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WhoCanISue.comFamily Wrongful Adoption

Find A Wrongful Adoption Attorney


A family lawyer that specializes in wrongful adoption can file a claim against any person or organization seen to be responsible for concealing or misrepresenting information about a child, whether it be accidental or deliberate.  This includes the agency and social worker that were involved in the adoption. If you are moving forward with a claim, it is imperative that you retain a wrongful adoption attorney. 

There are many reasons why someone would want to file a wrongful adoption claim: intentional misrepresentation; deliberate concealment; negligent disclosure of information; breach of contract; fraud (when defendants took money for the placement) and emotional distress.

In order for an adoption to meet the criteria of a lawsuit, damages must have been caused, in whole or in part, by the conduct of another party, even though there may have been no intention of bringing harm to the victim(s).  Such damages include: medical expenses and anticipated medical expenses; the loss of society and companionship of the child; emotional pain and suffering; interference in their enjoyment of life; lost wages and extraordinary medical expenses.

Wrongful adoption cases are always decided in a civil court rather than in the criminal justice system. This is because wrongful adoption trials are about financial compensation for the medical expenses incurred as a result of the fraudulent misrepresentations and the negligent actions of the adoption agency, rather than seeking punishment such as jail time for a criminal act. Civil courts are equipped to reward judgments in these wrongful adoption cases.

Wrongful adoption lawsuits are always brought by the adoptive parents and sometimes the adoptee.

Wrongful adoption claims hold every individual involved accountable.  These lawsuits serve as a useful reminder to government agencies and private social services; that they are ultimately responsible if a client should suffer through their negligence.

States generally impose a time limit (known as a statute of limitation) within which a wrongful adoption lawsuit must be filed. This time limit can vary from state to state.   Time limits may be imposed on claims of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  The law about time limits varies from state to state.

Who Can Sue

Adoptive parents, who have seen their good intentions brought to often tragic levels of suffering, could be eligible to pursue a wrongful adoption lawsuit.  In addition, adoptees who have suffered for years because valuable health information was suppressed might also be eligible to pursue such a suit.

Because the statue of limitations and other factors may play a role in your right to sue, don’t jeopardize your legal options by waiting too long to decide. Consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible in order to determine if you are entitled to compensation.

Sorting out the details of a wrongful adoption claim can be complex.  Because of the various claims requirements, only a family law attorney who is experienced in the area of wrongful adoption lawsuits in your state will ensure that your rights and the rights of your adopted child are fully protected.

When an adoption goes awry, the family is not only forced to deal with their own emotional pain, but also with the financial burdens brought on by years of medical and psychological treatment.

Once the decision to pursue a wrongful adoption action has been made, it is crucial to retain competent legal counsel early on.

Potential Recovery

Placing a value on pain and suffering and estimating future medical costs and punitive damages that families are entitled to in wrongful adoption court cases can often be difficult. The method judges and juries use to place a dollar amount on the future costs that result from the wrongful adoption is to ask questions such as:

  • How much money have the adoptive parents already spent?
  • How much money has the adoptee spent?
  • What will they spend in the future?
  • How financially dependent is the adoptee on the adoptive parents?

Failure to properly document every aspect of financial and emotional damage to a family caused by the wrongful adoption can have a large impact on the recovery amount.

Following are examples of wrongful adoption cases and the resulting jury awards:

$125,000 The first notable wrongful adoption case was Burr v. Board of County Commissioners, 1986 Ohio Supreme Court.  Based on a claim of “Intentional Misrepresentation,”  it was the first case to recognize and define the action and to define the elements for wrongful adoption.

$3.8 Million Mohr v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1991.  A jury agreed that the Commonwealth had negligently misrepresented medical and family history of a child adopted by the plaintiffs.  A judge later reduced the award to $200,000.

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