away. NEVER
  • Sapphir... Huki68 2010/09/28 21:58:51
    Sapphireluvsadam
    +1
    YOU GO GIRL!
    ur awesome ya know?
    i love children i had to babysit one when i was 12 (one year ago) im thirteen
    and when his parents came he whined, "I DONT WANNA GO!!!!!" and i was like AWW! i love children
  • Huki68 Sapphir... 2010/09/29 17:54:30
    Huki68
    Children feel people who really care fro them
  • Phoenix Huki68 2010/09/29 00:00:25
    Phoenix
    And that makes you a wonderful mother.
  • teigan 2010/09/28 20:55:08
    Yes, they had no choice
    teigan
    +2
    It appears that they had no choice here. They also have to keep their other children safe. This is a tragic story that begins with the birth mother. Mother's that put their babies at risk like this should be jailed.
  • Tat 2010/09/28 20:31:57
    Yes, they had no choice
    Tat
    +1
    While reading this tragic story, you have to remember they have three other children to think of. The whole situation is so sad. They made a choice parents would dread, and I think they deserve less judgement and more support.
  • METALheadMom 2010/09/28 20:02:06
    None of the above
    METALheadMom
    +1
    THIS WAS THEIR BUSINESS. THEIR DECISION, WE DO NOT KNOW ALL THERE IS TO KNOW about their situation, and no doubt it was NOT a decision that was easy. HOW DARE anyone be so judgmental.
  • I Wish I Were A Skywalker..... 2010/09/28 19:37:13
    Yes, they had no choice
    I Wish I Were A Skywalker... ~ In Television I Trust
    +1
    If the child was hurting the other children, they had every right. Didn't mean they didn't love her. Come on! Be a frog! Don't care that your parents leave you in a puddle :)
  • Zuggi 2010/09/28 19:06:38
    None of the above
    Zuggi
    There is no right answer. The situation is too screwed up.
  • tootien 2010/09/28 18:56:33
    No, the child was their responsibility
    tootien
    If this were a "birthed" child instead of "adopted" would they have made the same decision? The idea that humans are disposable is a huge problem for our society. 8 nannies for crying out loud! Maybe raise the kids yourselves!
  • itoldyouso tootien 2010/09/28 19:15:07
    itoldyouso
    +1
    Got a point about the amount of nannies. Don't believe in anyone taking care of your children but you. There your responsibility.
  • carri byers 2010/09/28 18:04:28
    Yes, they had no choice
    carri byers
    +3
    This is incredibly hard, but I've had to make this decision myself.

    I was a foster mom and took in a three year old with Attachment Disorder who stayed with us for 5 years. This was an adorable child, as comely and as charming as they come, but this child was devious, underhanded and dangerous. The reason this child stayed with us for 5 years was due to the mismanagement of the case by the state. The child was placed for adoption several times, but was either yanked out of the placements due to prejudice by the Case Worker (three times), or the prospective adoptive parents decided against it. Finally, we were asked by the state to adopt him/her. We were torn terribly, because the last thing we wanted was for this child to be thrown back into the broken system, but the disruption and danger he/she brought to our family (due to dangerous family members knowledge of our whereabouts) was the final decider. We still ache with that decision today, but know it was the best one for our family.

    I empathize with this young family and hope the world will leave them alone in this very private and difficult decision and not judge them without having been in their shoes.
  • tootien carri b... 2010/09/28 18:58:26
    tootien
    Sure it's private/or should be, and bless you for taking in foster kids, but this is like saying that I should have dumped my mentally ill child, because of the 4 others. Sorry ya gotta deal with what life throws at ya!
  • carri b... tootien 2010/09/29 02:17:42
    carri byers
    Many parents choose to place severely mentally challenged children in institutions that can care more for their special needs than can the family. That does not make the family evil and it often can be the best thing for the child. I would never dream of judging a family that did so harshly, just as I don't judge this family harshly. I've dealt with mentally disabled and mentally ill and many other disabilities my whole life and nothing has been as challenging for me than dealing with a child with no conscience. Until you have had such an experience, don't think you are in a position to judge.
  • tootien carri b... 2010/09/29 18:46:26
    tootien
    I'm not judging - just saying that your kids are yours - one of my 3 birth children had severe mental disorders, and yes he had to be institutionalized for a time - if I could have "given him back" I wouldn't. My sister died and her daughters became mine, one is a high functioning developmentally disabled - I turned over every rock to make sure that she received the education and help that she needs. I kinda think that thou protesteth too much about being in a position to judge.
  • carri b... tootien 2010/09/30 04:35:51
    carri byers
    I am promoting the lack of judgment. Each person is unique in their strengths and weaknesses. God will judge who could have done more or reached the limit of their abilities, not us.
  • tootien carri b... 2010/09/30 23:59:41
    tootien
    how many angels can dance on the head of a pin
  • carri b... tootien 2010/10/01 04:10:05
    carri byers
    Mmmmm.
  • Dana carri b... 2010/09/29 00:28:08
    Dana
    +1
    Great post Carrie... I admire your strength and integrity. I have a friend who has had to take on her grandchildren from the state, because of the parents.. (her son/girlfiend) and I do not know how she does it with the one. the other 3 all have issues, health problems, delayed etc.. hearing and even heart problems, all from the parents constant drug use. But the one little boy is so seriously ill, that even though he has made great strides, he is still scary...and dangerous, is not even allowed in a public school, on constant meds to control him, psych help, you name it... and she sticks in their like glue... but, he is also blood related and she feels incredibly guilty for all these babies and wants to make everything right.

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