I will continue coverage of the Stephanie Bennett case. For previous posts, please scroll directly below this one.


One thing you can count on in adoption–hypocrisy is never far from mendacity.

Last month Working Mother Magazine named Stephanie Bennett’s adoption agency A Child’s Waiting one of the 25 Best Small Companies of 2007. The magazine offers a snapshot of the “family friendly” workplace. You need to check out Akron Beacon Journal business reporter Kerry Clawson’s follow-up for the full studio portrait. The place employs 17 women exploiting women, 4 of whom are “single moms”–adoption status unknown. Free on-site nanny care, a toy-filled playroom, baby swings, and a crib room for napping babies. And get this: a private nursing room! Did I mention flex-time, no set hours, and 1-month paid maternity leave? Employees who adopt (who woulda thought?) receive up to $1000 to cover expenses.

It is especially edifying to know that ACW’s professional child recruiter Ronda Berger can stick her youngest in the toy room with the nanny while she’s on the road bringing home the bacon.

How can the Desperate and Pregnant resist the sales pitch?

Anyway, just when you think you can’t take another ACW happy working mom story, reporter Clawson invites the dark spectre of Stephanie Bennett into the workers’ paradise. Here’s her little chat-up about the Bennett case with ACW co-owner Crissy Koralik, who by the way, according to Clawson, is looking for a little girl to adopt as her very own:

A Child’s Waiting was in the news in December and again last month after Stephanie Bennett, 17 and her parents Ranza and Judy Bennett of Canton, fought two counties to regain custody of Stephanie’s baby, Evelyn, after the teen had gave up her daughter to A Child’s Waiting for adoption.

A Stark County Family Court dismissed one lawsuit in February ruling that the teen had knowingly and voluntarily signed papers surrendering her daughter to the adoption agency. No ruling has been made on the second case which was heard last week by Magistrate Diana Stevenson in Summit County Court.

Evelyn is now 11 months old and has been placed with an adoptive family.

The teen had accused A Child’s Waiting of encouraging her to run away so she could more easily sign the adoption papers without her parents knowledge.

“The allegation is ridiculous,” Bessemer-Koralik said. “That’s not something we would ever condone especially for a minor.”

“Of course, our heart goes out to the birth family. A Child’s Waiting always has the best interest of the child in mind.”

Bessemer-Koralik said this is the first custody dispute the agency has experienced in its seven years.

Of course, it’s ridiculous, Crissy! We know ACW’s heart goes out to the Bennetts. Just like its hand goes out to the billfolds of adopters.

ACW feels the Bennetts’ pain. And we know ACW wants to stop it for both your sakes. Unhappily, taking 2 aspirin before you go to bed and calling Bastardette in the morning, won’t make that pain go away. Help, however, is close at hand. Your hands! Fess up! Tell the court to send Evelyn home to her mom and grandparents. The Bennetts’ pain will dissolve instantly. But since this is all about you, and I know that’s what you’re really worried about, let me give you a little advice. At first you may occasionally feel a waft of remorse or loss or loneliness, but remember–you did the right thing! A selfless act of compassion and love. Someday soon you’ll forget all about Evelyn and the Bennett family and the adoptive folks whose lives you’ve ruined. You’ll move on with your life as if nothing happened. You’ ll have a clean slate. You’ve done it before.


Susan Gerstenzang, associate editor of Working Mother told the Beacon Journal that she wasn’t aware of the Bennett dispute or if other editors were aware of it before ACW was honored.


Thanks to Kippa Herring for the heads up on this story!
Huzzah to Kerry Clawson!


To purchase your very own lousy t-shirt and help bring Evelyn home, go here.

A fund to assist the Bennetts has been established at:

US Bank,
123 N. Reed St.,
Malvern, OH 44644

Make checks payable to “Send Evelyn Home”
and they will be deposited into the correct account.


  1. Thank you for this and for your blog in general. Do you know if any action is being take to register a complaint against ACW? They so clearly need to be shut down, but I haven’t heard that anyone has taken that action.

    Do you know if the complaint would have to come from a “client” (in this case Stephanie Bennett) or could it be registered by someone else?

    Love your blog and your perspective.

  2. 3rd Mom:

    Adoption agencies are “regulated” in Ohio by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). is the link to the main page.

    I know in the past we’ve made several complaints against our Ohio “agency” (Building Blocks) to the ODJFS, but nothing was ever done.

    Adoption agency regulation in Ohio is A JOKE. If you call to complain to the Attorney General’s office, they tell you to CONTACT THE LOCAL BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU.

  3. I don’t know, and that’s a good question. I know that complaints have been filed against the agency in the past, but I assume they were from uhappy clients. Maybe somebody reading this can tell us. And thanks for your kind words!

  4. I am not anti-adoption. Sometimes adoption is realistic, such as when a child is an orphan or the parents truly can’t or don’t want to raise the child.

    However, this is entirely not the case in this situation. It is in no way in the best interest of the child, or anyone else, to take a child from a loving home just to form a new family elsewhere because the prospective new parents are paying your fees.

    A Child Waiting needs to be shut down. It is a dangerous, unethical and immoral organization.

  5. Lovely.

    One of 25 Best Small Companies of 2007 — for those who don’t mind selling their souls.

    Ethics beyond reproach ought to be a part of that “best companies” list.

  6. Thanks, Marley and for the info. The Better Business Bureau, huh? Well, that ought to clue any thinking person into the fact that adoption as it’s largely practiced is an INDUSTRY, not a social service. And if there’s a person left in this country who think the two can ethically mix, I’d like to meet them so I can whack them across the head with a plank.

    Another question for anyone who stops by: What’s the general view on confronting the CCA with adoption abuses? 200 congresspeople who love adoption – seems like they’d be a target for any reform group. Anyone know if there’s been any luck getting their members to start listening?

  7. “The allegation is ridiculous,” Bessemer-Koralik said. “That’s not something we would ever condone especially for a minor.”

    What is most silly to me about this comment from ACW is it begs the question: if this issuch a concern, why not confer also with the grandparents FIRST, who were helping care for the baby in her first five months?

    This is an answer I would like to hear from ACW.

  8. Rob,

    When I interviewed Chrissy Kolaric from ACW, I asked that question. She said it was because Stephanie asked for confidentiality. She said they always respect the (birth) mother’s wish for confidentiality. In baby abductionland, Stephanie wasn’t a minor, so there was no need to contact anyone.

    When I called the agency to ask for an interview, they asked where I was calling from, I said The Adoption Show in Canada….Chrissy’s assistant went silent, then said, “How do people in Canada know about this story?” She put Chrissy on the phone right away. She was really trying to convince me that no coercion went on…that Stephanie knew exactly what she was doing and that what they did was in the best interest of the child.

  9. Is a birth mother not entitled to confidentiality? To make her own decisions?

    I don’t understand why people are saying the agency should have talked to the grandparents. The grandparents had no legal rights over the child whatsoever. Therefore, if Stephanie did not include them in her decision, ACW had no legal or ethical basis for including the grandparents on their own initiative.

    Had Stephanie sought an abortion, would you be arguing the provider should have asked the grandparents?

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