Adoption, Law & Ethics, News & Media

Newspaper articles about Michelle’s 1976 adoption

If you would like to read some of the newspaper articles regarding the case against the attorney that illegally arranged the adoption, you can view them HERE. In some of the articles, Michelle is the adopted child referred to as the December 4, 1976 “incident.”

Many of these articles include statements taken from Kent’s court testimony that contradict Hollie’s experiences, including his heavy involvement after Michelle’s birth. They also contradict information given to Michelle in 2017 by her adoptive father. We will make a separate post about these inconsistencies at a later date.

So far, our research has produced about 12 articles from a variety of newspapers including the Courier-Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The New York Times. We will add a few new articles to this page at a later date. Continue reading

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.

By RENEE WINKLER
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.

Continue reading

Law & Ethics

State v. Kent | NJ Super. App. Div. (1980)

173 N.J. Super. 215 (1980)

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, v. EDWARD KENT, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.
Argued March 10, 1980.
Decided July 1, 1980. [1]
*218 Before Judges SEIDMAN, MICHELS and DEVINE.
William C. Levine, Assistant Prosecutor, argued the cause for appellant (John B. Mariano, Camden County Prosecutor, attorney). Continue reading

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Appeal of lawyer is rejected (Nov. 1978)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: November 18, 1978

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.

By RENEE WINKLER
Courier-Post Staff

A Superior Court judge in Camden has denied an appeal by a Burlington County attorney who had been turned down for Camden County’s pre-trial intervention program. Continue reading

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Divorce lawyer convicted for adoption assistance (June 1981)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: June 25, 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.

CAMDEN – Edward Kent, a Willingboro attorney who specializes in divorce cases, was convicted yesterday of illegally acting as an intermediary in the adoption of three newborn children.

Kent, 55, who lives in Edgewater Park, was acquitted of three accompanying charges of obstructing justice.

The state, through Deputy Attorney General Nancy Singer, had charged him with encouraging the natural mothers to lie during interviews with state and county agencies about his involvement in the placements.

The verdict was announced yesterday by Superior Court Judge Peter J. Coruzzi, who heard the case without a jury. Coruzzi will sentence Kent in about four weeks. The lawyer faces up to three years imprisonment and a $1,000 fine on each of the three counts.

Defense attorney Carl D. Poplar of Haddonfield said he will appeal the conviction.

Pre-trial motions and testimony lasted four weeks. Much of the pre-trial time was taken by listening to tape recordings of conversations between Kent and one of the natural mothers and preparing transcripts of those tapes for later admission into evidence.

The adoptions took place between December 1976 and May 1977.

In convicting Kent, Coruzzi said the statute covering placement of children is simple but specific. It forbids assistance by anyone other than the natural parents in placing a child in another home.

Coruzzi said the charges against Kent did not involve “fringe cases.”

“He orchestrated the whole thing,” the judge said.

The three natural mothers who offered their children for adoption approached Kent, who then contacted families who were hoping to adopt a child. Kent passed on the name and phone number of the pregnant women, according to testimony.

He repeatedly told the women and the adoptive parents that he could not arrange meetings between them. The adoptive parents paid the medical costs of the pregnancy and delivery and received the children as the mother left the hospital.

Kent received only a standard fee for representing the adoptive parents at later court hearings.

His involvement was disclosed when one of the women, formerly from Burlington Township, referred to him during an interview with the state Division of Youth and Family Services, a state agency that must approve all adoptions.

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

 

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Law & Ethics, News & Media

Lawyer indicted on adoptions (April 1978)

Original Publication: The New York Times
Original Publication Date: April 15, 1978

CAMDEN, N.J., April 14 (UPI) – A lawyer with offices in Marlton, N.J., and Willingboro, N.J., has been indicted for allegedly arranging the illegal adoption of babies. The indictment of the lawyer, Edward Kent, 52 years old, was announced today by Prosecutor Thomas Shusted of Camden County. The eight count indictment accuses Mr. Kent of acting as a middleman between the natural mothers and the adoptive parents, which is against state law.

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Adoption, Law & Ethics

Could you be [secretly] adopted? Red flags that could point to adoption

by Michelle Lyn Riess

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

In September 2017, at age 40, I accidentally discovered that I am adopted after getting a DNA match on Ancestry.com to one of my three full biological sisters (you can read that story here.)  I know it’s difficult to understand how someone could be 40 years old and not know they are adopted, or more specifically, never told they are adopted. Unfortunately, I am living proof that it absolutely can happen to anyone at any point in their adult life (thankfully, it is rare!) 

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The moment I met my parents & three sisters for the first time in 2017

Today, with so many people taking DNA tests to trace their family’s history (ex. Ancestry.com, 23andme.com) more people might unexpectedly find themselves in similar situations. Could you be the next late discovery adoptee? Continue reading

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Lawyer accused in 3 adoptions (April 1978)

Original Publication: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Original Publication Date: April 15, 1978

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.

By Francis M. Lordan
Inquirer Staff Writer

A Burlington County lawyer has been indicted on charges that in 1977 he illegally assisted in the adoption of three children in Camden County, Thomas J. Shusted, Camden County prosecutor, said yesterday.

Continue reading

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Memory fails witness in adoption case (June 1981)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: June 5, 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. This article is particularly disturbing because this biological mother was clearly being influenced in some way to lie or to withhold information about Kent’s involvement in her child’s adoption (read this article about Kent offering to pay her for lying to investigators.) We will be writing about these issues and inconsistencies at a later date.

CAMDEN — A woman who was to have been the state’s chief witness against a Willingboro lawyer charged with acting as an illegal intermediary in a series of adoptions was able to recall only sketchy information about the case yesterday.

When first called by Deputy Attorney General Nancy Singer, the woman said she couldn’t remember anything about her pregnancy in 1977, her meeting with attorney Edward Kent or the couple who adopted her baby.

Continue reading

Law & Ethics, News & Media

Lawyer indicted as a middleman for adoptions (April 1978)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: April 14, 1978

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.

By RENEE WINKLER
Courier-Post Staff

A Burlington County lawyer who specializes in matrimonial matters was indicted Thursday by a Camden County grand jury for illegally acting as an intermediary in the adoption of three children.

Edward Kent, 52, who has a law office in Willingboro, also was charged with obstruction of justice in the eight-count indictment. None of the children or the couples who wanted to adopt them is named in the indictment, although it specifies that their identities are known to the grand jury. Continue reading

Law & Ethics

High Tribunal Raps Attorney for Conduct (1963)

Original publication: Courier-Post
Original publication date: January 22, 1963

“His conduct is dishonorable and brings the profession into disrepute.” -a NJ Supreme Court Justice referring to attorney Edward Kent

TRENTON (UPI) – The State Supreme Court Monday reprimanded lawyer Edward Kent of Levittown [Willingboro] for bypassing a Pennsylvania lawyer and dealing directly with his client.

The Pennsylvania lawyer, James P. Geoghegan, complained to the Burlington County Ethics Committee that Kent had sought to arrange settlement of an auto accident through direct dealings with Geoghegan’s client.

He said this violated the professional ethics.  Continue reading

Adoption, Law & Ethics, News & Media

Reunited after 40 years: our family’s amazing adoption reunion

“Deception may give us what we want for the present, but it will always take it away in the end.” –Rachel Hawthorne

On November 30, 1976 a baby girl was born to a young couple in New Jersey. Four days later, she was handed to a married couple who hoped to adopt her through a privately arranged adoption.

For the next forty years, the young couple had no idea where their baby was, if she was safe, healthy or even alive. Over the years, they searched for her through adoption registries and reunion websites, but were unable to find her.

For the same forty years–and only a few miles apart–their baby was raised to believe she was the biological child of the couple who adopted her. Until 2017, when an unexpected result on an Ancestry DNA test shattered their web of lies.

Michelle 4 days old

Michelle at four days old – December 1976

Continue reading