Law & Ethics, News & Media

‘Adoption lawyer’s’ term suspended (1981)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: October 17, 1981

N O T E : Much of the information taken from Kent’s testimony completely contradicts Hollie’s experiences and even some of the details that were provided to Michelle by her adoptive father in 2017. We will be writing about these inconsistencies at a later date.

Of the Courier-Post

CAMDEN – A Willingboro attorney, convicted in July of illegally acting as an intermediary in three adoptions, yesterday was given a suspended jail term and placed on probation for one year.

Before Edward Kent, 55, was given the sentence he made an emotional speech, criticizing the law that makes it illegal for persons to help in the placement of unwanted children.

Kent, who lives in Edgewater Park, praised Deputy Attorney General Nancy Singer, who presented the state’s case against him, and Superior Court Judge Peter J. Corruzzi, who convicted him after a non-jury trial, commenting that both were complying with the law.

The state law requires all private adoptions to be supervised by the state Division of Youth and Family Services.

Kent had contacted clergymen in several Burlington County municipalities after unmarried pregnant women came to him looking for adoptive parents for their children.

Kent, who specializes in matrimonial and family law, is an opponent of abortion.

He objected to a statement by a Camden County probation officer who commented that he had helped in the adoptions because of a profit motive. No allegations were made that Kent charged excessive fees for the adoptions and his defense lawyer, Carl D. Poplar of Haddonfield, argued that he had given hundreds of hours of unpaid work to help in adoptions.

Kent, who began to sob before sentence was announced, said that his average fee for an adoption was $500. “I charge $1,000 or more for a divorce, an act of destruction, compared to this, an act of construction, of building a family,” he said.

With tears in his eyes, he said that “the years over 50 won’t be golden for me. Now I’m a convict. I’m going to pay for the rest of my life because the system wasn’t fair.”

“If I ever thought that calling up a priest or a rabbi would have gotten me into a prisoner’s dock, I would have been better off going into the garment district,” he said.

Corruzzi, who suspended a six-month term in the Camden County Jail for Kent, said he would not comment at length “because I’m afraid I might agree with some of the things you said. But the statute exists prohibiting assistance in the placement of children for adoption.”

Kent still faces disciplinary action by the Ethics Committee of the state Supreme Court. That action could be suspension of his license to practice law or disbarment.  

View Original Article: Click here to view a JPG of the original newspaper article


© Christina George / Michelle Lyn Riess / Riess Family Adoption Reunion, 2017-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to this site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. By visiting this site, you agree to the terms of use for this site.

One thought on “‘Adoption lawyer’s’ term suspended (1981)

  1. Cory

    What does abortion have to do with it? If he wanted to stop abortions he would have working with women early in a pregnancy not full term babies. The pregnant women he conned were too far along to have abortion even if they wanted one. How is this relevant? What a crock. He only cared about padding his own wallet and didn’t care about the people’s lives he was destroying. You don’t build a family by buying a baby from an unwilling birth mother. No financial motive my a**. WHAT A FRAUD! Sorry your family had to go through this mess. Glad you found each other now. Best wishes to all of you


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